Page 5 - June 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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of that communion he was strengthened   Romans) teaches us this most fundamental
        for faith’s sternest test. In reverent awe, he   lesson: righteousness can only be acquired
        trembled at God’s crashing denunciation   by faith. A right relationship with God
        of all that was ungodly, and glimpsed the   was not based on Noah’s performance;
        dawn, a harbinger of hope – an ark “for   rather, he was “fully convinced that God
        the saving of his house.”             was able to do what he had promised.”
          By faith, he obeyed God. Like Moses in   Like Abraham, “his faith was ‘counted to
        a future day, he built an ark “according   him as righteousness.’ But the words ‘it
        to the pattern,” no detail too small for a   was counted to him’ were not written for
        man whose chief aim was to please God.   his sake alone, but for ours also. It will
        And this vast construction project was   be counted to us who believe in him who
        only one responsibility; like his faithful   raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who
        great-grandfather  Enoch  (Jud  14),  he   was delivered up for our trespasses and
        was  also  a  “herald  of  righteousness”   raised for our justification” (Rom 4:21-25).
        (2Pe  2:5).  The  ark  may  have  been  a   Did Noah work to please God? Of course
        passive testimony, but together with his   he did, but it was the fruit of a righteous
        courageous preaching, he loudly and   life, not the cause of it.
        vocally “condemned the world.”          To a trembling Christian minority in
          By every modern metric, Noah was a   the book of Hebrews, this brought great
        failure. We are informed (Gen 5:30) that   assurance. There was no need to return
        Lamech had other children (likely many)   to the “works of the Law,” now ended in
        in the 595 years after Noah’s birth, but in   Christ and His cross. All is finished, God
        the words of the New Testament, “neither   is satisfied, and every soul that embraces
        did his brethren believe in him” (Joh 7:5).   the promises of God by faith has “this as
        The general population paid him no mind;   a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul”
        Matthew tells us that after decades of   (Heb 6:19). To an unbeliever, the message
        preaching, the flood was a total shock, that   is  equally  clear.  Salvation  “is  not  of
        “they were unaware until the flood came   works”; eternal safety is found in the ark.
        and swept them all away” (Mat 24:39).   The door is open, for the moment, and
          Only one man was not surprised; with   one need only come; “by me, if any man
        quiet confidence he led the animals and   enter in, he shall be saved” (Joh 10:9). And
        their  food,  along  with  his  immediate   for the Jewish remnant in the Tribulation,
        family, through the door. God was not   if Enoch points to a raptured Church,
        surprised either. He knew the man that   snatched  away  before  the  judgment
        knew Him, and shut him in, safe from   falls, Noah points to a family preserved
        the  storm,  safe  from  judgment. And   through the storm of universal judgment
        when the year had expired, and the water   in the Tribulation. God’s Word promises a
        receded, the security of God’s promise   redeemed people, gathered around their
        was evidenced as they stepped into a new   newly-acknowledged Messiah, occupying
        world; eight souls went in, eight souls   a cleansed and renewed earth, fulfilling all
        came out. God can be trusted!         the promises of a God who means exactly
          And now, thousands of years later, the   what He says (Rom 11:29).
        author of the book of Hebrews (along    “And without faith it is impossible to
        with the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the   please him” (Heb 11:6).

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