Temple Baptist Church - 3-10-2013
Hebrews 11:7; Genesis 6:1-14a
A. So much of the preaching concerning Noah and the days he lived in has been application instead of interpretation and much speculation and postulation on these subjects has caused unnecessary confusion.
1. Before practical application is made, biblical proper interpretation must always be given. If a proper interpretation is not given, then the application may or may not be a biblical one. Genesis 6-7 has become fertile ground for such unbiblical assumptions.
2. Previous to this chapter, we find few or no areas of such controversy arising!
a) Abel’s sacrifice was a beautiful type of our faith in the blood of Christ that brings salvation. Salvation is through propitiation and forgiveness of sin comes only through blood.
b) Enoch’s pleasing walk with God is a beautiful type of our ability to please God in the same manner. In a progressively sinful society, this man chose to commit his life to his Saviour and the result was pleasing to God.
B. The reliance on “theories” by theologians to convey scriptural truth always genders questions while reliance upon revealed truth of scripture brings answers!
Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
Theory - a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact. A theory is an unproven hypothesis! We cannot base doctrinal truth upon supposition! It must be established on biblical fact.
C. One such theory is called “The Gap Theory.” This theory teaches a vast amount of time elapsed between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (These verses need to be interpreted in light of other verses on the subject such as:)
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth (that is Genesis 1:1), the sea, and all that in them is (that is Genesis 1:2 and following), and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (God created the heaven and earth in six literal days and rested on the seventh. The Bible is also clear on the description of those days as it repeatedly says, “And the evening and the morning” which is a direct reference to the Jewish 24 hour day that began in the evening. I find no biblical basis for this theory found in the Bible.)
D. Genesis is called the Book of Beginnings and also the Seedbed of the Bible. The rule of First Mention is predominant in this book of the Bible. In the first mention of this subject, God stated His mind and never varied in the progressive biblical revelation on that subject!
E. There are several questions that arise among God’s men in when dealing with Genesis 6-9. God’s men are often divided over what God does not say in the bible. Here are a few of those questions that I believe need to be looked at in order to make a proper interpretation.
1. Who were the sons of God?
a. Here, the Angel Theory comes into play as a lot of ill-informed preachers teach that these “sons of God” were angels and base their assumption upon the Book of Job. I believe the bible is consistent in using the term “sons of God” to both men and angels. We are the “sons of God!” (1 John 3:1)
b. By using the Context Principle of Bible Interpretation, we find a fact that cannot be denied: Genesis 4:17-24 gives the genealogy of Cain or the ungodly line of man; Genesis 4:25-5:32 give the genealogy of Seth or the godly, Messianic line of Christ; Genesis 6:9 declares that Noah was “perfect in his generations” which means he married within the godly line of Seth; Genesis 10 gives the genealogy of Noah’s sons. Genesis 6, which is in the middle of these chapters, begins with “And!”
c. It lies within the recorded genealogy of mankind and sets forth the two lines: the sons of God and the sons of men. The sons of God were the Messianic Line of Seth who took wives of the ungodly line of Cain. There is no mention of angels found anywhere in the Bible to this point so angels cannot be interjected into these verses. There are no verses of scripture that even hint that angels have reproductive powers.
Mark 12:23-25 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. (24) And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? (25) For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. (Some say that the angels who are in heaven are not like angels on earth who always take the male form. They still do not reproduce! God made a certain number of angels and that is all that there are.)
d. Had these “sons of God” been angels in Genesis 6, they would have produced a race of half man half human. The bible is clear as to the reason for the destruction of mankind: in verses 1-7, God clearly declares in each verse that the sinfulness of “man” brought about their destruction, not the sinfulness of angels!
2. Where did the giants come from in verse 4?
a. The bible does not say, therefore, there is no need for speculation! It does say that “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that.” If giants were a result of an angelic-human union, then they all died in the flood and were gone. Yet, we find the mention of these giants once again in the land of Canaan during the days of Moses and Joshua. These giants had to be the offspring of Noah and his sons!
b. The statement in Genesis 6:4 is just a statement of fact and the offspring of the sinful union of the godly and the ungodly produced some (not all) men of renown. After the flood, in Genesis 10, we find once again men of renown born with the principal one being Nimrod. He was the offspring of Noah’s sons also!
3. Was Noah saved by building an ark?
a. The answer is no. In Genesis 6:8, the bible is clear that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord before the building of the ark was commanded or built. Salvation has always been and will always be by the grace of God.
b. Some Men teach salvation by grace mixed with works before Christ and after the rapture of the church. Solomon declared that there was not a just man in all the earth that doeth good and sinneth not!
Acts 15:10-11 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? (11) But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. (The Old Testament saints were saved by the grace of God just as we are.)
4. Was the ark a type of salvation?
a. Once again, the answer to this question is “No.” If salvation is by grace through faith (and it is) then the building of an ark was obedience that followed salvation. Noah builds the ark with his own hands and then later removed the window and climbs out of it when he was finished. What would have happened if Noah had been disobedient? He would have drowned with the rest of that disobedient crowd.
b. God has always judged the disobedience of His children and often visited death upon the perpetrator. The New Testament declares that the ark was an ark of safety where Noah, having believed God about the judgment to come, build an ark to “the saving of his house” in our text (Hebrews 11:7). The ark is a type of safety through obedience.
5. Did all who died in the flood go to hell and all who got on the ark go to heaven? The ark is a type of safety through obedience. Was everyone who died lost? I do not know. Was everyone on the ark spiritually saved? I do not know and the bible does not say. I know that those on the ark lived and those who did not get on died. We will leave this one up to the Lord.
6. Does Noah’s ark represent baptismal regeneration? 1 Peter 3:18-21 compares the ark with water baptism.
1 Peter 3:18-21 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (19) By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (21) The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
a. I believe that all of us know the answer to this question but, if you are one who believes that all who died were lost and all who lived were saved, then you will have trouble with our verse:
b. These verses clearly say that Noah’s family was saved by water and baptism saves us also. We understand that salvation is not through the baptismal pool but through the precious blood of Christ. It is all of grace; it has always been all of grace; and it will always be of grace. The grace of God plus nothing, minus nothing, and mixed with nothing.
c. The key is found in the word “figure.” A “figure” is a “symbol” or “type.” What is the message found in these verses? The ark being built and boarded comes after salvation making it “safety through obedience.” That is what baptism is: obedience!
7. Now, we can go back to Hebrews 11:7. I believe that some things needed to be explained in order to get to the truth of our text verse. We will never have all of these answers in this life but there are some things that we can take away with us concerning Noah.
a. Noah’s Person - Noah was a saved man! “just”; Noah was a separated man! “perfect in his generations”; Noah was a godly man! “walked with God”
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
b. Noah’s Surroundings - Noah lived in a wicked day! “imagination … only evil continually”; it is completely possible for you and I to live for the Lord in the midst of a wicked and perverse nation.
Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
c. Noah’s Faith – “By faith … moved with fear” Noah believed God for “things not seen as yet”; God has made us promises that are beyond the realm of possibility and yet all things are possible with God.
Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
c. Noah’s Promise – “saving of his house” The Lord takes care of those who know and serve Him. One day, it will be worth it all when we see Christ and that day is quickly approaching.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. (7) I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (8) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
d. Noah’s Prophecy – “condemned the world” These words are prophetic of the end time in which we live. God will chasten and correct!
Matthew 24:37-38 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (38) For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Luke 17:26-27 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (27) They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
e. Noah’s Future – “heir of the righteousness which is by faith” God rewards righteousness both now and in eternity to come. Yes, life is hard, but I can look back on my life and report that the Lord has been good to me in spite of often dire circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (13) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Conclusion: Hebrews 11:7 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.