The Introduction

The salvation of God can explained in a myriad of ways.

Now, we know that God saves his people from their sins. That is Matthew 1:21.

But the salvation does not stop there.

In the eradication of sin upon the earth, God has not just made a neutral ground for all believers. He has not just taken away the negative parts and leaves us in limbo.

When God saves you, it is not a one shot deal. In that faithful moment, God has only just begun.

He begins to do things in us that we couldn’t possible fathom. If we did not have the Bible, surely we would not believe it. It would be too fantastic.

God has judged the earth. He released the waters in the heavens and in the earth. He covered the earth with his just wrath upon a wicked mankind. Unbelievers will rebel instead of running to the Only God that can save them.

For those who have run to the arms of the Savior and given over their sins, their hearts, and their lives, the salvation of the Almighty God is the only thing that actually saves.

Let us get into the text.

The Text

Genesis 8:1–14 (CSB)
1 God remembered Noah, as well as all the wildlife and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water began to subside.

2 The sources of the watery depths and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky stopped.

3 The water steadily receded from the earth, and by the end of 150 days the water had decreased significantly.

4 The ark came to rest in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.

5 The water continued to recede until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were visible.

6 After forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made,

7 and he sent out a raven. It went back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.

8 Then he sent out a dove to see whether the water on the earth’s surface had gone down,

9 but the dove found no resting place for its foot. It returned to him in the ark because water covered the surface of the whole earth. He reached out and brought it into the ark to himself.

10 So Noah waited seven more days and sent out the dove from the ark again.

11 When the dove came to him at evening, there was a plucked olive leaf in its beak. So Noah knew that the water on the earth’s surface had gone down.

12 After he had waited another seven days, he sent out the dove, but it did not return to him again.

13 In the six hundred first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the water that had covered the earth was dried up. Then Noah removed the ark’s cover and saw that the surface of the ground was drying.

14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the earth was dry.

Where do you see God in the text? What does the text say about God?

God

1 God remembered Noah, as well as all the wildlife and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water began to subside. 2 The sources of the watery depths and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky stopped. 3 The water steadily receded from the earth, and by the end of 150 days the water had decreased significantly.

God restores: God alone redeems

  • Creation is broken
  • Man is wicked
  • We are far from God
  • Yet God saves

John 3:5-8 (CSB) Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

You might say to yourself: This is way too extreme–killing every living thing other than those who are in the Ark

But not extreme:

Romans 6:8-10 (CSB) Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over him. 10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

In his judgment, sin cannot go on to live and infect his children

Someone must conquer sin, Satan, demons, hell, and death–Christ Jesus is his name

And Christ sent his Spirit out so that our old selves can remain dead and we are made new in life with him

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (CSB) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 18 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us.

We must still deal with past sins–their effects don’t go away. I wish we could be saved from the effects of sins that we have committed and especially those who have sinned against us.

However, if you believe and trust in Christ, you are a new creation in Christ.

You are no longer defined by your sins–past, present, and future.

You are no longer defined by sins against you–past, present, and future.

You are not defined by sin. God defines you. God defines you in Christ. God defines you by the power of His Holy Spirit.

In the restoration of God, we are redeemed. That doesn’t mean your past instantly evaporate and your reality has changed. Yet, in the darkness and despair, God brings you up from death, washes you clean in his righteousness, and he will heal you.

4 The ark came to rest in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. 5 The water continued to recede until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were visible.

God restores: God alone is glorious

We are born again

But we cannot fully see the glory of God.

Exodus 33:14-20 (CSB) And he replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 “If your presence does not go,” Moses responded to him, “don’t make us go up from here. 16 How will it be known that I and your people have found favor with you unless you go with us? I and your people will be distinguished by this from all the other people on the face of the earth.” 17 The LORD answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor with me, and I know you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “Please, let me see your glory.” 19 He said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name ‘the LORD’ before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But he added, “You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live.”

And

1 Corinthians 13:12 (CSB) For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (CSB) We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

We don’t see God fully glorious because we have not gone all the way home.

But think about this. So that we have not see the full glory of God yet–to be perfectly alive, obtain the fullness of joy, swim in pleasures forevermore, and to be completely satisfied–remember we have not seen other people where will finally be when God is done with them.

Where people are now is not where they will be at by the grace of God.

In other words, by the grace of God, we have not met the real us.

You are a new creature. You are being sanctified and being conformed to the image of His Son.

2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (CSB) Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. 2 Instead, we have renounced secret and shameful things, not acting deceitfully or distorting the word of God, but commending ourselves before God to everyone’s conscience by an open display of the truth. 3 But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake. 6 For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

Give mercies to others–believers and unbelievers alike. Christ has given you mercy; give mercy to where people are at and believe that God will make us whole and healed and new.

The Gospel

6 After forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made, 7 and he sent out a raven. It went back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.

God restores: Holy Spirit buries our old selves

In this particular passage, we are going to examine the raven and the dove. The dove has always symbolizes the Holy Spirit:

Luke 3:21-22 (CSB) When all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. As he was praying, heaven opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a physical appearance like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well-pleased.”

While we shall not making images of the Triune God, it is acceptable to use the dove as a symbol as the Holy Spirit.

And make no mistake. The Flood that was the judgment of God upon Noah was a form of baptism on Noah and his family. (I can already hear the Presbyterians calling out.) Make no mistake: just as Jesus was baptized and the Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove, Noah and his family was baptized and the dove was sent out.

So the foreshadow of the dove is obvious but why the raven. I am scratching my head. In John Calvin’s commentary, he wondered why did Noah send out a raven.

Is it perhaps to find the remains of the dead?

If that be true, then the analogy between baptisms and the Holy Spirit are all the more true.

The raven was sent out. One of it’s natural instincts is to feed on carrion.

When we are in Christ, our old selves are dead and buried with Christ.

Romans 6:4-9 (CSB) Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over him.

God does the work. But with the Spirit, you must be willing to kill off sins that dare try to live again in your little heart and soul. It will devour you if you give it the opportunity. I don’t care how old in the faith you are–sin will kill, steal, and destroy. You best be on guard.

Romans 8:10-11 (CSB) Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.

Just like what John the Baptist said: you and I must decrease so Christ can increase in me.

Let me speak on the old self. The way we were naturally born by God yet completed and totally corrupted by sin and its effects. And there is no doubt that God can use us–even in our brokenness.

But we are not our natural talents, our personalities, neither are we our brokenness and sin. That is not a personhood. That is not life. We are new creation because Christ is in us. The Triune God is in us.

I am big and loud and mean and I was born with a heart filled with lust. I used that to try to protect myself so people would stop hurting me. Why on earth would I want to continue that way? I see that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Wait, that sounds a billion times better.

I pray: Lord, make yourself glorified in me. Would you make me gentle? Can I be know as a joyful, loving saint and son of God all because of what your Son has done for me?

8 Then he sent out a dove to see whether the water on the earth’s surface had gone down, 9 but the dove found no resting place for its foot. It returned to him in the ark because water covered the surface of the whole earth. He reached out and brought it into the ark to himself.

God restores: Holy Spirit will save whom he will save when he wants to save on his own time

If the dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, the first release of the dove by Noah would then symbolize a born again of his people like nothing else we have seen.

John 3:5-8 (CSB) Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

You know when you see the Holy Spirit move by how? What did Jesus say? When people are being born again and not a moment before.

You hope and pray for the lost to be found. You hope and pray and you are eager to see the softening of the heart. You hope the interest in the Bible is something. The willingness to go to church is something. Even asking the right question.

In the end, until the exchange of hearts happens, faith is deposited, and the Triune God dwells in that person, that person remains lost until found.

10 So Noah waited seven more days and sent out the dove from the ark again. 11 When the dove came to him at evening, there was a plucked olive leaf in its beak. So Noah knew that the water on the earth’s surface had gone down.

God restores: Holy Spirit gives us peace

John 14:27-31 (CSB) “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. 28 You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. 30 I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me. 31 On the contrary, so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do as the Father commanded me.

This is a peace that is not because there is no sin, no war, no battles, no conflicts. This is beyond anything that we can comprehend. In the midst of fallen world, the Father and the Son has a double almighty grip upon our lives and no one can snatch us out of their hands. If that wasn’t enough, the Holy Spirit seals us in the mighty hands of God.

John 20:19-23 (CSB) When it was evening on that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you." 20 Having said this, he showed them his hands and his side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” 22 After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Philippians 4:6-7 (CSB) Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

We are not going anywhere–not with God.

12 After he had waited another seven days, he sent out the dove, but it did not return to him again.

God restores: Holy Spirit brings us all the way home

Psalms 16:10-11 (CSB) For you will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful one to see decay. 11 You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.

Psalms 17:15 (CSB) But I will see your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence.

Romans 8:35-39 (CSB) Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: Because of you we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our Responsibility

13-14 In the six hundred first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the water that had covered the earth was dried up. Then Noah removed the ark’s cover and saw that the surface of the ground was drying.

God restores: the power of the Holy Spirit who saved you is the one that will bring you home to God

Romans 8:29-30 (CSB) For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.

Guard the deposit that the Lord has made.

Pray and depend on the Holy Spirit and not on your own strength to keep you close your God.

You didn’t earn your salvation by doing the right thing? Why on earth do you think you will keep it with God doing all the work.

Pray to God. Trust in Christ. Be led by the Spirit. Obey his commands.

Pray

My Holy Spirit
 

We need you now more than ever.

Keep us and wrap us. Take us home. Bring us closer to the day we get to behold the face of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ so we could kiss his face with a million kisses.

Bring us home.

Amen.

Media

Today’s episode at The Study

Live on Twitch! || YouTube || Discord || Apple || Spotify