Friday, November 20, 2009

The Days Of Noah (Part 4)

Continued from Wednesday . . .

Jesus said in Matthew 24 that it would be like the days of Noah when He returns. Today we continue on this series with the third lesson, of five important lessons, on what we learn from the days of Noah as we approach the day of Christ's return and judgment.

LESSON 3 - DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE WICKEDNESS OF MANKIND

God described the days of Noah, prior to the flood, as a time when:

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

Has anything changed? The Apostle Paul gives a resounding No:

As it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:10-18)

But could Jesus say something like that? Yes He did just after John 3:16 in fact:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. (John 3:17-20)

When witnessing to atheists, I always find that all their intellectual reasons for not believing in God are a fa├žade for the fact that they love their sin. That is why we should preach the law of God prior to preaching grace, because the problem with our lost friends is never a matter of knowledge but always one of morality. We should not be surprised that God instructed Israel to wipe out entire nations. Especially when we consider that not one single person would repent in 120 years of Noah’s preaching. What should surprise us is that God doesn’t destroy everybody right now. That is the right question to ask.

Do our lost friends hate God? Yes – but so did we!
Do our lost friends love sin? Yes – but so did we!
Do our lost friends deserve hell? Yes – but so did we!

We should preach because we remember where we came from, and what Christ has done, that He may receive the reward of His suffering. We can take no credit – it is only by God's grace and so it was with Noah . . .

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. (Genesis 6:8-9)

And it is important to know that Noah’s righteousness was the same as New Testament righteousness – only by faith:

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)

Noah, just like New Testament Christians, was saved by faith. Not of works, so no man can boast. In fact when all our works are laid before the righteousness of God, we will be exposed for the miserable wicked wretches that we are . . . unless we have the imputed righteousness of Christ as our substitute. So the next time someone asks you how a loving God can send people to hell or how does a good God allow evil - tell them that they're asking the wrong question . . . just like Voddie Baucham did!



To be continued on Monday: Lesson 4 - We Think of Noah as a Boat Builder But God Called Him a Preacher of Righteousness.

Go On To Part 5
Go Back To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

2 comments:

Nick said...

I believe you are wrong on the imputation of Christ's righteousness.

In my study on this topic, the Greek term “logizomai” is the English term for “reckon/impute/credit/etc,” (all terms are basically equivalently used) and when I look up that term in a popular Protestant Lexicon here is what it is defined as:

—————-
QUOTE: “This word deals with reality. If I “logizomai” or reckon that my bank book has $25 in it, it has $25 in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions.”
http://tinyurl.com/r92dch
—————-

The Protestant Lexicon states this term first and foremost refers to the actual status of something. So if Abraham’s faith is “logizomai as righteousness,” it must be an actually righteous act of faith, otherwise (as the Lexicon says) “I am deceiving myself.” This seems to rule out any notion of an alien righteousness, and instead points to a local/inherent righteousness.

The Lexicon gives other examples where “logizomai” appears, here are some examples:

——————-
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude [logizomai] that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Rom 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted [logizomai] as a gift but as his due.

Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon [logizomai] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 8:18 For I reckon [logizomai] that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
——————-

Notice in these examples that “logizomai” means to consider the actual truth of an object. In 3:28 Paul ‘reckons’ faith saves while the Law does not, this is a fact, the Law never saves. In 4:4 the worker’s wages are ‘reckoned’ as a debt because the boss is in debt to the worker, not giving a gift to him. In 6:11 the Christian is ‘reckoned’ dead to sin because he is in fact dead to sin. In 8:18 Paul ‘reckons’ the present sufferings as having no comparison to Heavenly glory, and that is true because nothing compares to Heavenly glory.

To use logizomai in the “alien status” way would mean in: (1) 3:28 faith doesn’t really save apart from works, but we are going to go ahead and say it does; (2) 4:4 the boss gives payment to the worker as a gift rather than obligation/debt; (3) 6:11 that we are not really dead to sin but are going to say we are; (4) 8:18 the present sufferings are comparable to Heaven’s glory.
This cannot be right.

So when the text plainly says “faith is logizomai as righteousness,” I must read that as ‘faith is reckoned as a truly righteous act’, and that is precisely how Paul explains that phrase in 4:18-22. That despite the doubts that could be raised in Abraham’s heart, his faith grew strong and convinced and “that is why his faith was credited as righteousness” (v4:22). This is also confirmed by noting the only other time “credited as righteousness” appears in Scripture, Psalm 106:30-31, where Phinehas’ righteous action was reckoned as such.

Ron Dawson said...

Regarding Voddie's sermon about the "right question," this is a perfect example of preaching to the choir. I understand where Voddie is coming from. And it's a charismatic way of looking at what ARE real questions. But to dismiss questions like "why God let's bad things happen to good people" is actually unbiblical. All you need to do is read Psalms. It's filled with "Why God" laments and questions.

This blog's whole approach to communicating the gospel, although laced with valid points and ideals, I feel will not reach the people who need it the most. But, maybe I'm wrong in assuming the purpose of this blog is to communicate the gospel to those who need it. Is your mission simply to expose those in the church you see as heretical? I'm sincerely asking.