Summary: Series on Faith
Two Sides of Faith
Explain how some believe Adam did not exist and the situation in the Garden was a metaphor. Use Noah and Moses to explain their truth as to the why they did what they did. Noah was a direct blood descendant from Adam. Moses talked with God and actually wrote the book of Genesis.
Last week I started this message by defining what faith is based on what Paul says in Hebrews 11:1. This morning I will go deeper into these two sides. I will be approaching this subject from a historical perspective. Remember last week I talked about historical faith? Historical faith comes when you chose to believe the historical accounts as recorded in scripture as true. Based on this, you understand that the God of Scripture is the same God of today. There are two examples we will look at today in reference to the two sides of faith. As we review these examples, I want you to explore whether or not you believe the historical account as written. Believe it or not, there are people in the world who believe that the Genesis account of Adam and Eve is a metaphor that did not happen in “real life.” I wholeheartedly disagree with those who believe this and I will share with you why as we go through the message.
The two sides of faith, assurance and expectation, can be seen in the lives of those listed in Hebrews chapter 11. They had strong convictions about unseen present realities. They also had strong assurance that God’s promises would be fulfilled – even in the face of evidence that seemed to suggest otherwise. This morning I want us to look at two Old Testament examples of how assurance and expectation plays a major part in our faith walk. As we prepare to do this, I want to remind you of what Paul said faith is. He said faith is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” It is confidence in the reality of things we cannot see that lies at the root of our faith. Faith enables us to accomplish the impossible.
When you think of assurance and expectation, you begin to realize that you cannot be sure of something without expecting something. As we will discover, without expectation, assurance is not real. As we go through this message this morning, I want you to reflect on what you are seeking God for and if you are “expecting” Him to answer your prayer. If you are not expecting God to deliver on His Word, then you have no assurance. If, however, you are sure that God is going to deliver on His Word, then you are undoubtedly expecting something from Him. With this said, lets look at a few examples of how faith enabled individuals to do what others could not do and how through their assurance, they expected and received from God.
I. Faith Enabled Noah
“By faith, Noah when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7
“This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God……Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence…..So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth…..So make yourself an ark of cypress wood….Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” Genesis 6:9, 11, 13, 14a, 22
The first thing that I want you to understand is that this story is true. They found Noah’s ark about 40 years ago on Mt. Ararat. It can only be seen during certain times of the year when the snow is melted. For the ark, or any boat of that size to get that high up onto a mountain, the flood waters had to be extensive. The waters rose at least 20 feet above all high mountains and last 371 days. Even “non-believing” scientists agree that the world was once covered with water. I tell you these facts so that you will be able to understand that this is not a myth, it is a true account. Here is one other fact that you need to understand. After the flood, Noah lived for 350 more years (Gen. 9:28). Abraham was born, if my math is correct according to Genesis 11:10-26, approximately 290 years after the flood. This means that Abraham was alive during the last 60 years of Noah’s life and heard the stories of how God had saved the world through Noah. He would have heard it directly, not hearsay. So if you believe in Abraham, you must believe in Noah because without Noah there would not have been an Abraham. To add to this, if you therefore believe in Noah, you must also accept Adam because Noah is a descendant of Adam. You cannot believe in a son without believing in their parents, grandparents, etc. With this history and the subsequent proof that has been found, it is easy for me to accept the genesis account of creation and the flood. So what prompted Noah to act?