Have a some what complicated question for you this morning to discuss: Have you ever felt like you were face with a daunting task or held a position viewed to be unpopular? How did you handle that situation?
Did it seem impossible? Did you feel alone? Maybe someone personally attacked your for your position.
Take a moment to discuss with those around you.
Good Morning, hope everyone has been enjoying their weekend thus far. So, what did you come up with? Tough question, right? (Take two or three)
Over the last few Sundays Pastor Shan has been taking us all on a journey to look at and understand the man Noah and how God impacted him and his family.
This week, we are going to look at Genesis Chapter 6 again and focus on what made Noah the man of God that he was.
But before we start today’s journey, let’s take a quick moment and recap what we covered in part one of Standing Alone:
Last week we focused on God’s calling and acting on faith. Noah had a specific call, a complicated call, but he followed it faithfully and without question. He stepped out in faith and God honored him and his family.
So what did we learn? We learned that often we can be called to stand alone in our faith. People might think we are crazy, they thought Noah was out of his mind building a giant boat no where near water, but God will honor us when we step out in faith just as He honored Noah.
And this is the second truth we learned: In stepping out, God will honor and confirm our direction, but only after we first step out to meet Him. Noah, strong in his faith, began building the ark even though everything around him suggested the insanity of his actions. As a result, God brought the animals to the ark and delivered his family from the flood.
Now, for part two of Standing Alone. This week we will look at Noah again for what made him so strong and able to stand against the culture and for God, even when the odds appeared to be stacked against him.
Let’s open our bibles to Genesis Chapter 6 verse 5 and see what attributes of Noah are important for us today as those who stand alone:
This is the Word of the Lord, Praise be to God! How lucky we are to have this living, breathing text, the perfect revelation of God!
But, before we go much further I think it’s important to see what the text tells us here about the culture surrounding Noah at this time and maybe even to understand that through the lens of the world we live in today.
The text shows us many things about the people who surrounded Noah and applies the context for which Noah made decisions:
Verse 5 tells us that the people were wicked and evil. Not a very good start.
Verses 11 and 12 then tell us that the people were also corrupt and violent. Not getting much better is it?
So a pretty bleak picture of the world at Noah’s time. Noah and his family were surrounded by a culture that had embraced worship of self over anything else. It was pure self-survival for this culture.
So how do these descriptors of Noah’s time match up with the world we occupy today?
Is there much difference?
Maybe the severity of some of these adjectives today may not appear the way Noah and his family may have witnessed them, but I think most of us would agree we see these things around us every day.
The point here is that our culture is indeed something that impacts how we all view the world and honestly even how many choose to view God. And for Christians this tends to make us feel like we are on our own little island attempting to stay alive, when surrounded by an angry sea that seems to want us to be destroyed.
Just like our question for today, right? How often do you feel like you are fighting against everyone around you for what is right, just to be told you are crazy? Noah knew what that felt like, his family knew that feeling all to well, and God has witnessed this struggle for all the history of this world.
But there is hope for those who stand alone in what otherwise appears to be darkness. The journey is not easy, Noah’s life certainly paints that picture well, but to those who believe there is a beacon of light and from that we find our strength to be different.
So, today let’s take a journey with Noah in finding what makes followers of God able to stand the test of time, stand to the rough seas of life, and stand alone in strength for the Kingdom!
Let us pray:
Father God we do thank you for this day and for the opportunity to come together as your church to worship you,
Please give us the heart and mind to absorb Your Word today and to make it practical for our use,
Father we pray that the life of Noah is one we can relate to, learn from, and put into Your use within us,
For Your Word is worthy of teaching and praise,
It is in all these things we pray, AMEN.
I think many of us agree that being a follower of God in the world during Noah’s time was pretty difficult and that we can relate on many levels as Christians today.
But, what made Noah different from everyone around him and his family? Why did God select Noah for this monumental task?
Verses 5 through 7 of Chapter 6 paint the picture of the culture that surrounds Noah, but then verses 8 and 9 tell us what God saw in Noah:
Everything around Noah was falling apart. The people were corrupt, evil, wicked, and violent. The Lord was angered and saddened by this fall of His creation, however in a single man and his family God would plant the seed of its ultimate salvation. A seed that would eventually lead us all the way to Christ and the cross.
Here in verse 9, the text gives us the outline of what we are called to be as a part of God’s Kingdom and what I believe can help us stand strong when we appear to be alone:
So how are we to be strong in our faith and strong in our actions when we seem out numbered or struck down by the culture around us?
We can see three things here in verse 9 and we will spend the reminder of our time together here:
Number 1: Be Righteous.
Noah was considered righteous by God. A lofty goal, but one that Noah attained and so can we.
Number 2: Be Blameless
Though it might seem difficult for us to meet the standard of blameless, we will see how Noah was blameless and how we can strive for the same.
And finally Number 3, Walk With God.
Noah walked with God, had faith and acted upon it. This was the message from last week, right? We’ll take a closer look toady.
So, let’s get started and see what God has in store for us today.
So what does it mean to be righteous?
In the Hebrew present in this text to be righteous means: to be loyal, in the right, devout, to be honest, and to be just. Put yet another way, Noah is considered Righteous in this context for he is loyal to God’s expectation of humanity just as his lineage had been up to this point leading all the way back to Seth. Noah heard God and followed His every Word.
Where by Noah had not been violent, corrupt, evil, or wicked he had therefore been loyal to God and his actions confirmed his dedication to God’s expectation.
So what does Noah do to demonstrate that?
Just as we have talked about previously, Noah’s life is noted with how he followed God and His expectations in complete contrast to the culture around him. I also eluded to the fact that Noah came from a family line that this has been the case for his entire family.
Through Seth, Enoch, Methuselah and the like we know that those who came before Noah all were righteous in that they followed God and lived their lives in accordance with God’s wishes and remained loyal in everything that they did.
Now, over the past few weeks we have talked about how Noah listened to God, how he acted in faith upon hearing the Lord, and how he lead his family by this example.
All of these are attributes are of a righteous man remaining loyal and just. In these actions he showed himself to be set aside by God for he followed the commands of God just as his family had taught him.
So what does that mean for you and me?
Well it’s good news, let me start there!
To be righteous in our day we must also focus our energy on God and His commands. This is not just picking up the Word and knowing God and what he calls of us, but also that we are in turn willing and ready to act out of obedience.
As Christians we are called to be different and this takes energy, so we should always be focusing on Christ as Christ is this source of our righteousness.
Let me be specific here: as we turn from the old covenant in the Old Testament to the reality of the new covenant and the New Testament the term righteousness takes on more meaning. Where we have failed as fallen creation and are dead in our sins, to become fully righteous, loyal to God, and followers of His Word we are called upon to demonstrate our faith in Jesus Christ and His selfless actions upon a cross, where he gave of Himself that we all might live and be righteous again in the eyes of God.
Where Noah was righteous in the Old Testament for keeping what was important to God and remaining loyal and being a part from the culture, we are called to be a part from the culture as well. For it is through Christ that we become righteous! Without Christ we cannot be truly righteous for God sees our sins and it is only through our faith in Jesus Christ that we receive His amazing gift of atonement. Through that atonement for our sins, God sees His creation as righteous and clean, where without Christ we appear much like those that surrounded Noah.
So, in order to focus on Christ and be loyal and of the Lord how do we do that in this context?
Simple enough, it takes that first step of faith in Christ and what He has done for us!
Accepting Christ is the first step to righteousness today and one of the most important things we can do is know God’s Word, for we have to know who Christ is in order to accept reach out in faith don’t we?
To that end, it’s time we pick up our bibles more than a few minutes on Sunday, this is the Word of the Lord and we need to be in it as often as possible! Knowing His Word is the first step in righteousness as it tells us who He is and what He has done for us! We need to know it before we can live it!
We also need to listen for God and follow His commands. Noah knew the Lord and heard the Lord and as a result he would act out in faith. So, remember we too must be listening and be prepared to act in faith. Remember last week, faith is confirmed in action first! And for those who have not accepted Christ, let me tell you, that first step in faith to accept Christ for who He is and to accept that gift of eternal life it is a truly amazing event that cannot be duplicated by anything of this world!
All of these come together in the final point here: Lead by example. Especially in this day in age, our actions say much to those around us. Noah ignored the taunts and followed God, we are called to do the same. This is not always easy, but know that just like Noah, we have God in every step we take for the Kingdom. So we need to know the Word, know Christ, and show Him to the world and we too can be righteous!
And this brings us to the second major trait of Noah: Be Blameless
What does it mean to be blameless you may ask?
Well it is to be without blame! Okay, not good enough, fair enough let’s try this: Blameless means to be innocent of any wrong doing, to be guiltless, or complete. Better? Good.
Noah was the opposite of all the people around him. The culture was wicked, violent, corrupt, and evil, while Noah was walking in concert with God and His law. The two could not be further apart from one another.
So here you can see how righteousness and blamelessness truly go hand in hand. One needs to know and be living their life in accordance with God’s calling on us to be Righteous, but one must also be above reproach that one cannot challenge your righteousness.
In this, Noah and his family lived lives that the culture could not challenge their actions or their motives for they remained focused on remaining righteous. That is to follow God. This is to say that through his example, Noah lead his family and indirectly those around him, by the expectations that the Lord had placed upon him.
Sounds easy, right?
Well, let’s jump forward to the New Testament for a moment and see what Paul had to say about this:
In Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi we see this snippet addressing blamelessness and above reproach. Specifically, he is calling on a church that has had some infighting to remember that they are within view of the public and are representing God.
In this light, Paul is not saying that being blameless is to be without sin, no in fact what he is saying is that we must always act in a way that glorifies God’s Word and emboldens our witness to the world. This is what he calls above reproach. Where the culture around us is falling down, we should act as God has called us and provide that example. This confirms our witness and protects us from false claims.
Simply put Paul reminds this church that we must never place ourselves in a position where non-believers could question our motive OR our actions. We must remain pure and focused on God’s Word and live our lives accordingly.
Noah did exactly this. He lived counter to the culture, but in line with God’s Word. His example became his witness to a lost culture and he maintained his righteousness by living as God had called him to do so.
So for us today, we need to remember that everything we say and everything we do is on display for the world to see. Whether we like it or not, people judge on another. This is part of the fallen condition of man. We are self-centered by out nature, however as Christians and followers of God we have been called a part. In this, to remain blameless we must take warning that our actions speak for us as much as or words. This is what Paul was reminding the Philippians and is good advice for us today as well.
We are ambassador’s of God and the Kingdom, always walk in His ways and guard yourselves from opportunities that might call into question your faith.
And this leads us to the final attribute of Noah: Number 3 Walking with God.
Though it may seem the most obvious point to take away from Noah’s life, Walking with God is important to understand and for us to embrace. Especially when faced with a culture that tends to mock us for our belief.
Noah found favor with God and he found this favor by being righteous and blameless. It is the culmination of these two things that resulted in a relationship where Noah dedicated his life to being in step with the Lord.
So what does this look like?
For Noah this is what we talked about last week: He had faith and acted upon his calling.
God came to Noah with commands to build a giant boat in the middle of no where and to gather animals for God was going to destroy the earth. Sounds crazy, pretty sure if that happened today even the most faithful of us might stop for a moment and question that instruction. “You want me to do what? Seriously?”
But Noah acted in faith, despite what everyone around him was saying. Noah knew God, knew His Word, knew His law, and knew that he must act.
So we too must act and Paul brings us more encouragement from the New Testament on this topic as well:
Here in his letter to Rome Paul places down a marker reminding the people of God as to what that walk with God truly looks like.
Verse 2 says it plainly: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
You may have heard it said more simply this way, that as Christians we are called not to be OF this world (conforming to the culture), but IN the world. Paul states that if we focus on God and His Word our minds will be renewed in Christ and our outpouring should reflect Christ. That reflection is the light in the darkness, it is our witness.
Walking with God means we are righteous, blameless, and acting out as God has called us to do. We are to bare witness to the world, not fall pray to it. Paul was telling the romans that it didn’t matter what the city did around them, but that they were called to be different and that their actions should reflect God and not the culture. So too Noah, in his walk, remained apart from the culture in walk, but in the culture just the same to live as an example.
Just as we are called today to be that example, we must guard ourselves against the perils of the culture and arm ourselves with the Word of God so that we may remain in step. As we have already covered today, that means we must focus on how we too can be righteous and blameless. For in these actions we live out our walk with God, just as Noah did.
So you say, sure Pastor Chris Noah was a great man of God and he built a giant boat and took care of some animals. What does all of this have to do with us?
Well I think we covered the major points today, there were three of them, right?
Do you remember the three?
What was number 1?
Right, Be Righteous!
How are we righteous? We are righteous by knowing and following God’s Word in obedience, and then leading by example showing the world Christ in all that we do!
Just as Noah stayed on the path even when the culture around him was going another way, he stayed focused on God. We too are called to stay focused on God, however in Christ we must show faith and accept His gift of atonement in order to know true righteousness before God. For we are fallen in our sin and without Christ, there is no righteousness. But in Christ, we are anew to the world and to God as we are washed with the blood of Christ.
So you might ask, Pastor Chris how do we do this tomorrow or next week? Good question. If righteousness is the outward demonstration of following God’s Word and doing as He commands of us, then there are many things we could consider in every day choices we make and how they do or do not honor God:
How do I handle my finances? What things do I watch on TV, movies, or even read? What type of people do I hang out with? Have I shared my faith with anyone lately? Or Have I helped those in need?
The questions are endless, but the impact and importance remain the same. How are you following God and what can you do to improve your walk? Just as I mentioned earlier, this means you need to get into the Word and be reading and praying. Ask God to shed some light on where you can take another step in Him next week.
What was number 2?
Right, Be Blameless!
Being blameless was what? What did Paul tell us?
Be above reproach. Philippians 2:14 – 15 gave us example that we are not called to be perfect or even without sin, but rather that we strive to be focused on maintaining our witness so that no one can question our motives OR our actions. Two pieces here that cannot be separated: Motive (Thought) and action.
So let me ask you this church: How are you living your lives as Christ followers? Do you think about your actions around co-workers, family, or friends? Would you say the people around you see the out pouring of Christ we are called upon to demonstrate? Or would they say something else?
Tough questions, right? But, important considerations. Take this week to think and pray seriously over what people see in you. Noah was firmly counter to the culture because of God’s calling are you truly prepared to walk for Christ?
By maintaining our witness and remaining in step with Christ we also maintain our Righteousness! So very important that we see that all the things Noah did were interconnected.
And this leaves us with number 3 which we just discussed:
Right, Walking With God.
Noah followed the Lord’s commands, lead by example and protected his witness, and all of these combined together to forge his walk with God.
Noah was a leader, he lead his family this way and followed God even when the culture turned against him.
In part one of this message Pastor Shan had us focus on Noah’s faith, calling and action, while now we see the culmination of all of these things here.
Verse 9 of Chapter 6 gives us the blueprint of a Godly man and one that allows us to stand up in strength in the Lord.
So let me ask you another question church: How do people see you? As a leader? Would they say you are a man or woman of faith? How would people describe you and how you act towards other people?
Noah was surrounded by chaos and a culture that wanted nothing to do with God. But by remaining in God, he was delivered through the storm. Would people proclaim your strength in your faith when things get hard or would they have a different picture to paint?
Walking with God is hard, our culture doesn’t understand it and most don’t want to understand it because it’s different and gives the appearance that they are not in control. This generation hates that feeling, that we cannot control every inch of our lives. And this is why they are lost and blinded by the enemy. For we do have control in Christ and it is demonstrated through your walk church. Why do you think Paul constantly calls on the churches he writes to pay attention to their outward actions and to constantly be working towards becoming like our model in Christ? How we act every moment, of every day matters. Noah knew this, Paul knew this, and Christ paved the way for us all.
So how will you walk with God this coming week?
If we focus on these three things (be righteous, be blameless, and walk with God) we will be on our way to being able to stand tall when everyone else around us is looking to tear us down. Noah’s time was tough, our culture also challenges us every day on our faith and its validity. We must remain strong in our faith and remember people like Noah. The Bible is full of strong men and women who stood out from their cultures. They were different, we are different and that is exactly the way Christ has called us to live.
Noah was an instrument of God to help usher in the new covenants of God’s people. Genesis all the way through to the New Testament is God’s grace and mercy in providing for a solution to the curse. Noah provided the line of divinity that would ultimately save us all in Jesus Christ our savior. His actions and his faith are just as important now as they were then. Though our savior will return for us, Noah’s faith built the foundation for us to follow God in faith and as the culture slips away as we draw closer to Christ’s return we can be prepared knowing that we truly never stand alone when in the family of God.
Father we thank you for this message from Noah,
We thank you for knowing that no matter the time that we as your people will never stand alone as long as we stand with You,
Father we ask for your strength, your protection, and your wisdom as we approach our culture each day,
For we know that we are more and more challenged in our faith as the culture attempts to draw us into their beliefs,
Father we pray that through our witness that people would see You and see the greatness You provide,
Father we pray for this neighborhood, this city, this state, our nation and yes the World that our voices would be heard and your grace received,
For in Noah you provided us a look of a Godly person that stood up when no one else would for your Word and followed you in faith,
Give us that strength that we might lead a culture away from the foils of this world and to the Kingdom. Amen.
Every head is bowed and every eye is closed, maybe you are saying to yourself that you need some extra prayer or want to stand as a member of the Kingdom today. Would you put your hand up real quick and I will pray for you and pray for your witness.
I know it can be hard to meet this standard of Righteousness, blamelessness, and walking with God, but we can do it and we can do it in Christ.
And for that Father we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ, for His selfless actions upon that cross,
That He gave of Himself so that we may all live for eternity without sin, without blemish in your sight and that we might become righteous in your eyes,
For it is in Christ all of this is possible,
And Father God we thank you for these people, for your church and ask that you bless them as they have asked for your help in strength to approach the world with your light.
It is in your Son’s name we pray, Amen.
Father as we prepare to be dismissed today we again thank you for your servant Noah and his witness to the world.
In his strength of faith, his willingness to act, his focus on you and your Word, and his dedication to his witness empowered his walk with you and impacted the world per your instruction,
Give us strength this week that we may focus on these attributes and focus on You oh Lord so that our witness can pierce the darkness of the lost world,
Let Your Word be heard and our witnesses remain true, so that in the times of difficulty we may face that we know we are not alone, but together in You. AMEN.
Noah: Standing Alone Part II
Have you ever felt like you were faced with a daunting task or
held a position viewed to be unpopular? How did you handle
GENESIS 6:5 - 10
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the
earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually. 6 The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth,
and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The LORD said, “I will blot out man
whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to
creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made
them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was
a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with
God. 10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and
GENESIS 6:11 - 15
11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth
was filled with violence.12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was
corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.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.14 Make for yourself an ark of gopher
wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and
out with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark
three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.
GENESIS 6:16 - 19
16 You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the
top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with
lower, second, and third decks. 17 Behold, I, even I am bringing the
flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath
of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall
perish. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter
the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with
you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of
every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male
GENESIS 6:20 - 22
20 Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of
every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will
come to you to keep them alive. 21 As for you, take for yourself some
of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for
food for you and for them.”22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God
had commanded him, so he did.
2. BE BLAMELESS
Philippians 2:14 -16
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove
yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above
reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among
whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life,
so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did
not run in vain nor toil in vain.
3. WALK WITH GOD
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by
the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God
is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.