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Author:Rev. Steven Swets
 send email...
 www.urcpastor.blogspot.com
 
Congregation:Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church
 Abbotsford, BC
 www.abbotsfordurc.org
 
Title:Noah: Filling the Ark
Text:Genesis 7:1-10 (View)
Occasion:Baptism
Topic:Baptism
 
Preached:2015
Added:2015-05-21
 

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

10:00am

Led by: Rev. S. Swets

Organist/Pianist:

                                    Pre-service singing # 448 & # 58      

Silent Prayer

Call to Worship
*Invocation: Minister –
Congregation, from where does our

                                help come?

    Congregation – Our help is in the name of the Lord

the maker of the heavens and the earth.

*Greeting
*Song
# 169:1, 4, 5, 6

The Law
Song # 47:1-4

Prayer of Confession 
Assurance of Pardon

Song # 469

Baptism of Dylan Pierce Trommel

*Song # 416

Prayer for Illumination
Scripture Reading:  Genesis 6:13-7:10

Scripture Text: Genesis 7:1-10

Noah: Filling the Ark  

  1. The Ark as Protection
  2. The Ark as a Picture

Prayer of Thanksgiving

*Song # 206:1-3, 8

Offering

*Song # 493

*Benediction- followed by a three-fold Amen

*Please stand if you are able.

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Steven Swets, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


(Note: this was a baptism sermon, but it can easily be used a normal Sunday sermon if you make a couple minor deletions. You may do this without informing me)

Scripture Reading: Genesis 6:13-7:10

Scripture Text: Genesis 7:1-10

Beloved Congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ,

            This morning we had the privilege of witnessing another covenant baptism. The primary way that the church grows is through the line of generations and we can thank the Lord that we see this happen again this morning. Also, by the providence of God, we are up to Genesis 7 in our series in the life of Noah. In the first 10 verses we see Noah and his family enter the ark to protect them from the impending doom upon the world.

            God certainly was angry with the wickedness he saw on the face of the earth and in judgment punishment is coming. However, there is a reason why this event is referenced in the Form for Infant Baptism. For 400 years the church has been praying that same exact prayer which speaks of God’s judgment on the world, but God mercy to believing Noah and His family. God provided a way to save Noah and his family, and the animals and that was by way of an ark. What we hope to see this morning as we look to the event of filling the ark, is that the ark becomes a picture for our very salvation and the waters of baptism are a picture of God’s judgment against sin. As throughout redemptive history, in light of judgement, we can most clearly see grace. Our theme is God invites Noah to fill the ark.

  1. The Ark as Protection
  2. The Ark as a Picture

I. The Ark as Protection

            As we come to chapter 7, we have another monologue given by the Lord to Noah. At this point, Noah has already built the entire ark...it is a week before the floodwaters would come upon the earth and God directs Noah into the ark. In verse 1 we see God invite Noah into the ark. Notice, he says, “come” as opposed to “go”, which would be a command. When God says, “come” it implies the fact that God would be with him, in the ark. This is the difference between an invitation and a command with God, as our Lord says, “Come to me and I will give you rest.” This invitation is extremely personal as well as God includes, “you and your household.” Similar language is used in Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be save, and your house.”  

            It is also important to note that the end of this verse does not attribute God’s invitation to Noah because He has earned the invitation. Our translation is not very clear on this matter. It is better to read it as , “I have seen you, a righteous man before me in this generation.” Noah loved the Lord, but the invitation to be saved in the ark was of God’s grace. 

            As verse 2 continues we see that God expands on the previous command he gave back in chapter 6. God tells him to take 7 clean and two unclean animals onto the ark. Some translations and commentators argue that it is actually 7 pairs of clean animals and one pair of unclean, we can’t be sure from the Hebrew. The reason for so many clean animals is that they could be used for sacrifices to the Lord and later for food. The biblical evidence shows that up until the flood, man was a vegetarian. Certainly there was normal animals death, , but humans were not eating animals according to Genesis 9:3. Hence, it would become necessary for more clean animals.

            Birds were also included in the ark and like the other animals, a male and female were necessary to continue the species on the earth. The ark would be protection for both man and animals, birds and bugs, for the great floodwaters are coming.

            In verse 5 we simply see that Noah did what God commanded him. The end of chapter 6 ended in the same manner. What a wonderful thing the word of God can say of someone. Noah had found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and a heart moved by faith enabled Noah to do what God asked him. We must not read verse 5 to mean Noah was morally flawless. Rather, it means that Noah built the ark, gathered the animals as God brought them to Him and He entered the ark just as God had directed Him, so He did. Noah did not seek to be wiser than God and therefore, God continued His covenantal provision for Noah and His family.

            Noah at this time was 600 years old which means his sons were somewhere around 100 years old...this was in the days when someone 100 was a young man. 

            What God is about to do is to reverse creation. We will see this more, D.V. next week, but in creation, as the waters covered the earth, God separated the waters with the land. Now, He is going to cover the land to reverse his creative work, in order to re-create, to start afresh. Like a painter who is displeased with his paiting, instead of throwing out the canvas, He whitewashes it and paints over it again...so does God with the earth. However, God doesn’t throw away all of the paints. Rather, He preserves a few that He has chosen, those not tainted through the intermarriage of Genesis 6 and those then useful to the Lord. Our Lord provides protection for the seed of the woman, as the seed of the serpent is temporarily destroyed. 

            The ark is the abode of protection for the church, but essentially, for all living things on the world, just as the work of the cross will be cosmic, effecting the whole created order, so is the re-creation of things after the flood. 

II. The Ark as a Picture

            Noah and the ark teaches us much more about God than it does about Noah. From this, and other redemptive acts of God in the Old Testament, what we receive is a very picture of our salvation. One common example is the exodus from Egypt as a picture of our own deliverance from sin and into the land of promise. The ark is a picture of the believer’s salvation.

            First, the ark is a picture of divine provision. As a God of providence, we understand that the flood and ark were not an afterthought of God. This doesn’t follow our own human understanding of how the world works, but so it is with an eternal God who has made and eternal decree. The same is true of Jesus Christ, as being the solution to sin. Jesus was not a plan B because plan A, that Adam would earn eternal life failed. No, not at all. Rev. 13:8 says, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose name have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” The ark was for Noah, what Christ is for sinner, God’s gracious provision of salvation. God protected and provided for His chosen seed. 

            Secondly, it is obvious to us, but we should notice that God revealed His plans to Noah. The ark was not an invention of Noah’s imagination...rather God told him. If not, Noah would have perished with all of the other creatures. In a similar way, God reveals to us, by the Holy Spirit, his grace and mercy, otherwise our blindness and ignorance will lead us to eternal death. Read II Cor. 4:6.

            Third, the ark was a place of protection from the divine judgment. It is clear that it is protection from the rain, but don’t forget the powerful hand behind the flood. The ark, was protection from divine judgement and destruction. The blood painted on the door frame of the homes in Egypt was protection from divine judgement...there was no other way, just as the blood of Jesus painted on the doorframes of our hearts is our protection from the judgment and wrath of God. Our catechism says, “the one who already stood trial in my place.” Acts 4:12 says, “Nor is there any salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” There is only one. One Lord, one Faith, One baptism for the remission of sins. This young child has received the mark of the exclusive Saviour and the promise of the only true God.

Boys and girls, how many doors were there on the ark? Only one and that door is like Christ, the only way to find life it to seek it through Jesus Christ. In speaking of Himself as the true Shepherd in John 10, Jesus says in verse 9, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” When it was time for Noah to enter the ark, He didn’t need to ask God how He should get in, for there was only one way in.

            Fourth, we mentioned already that back in verse 1 Noah was invited to come into the ark. This is significant. We have emphasized the sovereignty of God in the flood and in the saving of Noah and His family, but this doesn’t mean Noah was allowed to sit down on a chair and wait till the storm clouds approached. He had to work by God’s gracious invitation. In salvation, God does not drag us kicking and screaming so to speak. On the one hand we confess the Bible’s teaching of irresistible grace and on the other what II Peter 1:10-11 says (read).

            Finally, the ark and the flood become connected to baptism. As mentioned, the prayer in the Form for baptism mentions both the flood and the crossing of the Red Sea. In both situation, the wicked were destroyed by water and the righteous were protected through water or amidst drowning they were protected. But, here is where people often go astray in thinking about baptism. Baptism is a picture of death. We sprinkle the waters of baptism as the blood was sprinkled on the day of atonement, but maybe if we dunked a baby underwater it would be clearer. Baptism pictures death. Galatians 2:20 says, “ I am crucified with Christ.” Romans 6:3-4 says, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Dietrich Boenhoffer is noted as saying, “whenever Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.”

            God claims our children. If we shall live, first we must die, in this life. The early Christians were accused of drowning infants. Obviously, they physically didn’t drown them, but spiritually, this is what takes place in Christian baptism. The reason why this picture of death is not sorrowful, is because not only are we crucified with Christ, but we are also raised up with him. Doug Wilson puts it well, “It is child sacrifice with a resurrection following, but it is nonetheless a child sacrifice. Infant baptisms can be endearing, but if that endearing sentiment is allowed to replace what baptism actually means, then we would be better to dispense with the rite altogether.” Wilson continues, “So Christian parents bringing a baby to be baptized are not coming to a feel good photogenic moment. They should feel like Hannah did as she was looking over her shoulder to see small Samuel, waving at her from the tabernacle.”  

            The flood is a picture of death and resurrection, a picture of judgment and mercy, a picture of that Saviour that was yet to come and a cross and resurrection that would secure our salvation.

            What a privilege to witness baptism this morning, but as we do so, let us be moved to flee to Christ alone, to put off self and to put on Christ and to live in the power of His resurrection. Throughout our whole lives we continue to learn what that means. We are not our own, but belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to our faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.  




* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Steven Swets, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
(c) Copyright 2015, Rev. Steven Swets

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