The Weekend Word
As we now proceed through chapter 11 and we read of these great people, what are we to learn from these people?
Is it How To Do Good Works?
Is it how to be obedient? Is it how to be strong in the faith?
What do we usually think? Seeing is believing or believing is seeing?
Does God say believe and you will see or do we go with show me Thomas?
Whenever you think you know the way man should go – many times you will find God’s way is the opposite.
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
- Cain and Abel are now the 2nd generation dealing with God
- How did that handoff Go?
- It is interesting that Adam & Eve are not even mentioned here.
- We do not have any word of repentance, of faith or holiness of life.
- What do you make of that?
- How do we know that Cain and Abel were sinners? – They were offering sacrifice.
- Why was Abel’s offering acceptable and not Cain’s?
- We need to remember that Abel was commended for his sacrifice – NOT his good works.
- We are commended for our repentance – not our good works.
- What about Cain – was he an atheist? NO!! He believed in God – he offered sacrifices also.
- God gave Cain chances to do it right. Gen 4:6-7
- The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
- But he killed Abel instead – so many people believe in a God of some kind – but they want to worship in their own way.
5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.
- Enoch did it right. Too bad we don’t know exactly what that was.
- Who is Enoch? Lived to be 365 yrs – Father of Methuselah
- Methuselah was the grandfather of Noah
- Walked with God – did not die – just like Elijah.
- So, what about all these guys who are “commended”
- Are we commended / rewarded for doing something right?
- Is faith used to release rewards?? No!!
- Here is the gospel in a nutshell
- God gives us a gift – FAITH
- And then he REWARDS us for having the gift.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
- Can you do good works and not be in the faith??
- What is a good work?
- Where does this faith come from? Do we muster it up? Is it a result of gathering enough information? Or does God give it to us?
- How many people mention God just because they are afraid to deny him?
7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
- What is the story of Noah?
- Warned by God about events yet unseen – not just an event yet to come, but an event that may not have ever yet happened in the past.
- Did Noah answer God “rain? Lord what is this rain you speak of?”
- The pressure to preach to an unbelieving audience.
- To build an ark for a flood that no one can see … until they see.
- Noah, holding on by faith for 120 yrs.
- Was this a worldwide flood or a local flood? It must be worldwide.
- If God promised no more floods and it were a local flood, then God lied because we have several local floods every year.
- Also, if it was a local flood, Noah would have just rented a U Haul and moved his stuff to higher ground.
- Look at the end of the verse “became an heir …”
- Again this too is the whole Reformation in a nutshell.
- How do you become an heir – by the work of another. You can do nothing to become an heir.
- Through faith we are made righteous by this alien work – the work of another – a work outside of ourselves..
- So, how did this handoff go to Noah?
- God saved his family – when they were on dry land it was like a new Eden
- Noah screwed it up – plants a vineyard, gets drunk – and it affects his family.