The Righteousness that Comes by Faith

Genesis 6:5-13 ESV

“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart…

“Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, ‘I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.’”

Matthew 24:37-39 ESV

“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

This is a sad reality of where so much of what is called “church” is today, let alone the people of the world who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. They are wicked, ungodly, and immoral people. They are liars, thieves, adulterers, idolaters, sexually immoral, and abusers, and the like. Their hearts are bent on evil. They are haters who are corrupt and violent (verbally and/or physically). And they are revelers who are focused on entertaining and being entertained and not on godliness.

They refuse rebuke, correction, and discipline, and they fight against those who are teaching the truth of the gospel. They refuse to humble themselves, to be sincerely repentant over their sins, and to obey the Lord and his commands. They have tons of excuses, too, for why they aren’t forsaking their sins and following the Lord in obedience, even though they profess faith in Jesus Christ and they profess to be walking in fellowship with the Lord. They are full of pride and hate and it comes out in what they say.

They are addicts and abusers, i.e. they are still enslaved to sin and still fighting against God but while they claim Jesus as their Lord and heaven as their eternal destiny. Yet, they are wanderers, cunning and crafty, full of deceit and deviousness. They are also those who entice others to sin. Their walk is sinking, declining, falling away, and descending. And they are filled up with all sorts of evil and immorality. And they are full of rage against those who are teaching the truth of the gospel because the truth convicts of sin and it calls for genuine repentance and for obedient walks of faith.

They are those who are still walking according to the flesh, full of pride, “do it myself” kind of people. If they try to break bad habits, they do it by human effort, because in their pride they will not yield control of their lives over to God. So they drag around with them a heavy weight of sin, and they trick, scheme, and manipulate to get what they want and to give the impressions of themselves they want people to have of them. It doesn’t mean they never admit wrongdoing, but they choose what they will admit.

Even though many of them profess faith in Jesus Christ, their faith is void of anything related to true righteousness, for it is all a façade. It is empty. It is just pontificating what is not a reality in their lives. For their lives are full of emptiness, of platitudes, and of what is vain and worthless in God’s sight. They speak, but they don’t act. And they keep resisting the Spirit’s voice and choosing their own course and denying Jesus instead of denying the flesh and yielding to the Spirit’s control.

Some or many of them are charmers, friendly and likeable people, who are persuasive and manipulative and who know how to get people to follow them. And some of them are pastors who are wolves in sheep’s clothing who have large gatherings following after them and their false gospel message which permits its adherents to remain in slavery to sin while they promise them forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God. And people are following them by the droves because of their feel-good messages.

Hebrews 11:7 ESV

“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.”

Noah was a man of God who did what God said, even though what he did was most likely regarded as crazy, so I am quite certain he did not have a huge following, well because the Scriptures indicate that the people were not following God but their own evil hearts. So Noah had to stand alone against the masses who were still living according to the flesh, and who were doing what their evil hearts desired. But he obeyed God, even though it was not popular, and even though he was going the opposite direction as most.

The Ark was a vehicle (a vessel) for the saving of lives, was it not? It saved them from death and from the judgment of God. Well, the gospel of Jesus Christ is a vessel for the saving of lives, too, for it teaches them what they must do in obedience to the Lord in order to save their lives from hell and to have eternal life with God, but not just that.

Our salvation isn’t just an escape from hell, but it is deliverance from our slavery (addiction) to sin. And we, too, must obey the Lord and do what he says in order to receive that salvation from our bondage to sin and to have eternal life with God. And it isn’t just deliverance from slavery to sin but we are given new lives in Christ Jesus to walk in, by faith in him, a faith which comes from God and thus submits to God’s will and purpose for our lives.

For, think with me about this for a moment. What if Noah did not build the ark? Would his faith have saved him? No! He would have drowned with everyone else. And that’s what I love about what this says here about him. By faith he did what? In response to a warning that God gave to him about events yet unseen, in REVERENT FEAR he CONSTRUCTED AN ARK for the saving of his household. Amen! Faith = obedience. Without obedience, faith does not exist.

Jesus said it isn’t those who say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ who have eternal life with him, but it is those who are doing the will of God the Father who is in heaven. Paul taught the same thing. He said if we obey sin, it leads to death, but if we obey obedience, it leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and it ends in eternal life with God. And John taught that if we say we know God but we don’t obey his commands that we are liars. We don’t know Him (Matt 7:21-23; Rom 6:16-23; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10).

And because Noah, in reverent fear of God obeyed the Lord and did what he told him to do, he became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Yes, true faith produces righteousness, not just as a status, but as a lifestyle. For it is those who practice righteousness who are righteous in the sight of God. It is those who obey the Lord who are his true disciples. For, if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, God will cast us out. We will not inherit eternal life with God.

And we need to take this to heart. We can’t live by the flesh and inherit eternal life with God. We must walk by the Spirit in obedience to our Lord. For, if we walk by the flesh, and sin is what we practice, and obedience and righteousness are not what we practice, we will not enter into God’s eternal kingdom, but hell will be our eternal destiny. For God is going to judge us all by what we do, and if we remain in our sin we will die in our sins. This is the judgment of God in this matter.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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