Faithlife Sermons

Stand Out: Action

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Aim: Faith that reveals itself in action stands out to the skeptical world around us.
Introduction:
Faith - The fundamental characteristic of all saints - Revealed here in
Author of Hebrews is writing to Jews who are stuck in works based system.
Shows them that OT saints were saved by faith and not by works.
Yet, Noah is an example of how real faith will result in action.
Examples of Faith in Action - What do you remember about people of faith? Words or Actions?
Annie Armstrong Video
Illustration: Who is Annie Armstrong?

Contagious passion for kingdom Mission

Annie's legacy stands millions strong

With every fiber of her being, Annie Walker Armstrong threw herself into gospel mission in 19th-century Baltimore. She showed the love of God to her neighbors as she helped people in need. She dug deep into the Bible to better share the good news with others. She cried out to God for the souls of her neighbors and fervently interceded for missionaries all over the world. 
But Annie was not content stop there. She had a vision of Christians and churches rising up, all across the country, to give themselves wholeheartedly to the mission of showing and sharing God’s love. She spent many hours writing letters that challenged others to obey God’s call to mission. Many of these notes were long, and they radiated her desire for others to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Annie tirelessly pursued the vision God had given her. She once wrote: “If I get hold of an idea which seems to me to be a good one, I somehow do not feel comfortable until I see it carried out.” Through her persistence, Annie rallied women to give more, pray more and do more to reach people for Christ. Her passion proved contagious, and churches everywhere rose up in response. Annie organized the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) and served as its first corresponding secretary.
For more than 125 years, Annie Armstrong’s passion for God’s kingdom has been reflected and multiplied through new generations of believers as we follow her example and give ourselves wholeheartedly to the kingdom-movement in North America. Every year, when we give to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® for North American missions, we honor the life and missions impact of Annie Walker Armstrong (1850-1938).
Noah’s faith is noted in because of the action that Noah took based on his faith.
This story is foundational to all believers. (Marries science and the bible - Marine Stickleback)
This story is highly contested among unbelievers. (Replaces ice ages thinking-Proof overlooked)
This story is prophetic for all humanity. (Ark is a picture of Jesus - In Him is safety from judgment)
Focusing on and tying to we see how and why Noah’s actions reveled his faith and is now commended for it.
Sermon:
Noah acted because he BELIEVED. (7a) (NT - Faith/Believe are related verbs - Noah had faith - ; - NT/OT agree that faith/belief are foundation for salvation)
Illustration: C.S. Lewis explained faith and belief in this way: You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it? Noah placed the fate of his life in God and what He was telling Noah. Noah’s faith would be an unbreakable cord in the end because it did hang over the precipice of life and death.
Noah believed God BEFOREHAND. () (In spite of world - Pre-existing Relationship - - God had favor for Noah because he had faith)
Noah believed God at His WORD. (, ) ( - David believed commandments - Trusted though he had not seen - Thomas w/ Jesus)
Though it seemed impossible. (Issues: Rain - ; Flood?; Probability - Dry Area)
Though it seemed cataclysmic. (Population - ; Estimation of 8-100 million - Worldwide Flood...)
Noah ALONE believed God. () (8 Total but they probably believed Noah and not God - Paul in - Luke was the only faithful one with Paul - Blessing of Church)
Noah served God faithfully. (120 years - Not one person believed - - Run the race with patience)
Noah was separated from the world. ( - Come out from them…Noah was separated in life and in deliverance - Became person of covenant)
Noah acted with a spirit of FEAR. (7b) (Way of World vs. Way of God - - Fear of God is beginning of wisdom - Fear not because God is diabolical but because He is deity)
Noah had a HIGH reverence for God. () (Shiprah and Puah - - Worried more about God’s opinion than Man’s - - Apostles agreed in action)
Noah had a HOLY fear of judgment. () (Moses - - Moses couldn’t see God’s glory because it judges sinfulness)
Noah had a HUMBLE distrust of himself. (Understood sinful nature - - Noah:Drunk; Lot:Incest; David:Murder; Peter:Outright Denial…)
I am the very least of all the saints.
I am the foremost of sinners.
Illustration: J.I. Packer describes the relationship between humility and the increase of faith, life and joy: Humility and a passion for praise are a pair of characteristics which together indicate growth in grace. The Bible is full of self-humbling (man bowing down before God) and doxology (man giving praise to God). The healthy heart is one that bows down in humility and rises in praise and adoration. The Psalms strike both these notes again and again. So too, Paul in his letters both articulates humility and breaks into doxology. Look at his three descriptions of himself quoted above, dating respectively from around A.D. 59, 63, and 64.
I am the least of the apostles.
I am the very least of all the saints.
I am the foremost of sinners.
As the years pass he goes lower; he grows downward! And as his self-esteem sinks, so his rapture of praise and adoration for the God who so wonderfully saved him rises.
He understood he was a sinner. (We shouldn’t have too much confidence in self - - Samson learned the hard way)
He understood the need for sacrifice. ( - Abel understood what was required - Noah followed in this tradition - Descends from Seth)
Noah acted in complete OBEDIENCE. (7c) () (Belief without Action is pointless and meaningless… - Faith without action is a perversion of the real thing)
Noah obeyed CONCISELY. ( - Dimensions of the ark…This wasn’t just a family fun boat…)
Illustration: Now God then says, “Make a box,” tebahin in Hebrew, “make it of gopher wood.” We don’t have any idea exactly what that is. There’s some suggestions as to what it is. It appears nowhere else in Scripture. It may have been a kind of a cedar pine which was plentiful. Now remember, Noah was not a ship builder and this wasn’t a ship, this was a box. This is an immense task, he can’t do it on his own, very likely, even with three sons helping him. He would have to had to hire multiple carpenters and design people to effect this thing and to move around the pieces of this giant box. And God says, “You shall make rooms, compartments, or dwellings.” Likely they numbered in the thousands. “And then cover it inside with pitch.” And that is a kind of calking substance. Pitch, by the way, is related to the Hebrew verb to smear, smear it, seal it so it doesn’t leak.Then verse 15, it gets very interesting. “This is how you shall make it.” Now if he’s thinking of a box just for him and his family, hey, that would be an 8 by 10 would do. He doesn’t know what the box is for. “This is how you are to make it. The length of it is three hundred cubits, the breadth, or width is fifty cubits and the height is thirty cubits.” That’s 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high. This is not a design for speed. This is not a design for easy guiding. This is a design for stability.At a ratio of about six to one, length to width because God knows about stability and later ship builders even today will tell you six to one to eight to one is required for stability.
At a ratio of about six to one, length to width because God knows about stability and later ship builders even today will tell you six to one to eight to one is required for stability. This is the ration that is still used today: 6-1 to 8-1 length to width.
Then verse 15, it gets very interesting. “This is how you shall make it.” Now if he’s thinking of a box just for him and his family, hey, that would be an 8 by 10 would do. He doesn’t know what the box is for. “This is how you are to make it. The length of it is three hundred cubits, the breadth, or width is fifty cubits and the height is thirty cubits.” That’s 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high. This is not a design for speed. This is not a design for easy guiding. This is a design for stability.
Illustration: Now God then says, “Make a box,” tebahin in Hebrew, “make it of gopher wood.” We don’t have any idea exactly what that is. There’s some suggestions as to what it is. It appears nowhere else in Scripture. It may have been a kind of a cedar pine which was plentiful. Now remember, Noah was not a ship builder and this wasn’t a ship, this was a box. This is an immense task, he can’t do it on his own, very likely, even with three sons helping him. He would have to had to hire multiple carpenters and design people to effect this thing and to move around the pieces of this giant box. And God says, “You shall make rooms, compartments, or dwellings.” Likely they numbered in the thousands. “And then cover it inside with pitch.” And that is a kind of calking substance. Pitch, by the way, is related to the Hebrew verb to smear, smear it, seal it so it doesn’t leak.Then verse 15, it gets very interesting. “This is how you shall make it.” Now if he’s thinking of a box just for him and his family, hey, that would be an 8 by 10 would do. He doesn’t know what the box is for. “This is how you are to make it. The length of it is three hundred cubits, the breadth, or width is fifty cubits and the height is thirty cubits.” That’s 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high. This is not a design for speed. This is not a design for easy guiding. This is a design for stability. At a ratio of about six to one, length to width because God knows about stability and later ship builders even today will tell you six to one to eight to one is required for stability.
The ark then is way ahead of its time. Nobody would have understood this kind of design, another indication of the divine nature of Scripture. Its length is six times its width and keeps it stable in the midst of tossing seas. As a rectangle it has more stability and because it’s a rectangle and doesn’t have pointed ends and then rounded sides, it is one third larger in capacity than a similar sized ship with a hull. The gross tonnage, 1415 thousand tons. The internal space, a hundred thousand square feet. The volume, 1.5 million cubic feet. It’s a massive boat.
Noah obeyed CAREFULLY. ( - Noah carefully followed the directions - 120 years of maticulous planning and working - Spurgeon: Carelessness cannot tread the highway of holiness.)
Noah obeyed no matter how COSTLY. (Lumber/Labor costs to have built something this size…Ark in Kentucky cost $102 Million - - count the cost - Noah was shaking his head..)
Noah obeyed though mocked CONTINUALLY. (Men of that age most likely scorned Noah - - Paul says if we seek to please men we can’t please God)
Noah obeyed CONSCIOUSLY. (God’s will is to be done by His servants - Noah chose to obey God’s command - - If you love me, keep my commandments)
Noah acted and saw the RESULTS. (7d) ( - Noah was called to enter the ark - Saw the results of faith in a real way - - Israel sees result of faith…)
Noah’s actions brought SALVATION. () (God shut the door - - Security of Salvation - Conviction to action is proof of salvation - We become witnesses...)
Noah’s actions brought CONDEMNATION. () (Actions preached condemnation to the world - - In the world but not of it - - Paul witnessed to Jews)
Illustration: The idea of hell and judgment are nowhere to be found in Betty Eadie's bestseller, Embraced By The Light, on the N.Y. Times bestseller list for more than 40 weeks, including 5 weeks as #1. In November 1973 Eadie allegedly died after undergoing a hysterectomy, and returned five hours later with the secrets of heaven revealed by Jesus]. Eadie says that Jesus "never wanted to do or say anything that would offend me" while she visited heaven. Indeed, Jesus seems to be relegated to the role of a happy tour guide in heaven, not the Savior of the world who died on the cross. Francis Chan would state it this way: “It's incredibly arrogant to pick and choose which incomprehensible truths we embrace. No one wants to ditch God's plan of redemption, even though it doesn't make sense to us. Neither should we erase God's revealed plan of punishment because it doesn't sit well with us. As soon as we do this, we are putting God's actions in submission to our own reasoning, which is a ridiculous thing for the clay to do.”
Conclusion:
Noah was not saved by his actions but because of his faith he did act. We are not saved by the good works that we do but because we have been saved by the blood of Jesus on Calvary’s cross we should be compelled to action.
In all that we do for the Lord we must do it in a spirit of obedience and reverence toward the Lord as He graciously walks with us through whatever He has called us to do.
We can believe that God will make good on what He has promised. Those that put their faith in Him will be delivered forever and those that do not will be condemned forever.
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