It's time to derive your worldview from the Bible

Rather than reading the Bible through the eyes of modern secularism, this provocative six-part course teaches you to read the Bible through its own eyes—as a record of God’s dealing with the human race. When you read it at this level, you will discover reasons to worship God in areas of life you probably never before associated with “religion.”

by Charles Clough
The characteristics of biblical salvation. The flood of Noah as a picture of salvation. God perfectly discriminates.
Series:Chapter 5 – The Flood: The Buried Truth of Divine Intervention
Duration:53 mins 30 secs

© Charles A. Clough 1996

Charles A. Clough
Biblical Framework Series 1995–2003

Part 2: Buried Truths of Origins
Chapter 5: The Flood: The Buried Truth of Divine Intervention

Lesson 21 – God’s Intervention of Judgment and Salvation,
Part 2: Grace before Judgment, Perfect Discrimination,
One Way of Salvation, Replacement of the Whole World, and
Appropriation by Faith

28 Mar 1996
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD

The events at the beginning of the Scripture set up the rest of Scripture. These three events give you the creation, who God is and who man is, the sin issue, and what God does about the sin issue, salvation. We talked about the text and why Genesis 6-8 speaks of a global flood, why this is pro­foundly embarrassing to biblical critics, or people who want to believe but have a problem being intimidated and try to accommodate, we found we can’t really accommodate and do justice to the text, we have to take the text at face value and let the chips fall where they may. Then we talked about what the flood event is all about; it’s about God’s judgment and God’s salvation. You can’t have one without the other. Whenever God saves He also judges; whenever God judges, because He is a gracious God, He also saves. Those two are very close to each other. Think of it this way, the Lord Jesus Christ is a Savior and we stress that in the gospel, He is our Savior, but anyone who seriously reads the Bible knows He is also the judge, so Jesus Himself combines the two roles, He is judge and Savior. He is the One who died for sin, and He is the One who is going to reject people who reject what He’s offered them. He has a right to do that, He’s the one that died and if you’re going to do despite to what He has provided He has an inherent right to say “sorry.”

We stressed again and again these two pictures, lest we compromise in some of these basic points. You cannot correctly appreciate God’s saving work if you do not, at the same time, appreciate His creation, who we are, who He is, and the issue of sin and what that is all about, because those are the things that set up the problem from which we are to be saved. So we have got to understand those, and this is why an error in the perception of what salvation is about is always, if you just dig a little deep, you’ll find that it’s really an error in the creation and the fall, because it goes back to what we have in view of the Bible, where you have a Creator, who Himself is good, who makes a creation that is good, and the creation at some point after it’s made originates its own evil, by virtue of rebellion against the Creator. At that point that’s the story of evil. That’s a radically different story than what you get with the pagan view, where you have an impersonal continuum that always was evil. You can’t mix those two things together and every time you try it, it under­cuts the whole story.

That’s why I stress as a discipline to see the structure of the Bible, the deep structure. You can’t let go of these things. There is this picture and there is that picture, and you can’t mix them. So every time we look at the Bible and we see that we have a distinct difference between creation and the point at which sin entered the creation, we have a back limit on evil. There’s the left side on the time scale, that’s the bracketing of evil as far as the left side of the scale goes. The bracketing of evil on the right side we’ll see tonight because that’s judgment. So evil is bracketed between the initial rebellious act and God’s judging finale. Evil in this view is bracketed, it has to operate within those limits, but that’s a radically different view than the other view that says evil just goes on and on ad infinitum. You can’t mix those.

These are two distinct views of reality; they are two distinct views of who God is, two distinct views of what the universe is all about, two distinct views of what the issue of good and evil is. Don’t forget that, because it spells the difference between the Bible and pagan thought in the rest of the world. If you don’t keep those two views straight, when we come to the topic of salvation we can’t be straight. What happens is that on the pagan basis what you wind up with is a mixture of good and evil, you never can alter the mixture because it’s always mixed, so what salvation turns into in this scheme is sort of making the good bigger than the evil. You wind up with some sort of an 80%-20% deal, where you alter things and make things more comfor­­t­able but you don’t ever deal with the issue of evil itself. That’s an adjustment, and fundamentally all attempts at salvation outside of the Scripture are mere adjustments, they’re not solutions. Because of this, in this view something else begins to happen, i.e. because the gods and goddesses are good and evil, so your divine principle is contaminated with evil as well as the creature, and you have man, but man is also contaminated, and they’re contaminated in the sense that the good and evil can’t really be separated, they’re just so mixed together they can’t be separated. If that’s the case, then when I talk about an adjustment, not salvation, but an adjustment type thing, man can contribute to that, man by his own efforts can add to that scheme because it’s sort of like adaptation. We can adapt to things. That’s why every false gospel of every false religion inevitably gets man involved in the process. It is always human works that are meritorious and somehow involved in the process.

This is why, when we go through these five points tonight on what salvation is all about from the Scriptural point of view, we want to feed the imaginations of our hearts with this story that’s so simple a child can understand it, so very, very simple. You can sit down with a little model boat and explain this to a child, and yet the story sets up salvation that can purify our theology as we read the Bible, can keep us straight in the pages of the New Testament, when we get all wrapped around the axle about this or that or something else, we can just relax, back off and say wait a minute, let me think in my mind’s eye of Noah and the flood. That’s a discipline; it’s a discipline of using the richness of the stories of the Old Testament to nourish your soul and to keep your thinking Biblical. That’s what I love about the Old Testament, it’s a neat place to go and take a bath in the imaginative waters of the theology of the stories. Children can remember these stories and yet adults can contemplate the results of them for the rest of their lives.

We want to go through five characteristics of biblical salvation. The first characteristic that you see in the story of Noah is that you always have grace before judgment. God works this way; that is a vital principle. I want to show you where the first occurrence of the word “grace” occurs in Genesis 6:8. It doesn’t mean that’s the first occurrence of grace, it’s the first occurrence of the word for grace. “But Noah found favor,” there’s the word for grace, “in the eyes of the LORD.” So grace occurs when there is a threatened judgment. Go back to the attributes of God and think about this for a minute. Here’s God, He is omnipotent, omnipresent, immutable, and eternal, He’s sovereign, He is holy, He is love and He’s omniscient. These attributes being more of His infinity and these being more personal, but you can’t totally divide them.

One of these attributes is love; that love was eternally exercised from eternity past and will be exercised for eternity future. That attribute of love can be exercised without us. The Trinity can love each other among the Trinity, so that love is like blood that circulates in the circulatory system, that love circulates in the Trinity. God is not dependent on the universe for an exercise of this attribute. People often think, and if you’re around them you may sometimes get intimidated, thinking why does my religion have the Trinity in it, it makes it so complicated. No, it’s the Trinity that makes God real and personal, because if you do not have the Trinity structure in God, say you have a monotheism, which is what we call solitary monotheism, like Islam, who does Allah love before he creates? Can Allah exercise his attribute of love toward any object outside of himself if there are no objects outside of himself to exercise it toward? The answer is no he can’t. That’s why solitary monotheisms usually tend to downplay the attribute of love, not that they don’t have it, they have it but it’s kind of down played and in Christianity it’s very rich and it’s rich because it’s exercised in the Trinity, long before God ever created. So you have God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, the three in one who love one another. That attribute of love at the point of creation can be exercised toward the creature, until sin begins.

Now at the point when sin begins we have a theological problem, because now with God we have these two attributes in collision, as it were, because the attribute of His holiness looks at a sinful creature and says “judgment.” On the other hand, love looks down and says but “I love these people.” So you have sort of an internal conflict going on deep within the very nature of God Himself. Even throughout the pages of the Old Testament this was really not resolved, there were promises to resolve it, but it was not really resolved until finally the cross of Christ answers this problem, and the problem of evil. We’ve looked at evil and these things.

What we want to look at tonight is because the attribute of love wants to keep on exercising toward a sinful creature, it means that (if you diagram it in time, if this is the origin of evil and that’s the termination, that’s the judgment) when evil is separated from the universe and the universe is recreated, during this time interval love exercised in this period becomes known as grace. Grace is the exercise of God’s love toward those who don’t deserve it. That’s what we mean by grace, and grace in this regard is as abnormal as evil is. This sounds funny to say, what do you mean grace is abnormal? When I use that term what I mean to say is that if we define grace first as God’s love toward the sinner, when does He love the sinner? During the time when He’s providing for the sinner. Does He always forever and ever provide for the sinner? No, isn’t grace stopped eventually, that final judgment and the Lake of Fire, the part of the gospel nobody likes to hear, but it’s a part of the gospel that’s very necessary because it resolves this problem.

Grace is as abnormal as evil is; evil is limited and grace is limited. There is a day of grace and then the day of grace is over. Grace is a time when God opens the door; He opens the door to the sinful creature who will bow his knee to the Lord. That’s what we mean when we say grace before judgment, we’re talking about the right side of this time line, this is the judgment, and grace is exercised up to that point, prior to it and up to the point. Then it stops. So we have grace in a small mini scale, in Noah’s day, grace before judgment.

That’s why in Genesis 6:8 “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Nobody else did because everyone else was in total disobedience, and you find the personal hurt and grief and anger of God expressed so powerfully in the verses just prior to verse 8 that I kid you not, you can read commen­taries on this passage and if you want to see someone slide on grace you should see what some of these guys do when they hit this one. For example, notice in verse 6, if you have an older King James you notice what they’ve done to translate that verb, in my translation, one of these new ones, it says “the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth,” that’s sort of anemic. In the King James it has the word “repent,” God repented that He had made man on earth. [King James Version: Genesis 6:5-6, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. [6] And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. [7] And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”] This is a profound statement of what is going on in the heart of our God. So injured and so angry is He over what sin has done, that at this point He is sorry He has ever made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. However we explain the problem of evil it’s data like verse 6 that you also have to explain. Yes, God let it happen, but not without being involved in the process, and in verse 7 He expresses His judgment when he says, “I will blot out man whom I have created.”

By the way, if you look at every one of the nouns in the objective clause of that sentence, the verb is “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the earth,” notice “from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky,” there’s four categories, those are the four categories exactly, to a “T” that Paul in Rom. 1 says that man deifies and idolizes, this passage is on Paul’s mind there. So we have grace before judgment and that is easily seen by thinking of God counting down. Maybe that’s a way, by remembering the story and you want some handle in your mind to get a hold of this idea, think of the countdown on the calendar, where God had 120 years and there’s going to be a flood. The counter is counting down. That’s a picture of grace before judgment. On the one hand we are thankful that the door is open, but on the other hand we know it’s not always going to be open.

The second principle in grace is what we call perfect discrimination, of if you want to kick back at the Darwinists who always talk about natural selection, you can re-label it as divine selection, because what God does there, is that if the first aspect of salvation is primarily about His attribute of love, and how it resolves itself with evil, the second point is that God perfectly discriminates between the saved and the judged, that has a lot to do with His attribute of holiness, because the holiness is the standard that is used to evaluate. God will not compromise His holiness, we can yak till we’re blue in the fact about God’s love and if we keep yakking about it independent of all the other attributes we’ll come out with some mealy type attitude toward God and it produces a very disrespectful shallow idea of God. Unfortunately, if you look at some of the hymnology of the church in the 20th century you’ll see that in the theology of some of our music. It’s very anemic here, VERY anemic. But what we need to do to balance it is remember that this attribute of holiness is never going to be compromised. He will not, He cannot, and He never shall compromise that attribute. That means that however He designed the plan of salvation it has got to conform to that holiness, it will never be compromised. He can love all He wants to, but the love has got to come up with some solution to the problem, and the solution can’t be that He compromises His holiness. People say how can a God of love allow all this evil to happen, you can turn that question around and say I don’t see how a God of holiness can allow people into heaven. That question can be reversed, no one likes to do that but it certainly can be, it’s just the other side of the coin, the other side of the world dilemma.

The second thing we said is that the perfect discrimination shown by His criterion of separation has to do with His holiness. That’s why what it is that separates is a righteousness that satisfies that attribute. And the righteousness that satisfies the attribute can’t come from man because man is already contaminated. It’s got to come from somewhere else, hence what saves us is not our works, it’s not our glowing personalities, it’s not our feelings, the only thing that saves us is the fact that we are credited with His own righteousness. All the rest of it is a result, not a cause. And every kind of false gospel you can find in church history, no matter what the cult is, you will always find something where man has to get his little toe involved in the process and somehow that becomes what justifies before God. We had the Protestant Reformation that dealt with this. What was it that secures me before God? Certainly nothing of myself? Any Christian who’s been born again more than 5 minutes knows very well that we have no righteousness of our own selves. Whatever righteousness we have we got it from somewhere outside of ourselves and that has come from Christ, hence the Reformists spoke of the imputed righteousness of Christ. The point is that if we have to meet this standard we have to have something big enough to satisfy that standard, and the only thing that satisfies that standard is Christ’s own righteousness.

We move on to the third characteristic that we see in the Noahic drama, the fact that when God saves He saves in one way only, so there’s one way of salvation. Before I was a Christian I really resented this, when I was wandering around the thing that really bugged me about the Christian faith was why was it so exclusivistic, you talk of the Hindus, they’d welcome anybody, you could be anything and be them, but the Christians always wanted you to believe in Christ as Savior, period. And it always appeared to me as being kind of arrogant, until the Lord opened my eyes to who He was. If our God is holy, and we have to meet that moral criteria, then He’s the only one that can design the plan, and if He’s designed the plan, that’s the way. It’s not a matter of personal engineering. It’s a matter of God’s engineering. So the idea that this is offensive, if this is your situation, I can only say based on my own working through this, it’s only because you have not yet personally come to grips with a biblical view of God Himself. That’s the answer to that. If you have personally come to grips with the kind of God that speaks in the pages of Scripture, you will not have a problem here. But if this kinds of grates you, it’s a signal, it’s a warning sign that maybe you need some more thinking and praying to resolve this issue. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, we all go through this. You don’t have to hide it, but this is something that we have to come to terms with until we are personally convinced that when God lays out a bridge across the chasm, He designs it and there’s not another bridge.

How many arks were there? In the Noah story the ark that was designed, where did the design come from? Look at Genesis 6:13, “Then God said to Noah, the end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.” Let your mind soak in it, that’s the passage where the blueprint was given for the ark, and you see what God said to Noah, “Make for yourself an ark,” v. 14 and look carefully at the first sentence of verse 15, “And this is how you shall make it.” Was there one plan or were there multiple plans? There’s only one plan. From what we’ve already seen about the ark design, why is there only one plan? Think about it. Get it firmly in your mind. Why is there only one design? Because of the nature of what the ark had to endure. What did the ark have to endure? A global flood. Had the global flood ever been experienced before? Was there any empirical data base available for this engineer to build an ark capable of withstanding something that he had never seen before? How does an engineer do that? The ark was designed to meet something for which there was no empirical data. This is what we call a hapax, it’s something that only occurs once, and it’s off in the future, it’s beyond the event horizon of our minds. So going back to the diagram with the limitations of human knowledge, what we’re saying is that this ark had to meet something outside of the limitations of human knowledge. Try to picture this, just think of an engineer or a designer called upon, contracted by a group of guys, ok, I see Noah building a boat, we want to build one too. He’ll build his over there; we’ll build ours over here. On what basis would the engineers build the ark, what data would they use to build it?

Let’s go back to the nature of God and this aspect of why there’s one way of salvation. God, besides being holy is also omniscient, and He has perfect understanding of what He is about to do. So since God is holy, His holiness dictates that there be a judgment. In His omniscience He thoroughly understands this judgment and all of its implications. So based on the fact that He is holy and that He is going to judge, and that He perfectly understands every aspect of what He’s doing, out of this comes the plan of salvation. This is the plan, and it’s THE plan, because it comes out of His understanding of His own judgment. This is His act. This is the rationale that the Bible gives us for one way of salvation. God and God alone understands Himself, we don’t. He understands Himself well enough to know the only way we can be reconciled to Him is to do it His way. Think of this when this problem comes up, if you get confused just go back to the simple idea, visualize Noah pulling out a blueprint, it’s 30 cubits by 50 cubits and think of the fact that he got the drawings from somebody. Who did He get the drawings from? Genesis 6:15.

That’s one way of salvation and that aspect of salvation focuses on this attribute, so now we see three attributes, grace before judgment is grounded on His love; the perfect discrimination, His ability to perfectly judge, there’s no statistical judgment, there’s an exact judgment, a divine selection that’s based on His attribute of holiness, and the one way of salvation is based on His omniscience and understanding of Himself. So He knows what He’s doing.

Now we come to point 4, page 79, which is something we’ll expand further in the next chapter, the fact that salvation involves creation, all of creation. Go back to the diagram, here’s God, He’s omnipotent, He’s omnipresent, He’s immutable, He’s eternal, He’s sovereign, He’s holy, He’s love, and He is omniscient. God creates and this creation has man and nature, two components. This fourth characteristic will correct something else that happens today in the gospel. We are usually as Christians written off by our society, our neighbors, those we associate with, we tend to be written off because the non-Christian thinks when we talk about salvation that what we’re really talking about is some sort of internal religious experience, that all we’re discussing is something that is psychological, so the pagan’s idea of salvation is that it’s something inside, that’s what he thinks salvation is all about, a religious experience. Yes it is, but what’s defective about this view? What does creation encompass? Just man? Or man and nature? It encompasses man and nature, and when man fell man was lord of nature.

Follow my reasoning because if you’ve been reading Genesis you should already have this. I want to put the beads on a necklace for you; I want you to see that it’s not a pile of marbles, that all the beads are in a nice neat logical necklace. All the pieces fit together. In Genesis we stressed that man was to subdue nature, man was the lord, little “l,” of nature. You wonder why I keep stressing subduing nature? Because of man’s position over nature, as goes man, so goes nature. And when man fell, what else happened? Was it just a psychological religious experience of Adam and Eve, or did something outside of their religious experience happen? Something happened! Death was introduced.

Turn in the New Testament to the interpretation of the fall. So that we’re sure we’re not exagger­ating something turn to Romans 8. Here’s Paul drawing upon Genesis 3, the event of the fall. Paul’s talking about his environment and everything in his environment, he’s talking about suffering and he says in Romans 8:18-22, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. [19] For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. [20] For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope. [21] That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” He witnesses to the fact that this structure that we observe back in Genesis carried forward to the second event, the fall.

So diagramming it we have man, we have man falling into sin, and we have the curse spreading on all of nature. So man affects nature. Just think about that, this is the real ecological impact of man, it blows your mind compared to the trivial stuff of dumping a coke bottle out the window as your drive down the highway. We’re not talking about pollution here, we’re not talking about pieces of junk, or making certain species of animals go extinct, we are talking about the fact that thanks to us we have contaminated all of nature, and we contaminated it not because we didn’t have OSHA around to help us not contaminate it, we contaminated it because we rebelled against our Creator, and we are the cause of the ecological disaster, in a far greater way than the ecologists want us to think. The ecologists want to trumpet how concerned they are with the environment. So are we, except we know what’s the ultra environment? It’s God the Father, He’s the ultimate environment. And because of the ultra environment and the ultimate environment we have a problem with the secondary environment. So we evaluate our secondary environment in terms of the primary environment. So we go one step further than the ecologists do. We end run them to a primary source. That’s the fall.

What do you observe in the Noah story? If the Noah story is picturing salvation, how does the Noah story pick up this structure and argue against the modern view that salvation is merely a religious experience? What is going on in the judgment of salvation? What is being judged in Genesis 6-7, besides man? Animals, environment. See how radical it is; look at the language that’s used in Genesis 6. [blank spot] … highly sensitive radio telescopes to get a word from an extra­terrestrial source. We’ve already had the word from the extraterrestrial source, the problem is that the rest of the universe, if it could speak, would come back to us on those radio telescopes and say “get your act together earthlings, we’re waiting for you.” Isn’t that what Romans 8 says, the entire creation is waiting and waiting and waiting on us. So the conclusion of this fourth characteristic: Salvation in the Bible is cosmic; it is not just a little personal religious experience. Noah had his personal religious experience but it was related to a cosmic change. So is our salvation.

The last thing, because this is a mighty work of God, the only way we can interact with it is by faith. The movie 2001: A Space Odyssey starts with a very strange thing, it starts with two great symbols, there’s this ape in the film and he throws this tool up in the air, and it’s a stick that spins through the air. The film ends with a computer that takes over. Do you know what that is saying? That man undoes himself with his dominion. What was the ape throwing in the air? That was the early tool, so it’s saying look, the tool that man was to use to subdue has become the thing that reigns over him. But that’s a perversion because in the Scripture man is to subdue and the tool does overtake him because he misuses it and curses the earth, but watch, in Noah’s story, who saved the animals finally, who took care of the earth? God took care of it but He took care of it by means of caring for man. Man is always the vehicle for taking care of the world. And this is expended to Jesus because when God saves and recreates it’s not done directly by God the Father, it’s done because God the Son takes on Himself the form of a man, and He reigns over the universe as man, so man still is in that same position. God honors that creation design.

We want to look at the last characteristic, that salvation is always appropriated by faith, so we come to point 5, Salvation happens and is secured by a faithful act. Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen,” don’t read that too fast, do some observing, what does it say, he “being warned by God about things not yet seen,” why is that in there. Why are those words in that verse, a verse that has to do with faith? Put it together, why would you write a sentence with those words in it, if you were talking about faith. “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen,” it’s because he did not rely upon, he could not rely upon his own rationality, he could not rely on his own sensory experience for salvation because the things to come had not yet been seen. But he “in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his house­hold, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

If you don’t think about the story in the wrong sense, we want to think about it in the right sense; you could say gee, Noah really did do some good acts, didn’t he. He built that boat, it took him a while to do that, isn’t that a righteous act? Yes, it’s a righteous act. Was that the act that’s singled out here as the cause of his righteousness? No it isn’t! Look at the text carefully, “By faith Noah” prepared the ark, but there’s all these qualifications to the verb “prepare.” The qualifications are because he was “warned by God about things not yet seen,” and “in reverence” he acted. The source of his action was faith, faith that God knew what He was doing. So in review of what we’ve seen, the first thing about faith is that Noah responded to the gracious warning. Here’s grace, and God’s attribute of love behind it, Noah takes that warning seriously. It’s still grace, judgment hasn’t fallen yet, because the “things not yet seen” aren’t seen, but he’s building that ark and he’s responding to God in grace.

Turn to 2 Peter 2:5 for another description of what Noah is like, “but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.” A “preacher of righteousness,” so what was Noah’s focus? He was responding the God’s righteous­ness or His holiness. See all the attributes of God to which Noah was responding. And as a creature the only way you can respond is by faith, you have to accept them and act upon them, because God was holy, the preacher of righteousness vs. the world of the ungodly, what was the standard, the moral ethical standard that Noah adhered to, against his culture. He had to be a rebel to do this; you talk about peer pressure, eight people against the world? Everybody else in the world is marching to a different tune except eight people in one family, laughing at them all the way.

So that’s his response to the God we’ve seen, all these characteristics, grace before judgment, here’s the perfect discrimination, the perfect judgment and separation, then we said there was one way of salvation and that testified to God’s omniscience, and he responded, he designed the ark according to things which he had not seen, there’s his response to omniscience, there’s the third attribute, he didn’t try to substitute his own plans, and then there’s a picture that you see in the story of him responding to this cosmic nature. Not only is it a personal experience for him, his sons and his son’s wives, but all of nature, and Noah was told to make this ark, he opened the door and he trusted the Lord to bring the gene pool to him. There you find the omnipotence of God because it’s the omnipotence that will overturn nature. And Noah’s responding to that in faith.

Here’s a picture that has lots of good stuff in it for what it looks like to be saved. How was Noah saved? Go through it negatively, another drill to get it straight, what didn’t he do at point 1? He did not kiss it off, he recognized that God could interfere and he’d better be prepared for the interference. That’s offensive to our unregenerate carnal heart, that I don’t like a God that interferes with my life. Noah didn’t resist interference. Second thing, what could he have done at this point when it was he, his family, his sons, his daughter-in-laws, against the world? He could have compromised his standard and said well gee, I really don’t want to stand out here, everybody’s kind of laughing at me … he could have gone along with the crowd, but he didn’t because he went along with the primary environment, not the secondary environment. He could have modified the design of the ark, well I think it would look prettier if we did this to it, after all, look at the style of this thing, it looks like a coffin, can’t we jazz it up a little bit. So he could have done that, of course he would have imbalanced the center of gravity and a few other things. He could have but he didn’t, because he’s a man of faith.

When God told him what He was going to do he believed that God had sufficient reasons for doing it. At this point he could have gone out and tried to select the animals, go get this one, that one looks good to me. He really didn’t do that, it appears in the text that he was passive at that point, trusting that what God had promised He was able also to perform. So we have in capsule summary in this great story of Noah’s flood, what we have here is an excellent easy to remember picture of salvation, and that’s why these three first events of the Bible set you up for the rest of it. Fill your mind with these stories, read them over, read them to your children, use them to drill, did Noah do this or did he do that? What if he had done that? It’s a way of getting this stuff inside.

Next week we’ll work with the covenant that God makes with Noah and will conclude the fourth of events that we will study this year.