Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 3
NOAH: SECURITY OF BELIEVER
GENESIS 7 & 8
Well, we’re going to have to pick up where we left off in our last lesson on the eternal security of the true believer. So I’d like to have you turn with me again to Romans chapter 8 once again and we’ll drop down to verse 35. Even though Genesis is interesting and I always feel as though all those Old Testament teachings are so foundational, yet there are times when I think that the Holy Spirit behooves us to jump into the New Testament and pick up some things that are so apropos for us today.
All right, in verse 35 then of Romans 8 on this same concept – are we secure once we have entered into that Ark of Safety and the door has been shut, as we saw in the last lesson? Or do we have to somehow work and worry and strain and hang-on lest we be lost. My, that would be awful. I’ve had so many people come in my classes and I make no apology that I think the biggest part of my ministry is teaching believers. And to bring them into this place of really understanding and loving the Word of God and the God that bought them. Albeit God has certainly given me, I think, more than my share of lost people to His glory, but nevertheless, if believers can just come to this place of trusting. Now that’s not license. Oh, I always have to follow that right up with that. Grace is not license. Now it’s a possibility, God does not hamstring us. But it’s not license.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Can any of those things take us out of that Ark of Safety, after we have truly believed in our heart for salvation that “Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again?”
“As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” Now we’ve been fortunate in America. We don’t know what that is, but you know what I read the other night? There are more Christians being martyred right now in the world than in any other time in human history.
I couldn’t believe it but somebody wrote that and I have to trust that they knew what they were talking about. There are so many areas of the world where life is cheap and religion, you see, is coming on so strongly and most religionists have absolutely no tolerance for a Christian. And so I tend to believe it. There are probably more people being martyred for their faith than at any time in human history in other areas of the world. We in America don’t know. I hope it never comes. It certainly could. The setting is there and I think it could come a lot faster than most of us like to think. But as yet we fortunately don’t know what it is to come under this kind of pressure.
“Nay (Paul writes) in all these things we are more than conquerors though him that loved us. 38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,…” You see that includes everything – that includes the powers of Satan; that entails the power of the human intellect because I’ve even had people tell me this – “Oh no, God won’t cast me out but I can take myself out.” Oh you can? You’re greater than God? You’d better think twice before you say something like that because God’s power is supreme. And he has placed us in this Ark of Safety.
“… nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, (or anything in creation) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now go back to the flood a moment, not in your Bible, but in your mind. Do you remember that when the earth was filled with violence and God said, “I’m going to have to destroy man?” What does that next verse say? “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD”
See Noah found grace. It was that love of God for that righteous man, Noah that brought about the instructions to build the Ark and to have that place of safety. All right, now same way with us. It’s the love of God that constrains us and that pulls us into that place of safety.
Now, let’s come across the page to Romans 9, 10 and 11, and I guess here I can put a little something on the board. You know that in English and in our grammar or our sentence structure, we can put in what we call a parenthesis can’t we? And we do it quite often even in our speech. Now something that is parenthetical is something that does not have to be there because we’ve got the complete sentence. This together with this makes the complete sentence, doesn’t it? And the parenthesis is just complementary. But what can you do with the parenthetical part of that sentence? Well, you can take it out. You can just simply remove it and what do you still have? Well, you’ve still got your complete sentence; it still makes sense even with that section removed.
All right, now this is the way chapters 9, 10 and 11 sit in the book of Romans, they’re parenthetical. Now from chapter 8, which we’ve just been looking at, for 9, 10 and 11 Paul deals almost primarily with the nation of Israel, just sort of a departure from those first eight chapters, so they’re parenthetical. All right, now let’s use that concept.
Let’s just mentally take 9, 10 and 11 and lift them out and see if we haven’t got a complete sentence. Now turn to chapter 12, verse 1. Remember what chapter 8 said, the last verse said,“nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“I beseech you therefore, (see? What’s the “therefore?” Because of what he’d just instructed us in chapter 8) brethren by the mercies of God,…” The what? The mercies of God, not because we deserve it, but because of God’s grace, His mercy and because of all that He’s done for us without putting any strings on it. But what does He beg of us? And that’s what the word beseech means, it means I beg of you. It’s still left up to you to respond however you want, but oh what does God expect? And that’s the word. He expects:
“…that you present your (soul? No. what?) bodies a living sacrifice,…” The whole person as a result of our regeneration. As a result now of our new life in Christ Jesus. What’s it to do with this body? Well, it’s to control it, to affect it, and what does it do? “That we might present it a living sacrifice.”
Oh not one that’s put on the altar as Isaac was to be put to death, but what? A sacrifice that can continue on living. One just comes to mind. Keep your hand here in Romans, turn back with me to Hebrews. I think it’s in chapter 13. Yeah. Hebrews chapter 13 and let this become a precious verse to you, let’s just begin with verse 10.
“We have an altar, whereof we have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” Now I’m sure Paul wrote Hebrews, Paul is addressing primarily again, if I may use the word, Hebrew believers. And so there’s this constant bringing of the Old Testament economy and explaining how something far better has taken its place. And so this is the reason for this. And then he says, verse 11:
“For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned (where?) without the camp.” Now you know what a stench burning flesh is. And so it was repulsive and so they were to be destroyed way outside the camp.
“Wherefore, Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered (where?) without the gate.” Why wouldn’t the Jews let Him be crucified inside the city wall? It was so reproachful. The cross was a place of terrible reproach. And they weren’t about to let that take place in the city wall. And so they crucified Him outside the city, because of its reproach. All right let’s go on. Verse 13:
“Let us go forth therefore, unto him outside the camp, bearing his (what?) reproach.” Now again, in America we’ve never understood this. But you go back and you read history, secular history of the Dark Ages, and I’m kind of amused when our present day students in high school or college or university, the history books have almost totally removed any reference at all to Christianity.
But, someone who graduated from one of our Oklahoma universities several years ago, quite a few years ago, brought me his textbook on American History…not on American History but on Ancient History and it was dealing with that whole period of time that we know as the Dark Ages. And you know 99% of the context of that university history textbook dealt with the religion that was in Europe in the Dark Ages. Religion was in the basis of everything that took place.
Now that was the time of the Crusades, you remember. And the Crusaders were trying to liberate Jerusalem from the Moors, if I remember correctly but everything that happened was based on religion. All right, now in the name of religion then, they have always persecuted the true believer. I don’t care what group would happen to have the upper hand, and so we don’t understand what that was like, but you see, Christians have been the fodder of the mills of persecution for centuries; it’s just that we’ve been so fortunate to be born in America. All right, so basically, Christianity has always been something of reproach – that is true Christianity. Now, verse 14:
“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” In other words, the songwriter has put it how? “This world is not my home, we’re just passing through.” Now here’s the verse I wanted you to see, verse 15:
“By him therefore (in other words, because of God’s grace, because we have now entered in to the Ark of Safety by virtue of His shed blood, of His death, burial and resurrection, oh what are we to do?) let us (now watch the language, it’s not a command again, but what is it? Like beseech – It’s up to you, but oh please, God says, let us) offer the sacrifice of (what?)praise to God continually,…” Not just once a week, not just Sunday morning at 11 o’clock. You know that’s what most people think is all that’s required to be a Christian and if you’re there every Sunday for fifty-two weeks, boy you are the epitome of spirituality. Huh?
Listen that is by far the weakest criteria for spirituality. Now I’m all for the local church. And in fact I’ve always told my people that come to my class, if you have something that’s in your church calendar that’s important that’s where I think you ought to be. And I never want to interfere with any of the workings of the local church, not at all.
“…the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.” This is a continual all through the week not just on Sunday, Not of your billfold, not of anything else, but in this instance, what does He want? “The lips of praise.”
Now is that so hard to fulfill? My, the minute we get up in the morning, what does God want to hear? Oh He wants to hear praise that He’s given us another day of His grace, that He’s extended health or strength or whatever we need. And He wants to hear it from our lips. Don’t just say, “Well He can see it in my heart.” No, God wants us to communicate with Him. That’s the whole idea of prayer. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
Isn’t that perfect? All right, now then, let’s come back and I want to look at one more portion in the New Testament before we go back to Genesis and that would be in Ephesians. This is in that same line of thought that we started last week as we left Noah and all the creatures in the Ark and God shut the door. Their safety has been made secure by the “pitch“ which remember was analogous to the blood of Christ, we also are in the Ark of Safety. Now let’s come into Ephesians chapter 1 and oh let’s drop down at verse 6.
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, (now I didn’t intend this, but do you see how that fit with what we just read?) wherein he hath made us accepted (not by who we are. Not by what we have done, but we are accepted how?) in the beloved.” Who’s the beloved? The Lord Jesus. So we’re accepted in what He has accomplished on our behalf.
“In whom we have redemption through his (what?) his blood, (you see the emphasis now? We are redeemed through the power of His Blood) the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” You see why I emphasize grace? Oh so many people think that somehow they have to do something that merits all this. Well that’s human nature. There’s nothing that the human race would love better than if God would have said, “Well now, if you’ll just do such and such I’ll save you.” That’s what the human race would like to be able to do but we can’t. We have to just lean back and say, there’s nothing I can do because God has already done everything that’s required of me – that’s grace.
“Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;” When we enter into His grace, what does He do with the Word? Oh, He just opens it up to us. I’ve seen people – in fact got a gentleman sitting right here and he’d be the first to admit that when he first came into my class, he knew nothing of this Book, and oh how he’s grown in grace and how he has got so many of these things so absolutely right. Well, I didn’t do it, the Spirit does those things. He opens it and He gives us as it says here, wisdom and prudence.
“Having, made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10. That in the dispensation (or the administration) of the fullness of time he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” In other words, it’s all His and He’s going to bring it all together in His own time.
“In whom we also have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:” Now we’re getting closer to the verses that I want to home in on and that is verse 12 – 14.
“That we should be to the praise of his glory, we who first (what’s the next word?) trusted in Christ.” Now how much work is involved in trusting? None. See, trusting is the same word as what? Believing. And believing and faith, so you’ve got trust, believe and faith, they’re all basically synonymous. All right, so it’s in Him that we believe, we placed our faith, we trusted. When?
“In whom ye also trusted, (when?) after (what?) that ye heard the word of truth, (and what’s the word of truth?) the gospel of your salvation:…” And remember, what’s the Gospel of salvation for us today? I Corinthians 15:1-4 “that Christ died, was buried and rose again” That’s the Gospel. Nothing more and nothing less. All right, when we heard the Gospel of salvation look what happens now.
“…in whom also after that you (what’s the word?) believed. (you see the emphasis? Then what happens?) you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” Now before we go into verse 14, turn back with me to the little book of Jude way at the back of your Bible, and let’s just drop in at verse 1.
“Jude the servant of Jesus Christ, and the brother of James, to them that are sanctified (so who’s he writing to? Believers) by God the Father, and (what’s the next word?) preservedin Jesus Christ and called.”
Now I imagine most of you gals no longer put up preserves, not much canning, but I think it’s coming back. Maybe you’ll remember. But when you preserve something, when you put something in that fruit jar and you seal it, how long to you expect it to be good? From then on. If something wrong doesn’t happen that material is safe. It’s preserved. Means the same thing here. Now, come back with me to Ephesians and we have that same word. That we have been ‘sealed.’ It’s a mark of ownership but it is also a mark of preservation. And how long is God going to preserve us? Read into verse 14: That this sealing by the Holy Spirit:
“Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption…” Now you’re going to say, “Well I thought we were already redeemed?” Oh, we are. We’re redeemed but yet not totally, because see, this old body is still here. It’s still in the flesh, it’s still prone to sickness and weakness and sin and all the rest. There’s coming a time, when even this body, is going to be redeemed. It’s going to be changed. It’s going to be like His glorious body. Read the verse again.
“Which is the earnest…” Now our real estate lady isn’t here otherwise I was going to put her on the spot and say now what is earnest money in a real estate transaction especially? It’s a down payment, but $100 on a $200,000 home? That’s no down payment. Somebody could skip town and forget about that $100 but when you have earnest money what is it? It is such a big payment that nobody’s going to walk away from it. And that’s what God has done with us. He has sealed us, He’s preserved us, He has made us His own and it is His earnest money until we finally enter into that great day, the resurrection day and we receive our new body and we’ll be with Him in glory.
Now this is all the act of God Himself. We haven’t done a thing with this. It was all triggered the moment we what? Believed. Oh, and people want to work for their salvation. But now here we have to be careful and we touched on this the other night; we’ve got a retired pastor and his wife is retired from the mission field and he came up afterward, he said, “My, Les, I appreciate this tonight. He said, “This is what people need.”
All right, I’ve only got a couple of moments left, go back with me quickly if you will to I Corinthians chapter 3, and I hope I can wind this up and then so that our next half-hour we can go back to Genesis chapter 7. So in I Corinthians chapter 3, now verse 9, here is what God is expecting of us even though salvation is a free gift, we are totally set at liberty, we are free, this is what God expects.
I Corinthians 3:9-10a
“We a laborers together with God: you are God’s husbandry, you are God’s building. 10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder,…” Now Paul doesn’t claim that he’s anything but the contractor. He’s merely carrying out what God has already established.
I Corinthians 3:10b
“…I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereupon….” Now Paul is using here an analogy of building something. So I always like to tell my classes, now just image there’s a long block wall or even a brick wall, and every one of us have been given a little section of that wall to put in our bricks. After salvation we’re laborers in that great work of God, but let’s just picture it now of a building made of bricks. All right, Paul laid the foundation. But he’s not the foundation. Who’s the foundation? Jesus Christ is! See? He says, verse 11:
I Corinthians 3:11-12
“For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12. Now if (and that word ‘if’ is conditional) any build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble.” You’ve got two different categories of materials. Look at them real quickly. Gold, silver and precious stones – fire can’t hurt them. Wood, hay and stubble – fire puts them up in a puff of smoke. Now those are the things that every believer is given to put in his little section of the wall.
I Corinthians 3:13a
“Every man’s work (that is as a believer now) shall be made manifest:…” It’s going to be put in the spotlight someday. And I think it’s going to be at the Bema Seat, the Judgment Seat of Christ.
I Corinthians 3:13b
“…for the day shall declare it, (declare what? What have we done with our Christian life? What have we done with our little section of the wall?) because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall test every man’s work of what sort it is.” Gold, silver and precious stones or wood, hay and stubble.
I Corinthians 3:14
“If any man’s work abide (it’s gold, silver and precious stones) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive (what?) a reward. 15. If any man’s work shall be burned, (in other words, he’s put in nothing but wood, hay and stubble. Nothing really that counted) he shall suffer loss: (not of salvation, but loss of what? Reward. Because the rest of the verse says it)yet he himself shall be saved;…” Now isn’t that plain English? There’s going to be a multitude of Christians going out to meet the Lord with nothing in their section of the wall but a bunch of old sticks, like the three pigs. Nothing that stood for anything. Oh, they’re saved. They’re going to be there. But they’ll have no reward.
And Paul alludes to this throughout his letters, he uses the Olympics so often, he said everyone that enters the Olympic race runs for what? “The prize” and so he says, “so run you that you might receive the prize.” And then he says, and “they ran for corruptible prize, but you for an incorruptible prize.”