Genesis 6:7-9 (CSB) Then the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky — for I regret that I made them.” Noah, however, found favor with the LORD. These are the family records of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God.
The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened.
The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts,
2 Corinthians 4:13 (CSB) And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak.
Ephesians 2:8 (CSB) For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—
This is perhaps the most perplexing truth of God for the salvation of his people. For Western, American, Modern thinking has trained and condition us to think that that everything in this life can be obtained if you work hard enough and study hard enough.
That might be true but only to a certain extent. Anybody who has lived a moment in the real world knows it does not work that way whatsover. You have to have people looking out for you. You must be able to catch a break your way. And you need people to have grace and mercy for you.
So why is it, that even with the most Reformed amongst us, we are still conditioned to think that somehow, some way, we must have attracted God's attention by being at least a decent person who deserved to be saved by God.
Life does not state that. God has never stated that. And the Bible overly confirms that it is God who saw as sinners and then he came to rescue us from our sins.
Romans 10:14–17 (CSB) How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:21 (CSB) For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of what is preached.
We saw this transpire in the garden of Eden. Our original parents, Adam and Eve, sinned against the holy God. What did Adam and Eve do? Clean themselves up? Made themselves righteous and then went all the way to God to step into his presence? No!
They did what? Covered their shame. They hid. They were afraid.
What was the response of God? God came to them.
Genesis 3:8 (CSB) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Okay, that is a one-off, you might say. What about someone else in the Bible? Surely there was someone born that deserve the goodness of God. What about Noah?
What about Noah?
Genesis 6:1 (CSB) When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them,
Genesis 6:2 (CSB) the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves.
Genesis 6:3 (CSB) And the LORD said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.”
Who is corrupt? Mankind was corrupt. Keep that in mind.
Genesis 6:4 (CSB) The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of mankind, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men.
Genesis 6:5 (CSB) When the LORD saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time,
What was widespread on the earth? Human wickedness. What was the inclination of the human mind? Nothing but evil all the time.
Genesis 6:6 (CSB) the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved.
What did the Lord regret making and was deeply grieved? Stay with me. I promise you there is a point.
Genesis 6:7 (CSB) Then the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.”
Genesis 6:8 (CSB) Noah, however, found favor with the LORD.
Here is the question worth 100% of your grade: was Noah a human?
If you answer that question correctly, then you must answer the following questions equally correctly:
- Was Noah wicked?
- Was Noah's thoughts evil all the time?
- Did the Lord regret making Noah?
- Was God going to wipe Noah and his family along with the rest of mankind because Noah and his family were as wicked as the rest of mankind?
Then what did Noah do to deserve the favor of God?
Read your Bible. Does anybody deserve the favor and grace of God? Does anybody does right to gain attraction of God?
Romans 3:10-12 (CSB) as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one.
Then what did Noah due to gain the favor of God?
Romans 5:8 (CSB) But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God knew the heart of Noah and saw he was desperately wicked--determined like the rest of the children of Adam in rejecting God and perish in their sins.
But God, who alone will have mercy on whom he will have mercy and compassion on whom he will have compassion, came to Noah and saved him from the wrath to come.
Now look at the order of salvation:
Genesis 6:7–9 (CSB) Then the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.” Noah, however, found favor with the LORD. These are the family records of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God.
Noah was wicked and depraved.
God came to Noah.
God saved Noah.
God declares Noah to be righteous and blameless among his contemporaries.
Noah walked with God.
Ezekiel 36:25–27 (CSB) I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances.
by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened.
Luke 17:5 (CSB) The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
1 Peter 2:2 (CSB) Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow up into your salvation,
Acts 20:32 (CSB) “And now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.
Make no mistake: God saves those whom he will save to himself. But that is not even close to the end of his love and grace for his children. God has saved each us not only to himself but to each other.
Titus 3:3 (CSB) For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.
But what did God do for you and me together?
Titus 3:4-7 (CSB) But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.
This is salvation of God. Saving faith--the faith to believe and trust in the only begotten Son of God for the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life--is the gift of God.
Not your church, not your family, not the bible verses you memorized, not the lack of rated R movies you have not seen nor the number of favorite songs without cuss words, not the way you vote, nothing in you has garnered the attention and the love and mercy of God for you other than the fact that you were wicked. And I was wicked. And the grace of God overflowed for us with the faith and love that can only be found in Jesus Christ our Lord.
This saying is true and deserving of full acceptance. Amen.