The View From 1776
Monday, August 18, 2008
What is Faith?
It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. (Romans 4:13)
Rev. Josh Hanson preached Sunday’s sermon at Black Rock-Long Ridge Congregational Church (North Stamford, Connecticut).
Using the familiar story of Noah building the ark, Rev. Hanson emphasized that Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (Genesis 6:22) This is why Genesis 6:9 states that Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.
Secular scholars, seeking to disprove the Bible, point out that the story of Noah and the flood is just one of several similar epics recorded in the ancient world. There is, however, one significantly different detail in the Biblical account of Noah: the exact dimensions of the ark given by God to Noah. Other flood epics, notably the Gilgamesh epic of the same Mesopotamian area, describe the boats as being cubical, that is of equal height, width, and depth. Boat builders will tell you that such a craft does not float well and is very likely to capsize.
In contrast, the proportions given in Genesis are exactly the proper ones for a seaworthy, stable vessel:
This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. (Genesis 6:15)
Moreover, a boat of this size is huge, far larger than most of us imagine. Each deck is one and a half times the size of a football field. With its three decks, a very large number of animals and people could have been accommodated.
The scriptures do not record that Noah argued with God. Because of his faith in God, he simply followed God’s commandments.
The Apostle Paul hammers home the message that it is through faith, not works, that we come to justification with God through Jesus Christ. Neither our own efforts, talents, power, or money, nor the collectivized political state of liberal-progressives’ secular religion is sufficient for salvation.
Faith is not something like “the force” in “Star Wars” to be captured by the Jeddi as a means to gain objects or powers of their desire. Nor is it any of the accidental circumstances of our lives