Contemporary Christian Sermons :: A.W.Tozer :: "Unlocking The Lesson Of Noah" A.W. Tozer

 


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 "Unlocking The Lesson Of Noah" A.W. Tozer
« Thread Started on Sept 10, 2012, 7:56pm »
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There are some teachers in our churches who are strong on what they call “Bible analysis.” They are always searching for the “key” to the book or the “key verse” of the chapter, or perhaps even the “key word” in a Bible verse.

Although it is helpful in Bible study to discern the variety in the sections and segments that compose the Scriptures, a “key” is something else. Personally, I do not think our Bible was formulated in that way. If you need to find a key and do not find it, the message remains locked in. That is not the way the Bible speaks to us and guides us.

It is often remarked that the Bible is really a love letter to us from God. Suppose a sailor is stationed somewhere in the western Pacific. He writes a tender, loving letter to his wife, at home with the children half a world away. When it arrives in the mail box, the sailor’s wife quickly opens the envelope.

What is that wife’s first thought as she begins to read? Is it, “I wonder if I am going to be able to find the key to the message in this letter”? Oh, no! That is not her thought at all. She reads with joy and blessing and satisfaction. She senses the love that authored the letter. She does not need a college degree to understand and absorb the message of every paragraph.

In considering Noah’s faith, we do not have to search very far for understanding. The Bible gives us a straightforward message concerning Noah. It is simply this: “Demonstrate your faith in God in your everyday life!”

It is evident that God did not say to Noah: “I am depending on you to hold the proper orthodox doctrines. Everything will be just fine if you stand up for the right doctrines!” No, that is not what God demanded of Noah. Yet we have many religiously inclined people in our day who hold to an illusion that the learning of doctrine is enough. They actually think that somehow they are better for having learned the doctrines of religion.

What actually did God ask Noah to do? Just this: to believe, to trust, to obey—to carry out His word. In essence, God said to Noah, “I want to demonstrate to the whole world that your faith is genuine and that I am a rewarder of those who believe Me and trust Me!” Doctrine must be enfleshed

I have been impressed by a statement on Christian doctrine made by Martin Lloyd-Jones, the English preacher and writer, in a published article. The gist of his message was this: It is perilously close to being sinful for any person to learn doctrine for doctrine’s sake. I agree with his conclusion that doctrine is always best when it is incarnated—when it is seen fleshed out in the lives of godly men and women.

Doctrine merely stated has no arms or legs, no tongue and no teeth. Standing alone, it has no purpose, no intentions, and it certainly carries no moral imperative.

Our God Himself appeared at His very best in the Incarnation, when He came into our world and lived in our flesh. What He had been trying to say to mortal man about Himself, He was now able to demonstrate in the person and life of Jesus, the Son of Man.

How can we best explain faith? Read the Bible account of Abraham—you will see faith in his life. How can we best explain courage? Read about Elijah and his challenge to the 400 prophets of Baal—you will find courage incarnated in a man. How can we best explain faithfulness? Turn to the life of Moses. Forgiveness? Turn to Joseph.

Now, what do we see in the life of Noah? Noah demonstrates many aspects of faith, but the particular emphasis is this: Faith pays heed to the warnings that come from God.

In the kind of world in which we live, men and women can easily come to the conclusion that so many alarms are false alarms that there is really no need to be concerned. But when God sounds a loud and commanding alarm, we should listen and exercise concern. When God said to Noah, “I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth,” Noah believed God and acted in the light of the serious nature of that alarm.

When God warns a nation or a city, a church or a person, it is a grievous sin to ignore such warning. In conservative Christianity, we believe that the Christian message does indeed contain an element of alarm. Not all Christians believe this. Some have been taught that the Christian gospel is “good news” exclusively. The only way some people try to explain the full meaning of the Christian gospel is to quote one verse: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Act 16:31). That is it! That is all there is to it, they say.

The positive suggests the negative.
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