Faithlife Sermons

01.22.2023 SER God comes to our Rescue - The Flood, the Cross, your Baptism!

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You make a perfect world. Everything is right. From the first star to the smallest creature that walk upon the planet. You step back when you’re done and you look over your creation, and you announce,
That’s good. Very Good.
Genesis 1:31 (ESV) 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
It’s beautiful. It’s perfect. It is finished.
Genesis 2:1-2 (ESV) 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
Sadly, the beauty and perfection of God’s very good creation quickly changed. The evil one, Satan, the Serpent slithered into the garden, tempted and lied to Eve and Adam.
Romans 1:25 (NIV) 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
After eating of the tree God commanded them not to eat, they find themselves naked and afraid to stand in God’s presence. Paul’s summary reads like this:
Romans 5:12 (NIV) “…sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--
The first sinners passed their sinful nature to their children leaving its mark upon every child conceived in the womb, as David acknowledges,
Psalm 51:5 (NIV) 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Sin continued to spread out of control like a wildfire among a dry forest. The Lord assesses humanity with the saddest report you’ll every read.
Genesis 6:5-6 (ESV) 5 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. 6 And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
A perfect creation far from the Maker's plan for His world and for the crown of His creation, man. God was "grieved"and His heart Is filled with pain, regretting He made man. Make this first observation about God from the flood.
God's heart hurts when He observes sin and the pain and suffering, the separation and evil that sin brings into the world, into your life.
God's heart hurts like yours does when you experience the worst of this world. Whether that worst is in your relationship, when a marriage struggle or fails, when families breakdown, when children rebel or lack the love and discipline essential to a healthy life. God’s heart hurts over his world where division and hatred is sown, where poverty, hunger, and warfare affects communities and countries. I often wonder, what God is thinking today as He looks down upon His world and our lives today. Is His heart filled with pain for the peaceless nights He sees? Is His heart hurting by the illness, diseases and the pains you experience in your broken down body? Does He weep when tears fill your faces over your losses of those you love?
Recall the day, in a cemetery when Jesus was about to call Lazarus to live again from the grave. Remember the sorrow of Mary, and Martha those with them and how our Savior responded? Remember?
John 11:35 (NIV) 35 Jesus wept. The shortest verse in the English bible.
If you can make a universe and world in only six days, why not just throw it away and start over? But, instead of giving up on his world, He finds one man, and good man.
Genesis 6:8-9 (NIV) Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD….Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.
God comes down taps Noah on the shoulder and the two walk together. God tell him His plans to bring a flood. He commands, no commissions Noah to build an ark to rescue and to save through the water, Noah’s family and the best of His creation so that His world can have a fresh start.
Genesis 6:13-14 (ESV) 13 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. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.
He provides Noah with a detailed set of plans for building the Ark and promises, no makes a covenant with Noah to rescue him and his family and the a remnant of every living thing to keep them along for the rebirth of the world.
Genesis 6:17-22 (ESV) 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you.…22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
Here is a second observation about God from the flood.
God is serious about sin. He is not going to overlook it. He never has, and He never will.
Ezekiel 18:4 (NIV) The soul who sins is the one who will die.
Sin always pays its wages.
Romans 6:23 (NIV) 23 For the wages of sin is death…
Exodus 34:7 (NIV) Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."
God is holy, God is righteous, God is just, and God is loving. God’s justice won’t allow Him to overlook sin nor act without showing His mercy. In spite of the hurt and regret man’s rebellion and sin against Him and one another brings to His heart, He stills loves His world. He loves it too much to let sin destroy His very Good world, and man, the crown of His creation made in His image.
Here is a third observation about God from the flood.
God is long suffering, God is Patient.
1 Peter 3:20 (NIV) 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.
Noah spent 100 years building the Ark, while God waited, suffered over His creation gone awry.
Word Origin for patience - Old French from Latin patientia endurance, from patī to suffer
God suffered as God waited. What was He waiting for? Why wait?
2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
While Noah built the Ark, God suffered because He loved the world. He suffered. God was patient with His creation. God is love, Love is patient. Therefore, God is patient with the sinner because HE is not wanting anyone to perish.”
While Noah’s flood was a fresh start for humanity, it did not completely remove sin from the heart of man, or reverse the curse. While Noah found favor with God, He was a sinner like the rest of mankind. Noah also needed a redeemer just like we do, a redeemer who was still to come.
Isaiah 59:20 (NIV) 20 "The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the LORD.
When will the redeemer come? How long will God suffer with His world? How long shall I put up with us, with you?
Until the rooster sings and the sweat stings and the mallet rings and a hillside of demons smirk at a dying God.
How long? Long enough for every sin to so soak in Christ’s sinless soul that heaven will turn in horror until His swollen lips pronounce the final transaction: Tetelesthai! “It is finished.”
Until Your sin kills Him. God puts up with us, and our sin, long enough for His Son to become Your Savior!
The flood was not God’s ultimate plan for the rescue of mankind. The flood was a delay tacit at best, pointing us to the greater rescue to come in the suffering Servant, Jesus, Christ our Lord. When this flood came, it was not water, it was blood.
1 John 1:7 (NIV) “…the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 2:2 (NIV) 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Rejoice and be glad that God found a better way, than the flood to save His World.
1 Peter 3:18-22 (NIV) 18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it (THE ARK) only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water (THE ARK) symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--…It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”
Born to die. Suffered to pay sin’s price. Risen to Save.
Hebrews 7:25 (NIV) 25 Therefore he (Jesus) is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
The last thing you want to do is to miss the boat. But don’t worry, for you’re not waiting for an Ark to be built, your boat has already come, Your boat is Your baptism. And your captain is Jesus, who died and ROSE from the dead to rescue you. This one has promises you,
Mark 16:16 (NIV) 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved
And let all God’s people say together:
Grant this, Lord, unto us all!
NOW, may the peace of God, that transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ, Jesus.
Stand with to reaffirm your baptismal faith in the Words of the Apostles’ Creed.
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