Saturday, December 26, 2015

God Remembers Noah

Gen 8:20  Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Gen 8:21  And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.
Gen 8:22  While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease."

One of the blessings of studying through the account of Noah is the different ways he and the ark teach about Jesus and his work of redemption.  The account above refers to when Noah walks out of the ark after all living things have been destroyed.  I think the inference is that in the back of Noah’s mind was the nagging question as to what would stop the Lord from sending another flood to destroy sinful man.  Noah knew that the sin in his heart had survived the flood and so in a sense, nothing had changed inwardly.

And this is the very first question the Lord deals with and it comes right after Noah had made a blood sacrifice to the Lord and it says that the sacrifice pleased God. The Lord promises to never curse the earth with a flood that destroys all life as he did in the days of Noah.

I think this is fitting as it continues to teach of Christ.  There are many Christians who are confused and ask similar questions today.  They have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior; they have been saved from the wrath of God against sin but they have not been taught what that means to their future and their assurance.  Part of this is because their pastors refuse to accept what the Bible says about the eternal election unto salvation that the Bible clearly teaches.  One such verse is Act 13:48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.  From eternity God has appointed some for eternal life.  There is never any indication that he has appointed them to believe and then fall away; to have life and then to go back into death.  Such an idea takes election out of the hands of a sovereign God and make man’s will the determining factor.  But election is precisely  God determining to save some of fallen man lest all men perish.

Another reason that many suffer with the idea that even though they are believers they can be taken away from Christ is that they simply won’t accept the promises of God in this matter.  Let me list a couple of passages that parallel the account in Gen. 8:20-22.

Jud 1:24  Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy. 
Php 1:6  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Joh 10:28  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

The study of the atoning work of Christ is deep and complex in many ways and good men have debated it for 2000 years.  But we need to be sure to not make complex what the Bible has clearly stated.  The above verses make it clear that our salvation is in the Lord’s hand and not ours.  We can’t sin away grace because it is a gift not merited to begin with.  Jude said that Jesus is able to keep us blameless until presented before the presence of God.  If he is able to do this, why does he let some supposedly lose their salvation when he could have stopped it? 

The worse thing about believing you can be separated from Christ is not the lack of peace and stability it brings in the lives of those who believe it but the worse thing is what is says about our Lord and his love for us.  It is to infer that he is a liar,

Rom 8:33  Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
Rom 8:34  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
Rom 8:36  As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
Rom 8:37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Rom 8:38  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
Rom 8:39  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

If God says no one can bring a charge against me if I am in Christ then I will hang my salvation on the peg of his promise and not on my ability to cling to Christ.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Nathan,
    In the group I was in, The Church of Bible Understanding, we also believed no one could snatch us out of God's hand-but we had no real security in that promise because we also believed that we could jump out of God's hand. No one outside could remove us, but we could remove ourselves. We didn't understand that God sovereignly saves us and keeps us. We wanted part of the credit for our salvation, through our “decision”. We didn't understand that us getting part of the credit also meant that we had to keep ourselves as well.

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  2. Would you say that insecurity is part and parcel of any good cult? Thanks Steve

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    1. Hi Nathan,
      Very interesting question. First, I would say that sincerity is definitely part and parcel. Sincerity will keep many members in the cult for a long time.I mean the sincerity of the members following the leader.
      As for “insecurity”-any cult leader worth his salt who can exploit the insecurity of the members, will be the leader as long as he wants.

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