20th January 2023
Read - Hebrews 11:7 (take some time and read Genesis 6:1-9:28)
Message Alan Burke
Noah we are here told became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Righteousness, a biblical word that in effect means to have right standing before the Lord our God. It is not on anything that we have done or can do, actually the only thing that we contribute to the salvation we receive is the sin that made it necessary. Rather we have right standing before the Lord through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ that is imputed to us. Imputed means that it is given to us. It is because Noah believed the promises of God even though he couldn't yet see, that he became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. The righteousness Noah had is the same as the righteousness that all who have faith, those who are God’s people have after the fall, is a “righteousness which comes by faith”. It wasn’t that Noah was righteous by keeping the law of God, no he was righteous by faith, it was by faith that Noah became an heir to righteousness, Noah was saved in the same way that we are saved and everyone else is saved, it was by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Today, we still must trust God for this sight that is as yet unseen. And if we trust Jesus and all of His promises then we, like Noah, are heirs “of the righteousness that comes by faith” (11:7).
The Lord through the apostle Paul here in Hebrews wants us to know that if we have faith that this is how it should work in our lives, that we hear the word of God, we believe, and by faith we act upon that word in our lives. The word of God should change and transform us, the Spirit of God works within us and transforms us by the work of sanctification enabling us to die to self and live for God in Christ Jesus more and more. We need to believe in God and His word more than anything else, it should be our rule and guide. Do we get this? Do we believe the word of God and wherever our life is out of step with it to do we by faith seek to change? For ever since the fall the whole of history has been marked by the serpent asking ‘did God really say?’ That is what the serpent does, the devil tries to get us to doubt the word of God and choose what he says is life but is actually death. For the believer our salvation is not in doubt but when we listen to the serpent, the devils lies then it robs us of confidence, assurance, comfort in the midst of life. For the believer by faith we aren’t to build a boat but we are to live according to the word of God.
The purpose in Noah and his family being saved from the flood was that God would keep his promise that was made to Adam and Eve, of the Christ, the messiah, the serpent crusher. God continued to show His grace when all that we deserve as the human race is His wrath. In Genesis 8:21 after the flood subsided we are told; “21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done”. (Gen 8:20–21).
The flood did not change the human heart, sin remained, Noah wasn’t the one who would bring a restored Eden dealing with the problem of sin. For after the flood until his death even though he became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith, Noah was still a sinner and quickly fell becoming drunk off wine (9:20-21). His sin was not the drinking of the wine but abusing it. His sin sprang forth from his sinful heart, he then exposed himself bringing shame, that is why Shem and Japheth sought to cover their father from further shame whereas Ham left him naked and gossiped about it to his brothers. The message is not be like Noah in all of this for even the upright can fall into sin rather it is trust in the promises of God.
Q55 What is forbidden in the third commandment?
The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning and abusing of any thing whereby God maketh himself known. (Mal. 1:6–7,12, Mal. 2:2, Mal. 3:14)