Posted in Headship

Limitations, Authority and Politics: Q2

Question 2:

Who has the authority to place the limitations?

Answer:

Rather than build up to the obvious answer I’ll just give it to you at the forefront. If the Church is Christ’s workmanship, if it was His righteous and holy life that purchased us and set us apart, then it makes perfect sense that He has the authority and power to set the limits of His Church’s activity.

To explain this the Bible appeals to a couple different analogies to draw this truth out. The first is in reference to Christ being the head. The second speaks of the Church as His beloved bride. Both references are uniquely tied to one another.

The Head…

From a practical standpoint the body is controlled by (ruled by) the Head. This is true of voluntary and non-voluntary responses. In our human bodies the head (brain/central nervous system) keeps life sustainable from breathing (lungs), blood flow (heart), temperature regulation, metabolism, and protective reflexes like attempting to stop a fall by putting out a hand or batting an eyelash closed when debris is incoming. Our ability to move (hands and fingers, feet and toes, etc.)  seeing and hearing to process information, feel with touch and emotion, tasting the goodness of life while also drawing in pleasing fragrances are all controlled aspects of the body by the head. Each part of the body is vitally important (although some to lesser degrees of honor than others—i.e., fingernail versus eyeball), but without the head are utterly useless. Life is sustained by the head. Life is preserved by the head. Life is made meaningful by the head.

Jesus Christ is called the Head of His body, the Church:

“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ…” (1Cor 11.3a).

“And [God the Father] put all things under his feet and gave him [Jesus Christ] as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph 1.22-23).

“Rather, speaking truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Eph 4.15-16).

“…Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior” (Eph 5.23b).

Therefore, the Head has authority to set the limits on the body to which it is attached.

The Husband…

In a similar way, Christ is identified as the Husband of the Bride—His Church. This analogous union between Christ and His people (the saints/children of God) is called a mystery (Eph 5.32) that has been revealed in this time at the advent and ascension of Him (Rom 16.25; Eph 1.9; Col 1.26-27) who sits at the Father’s right hand (Acts 2.33; Heb 10.12). Given our current feminist driven culture the meaning of Christ as the Husband of the Bride—His Church—will be somewhat skewed.

For Scripture reveals that just as the bride is under the husband, Jesus Christ shares this unique relationship with His people (Eph 5.23). Am I then saying that the husband has authority over his wife? Yes, for that is what the Scriptures teach. Though man and woman are equal before God in status as image bearers (Gen 1.27), the man is called the head of his wife:

“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God” (1Cor 11.3; italics added).

This a functional headship where the role of the husband in the home is leadership. The husband has authority because it is God-given not because he lords over his wife. Which is stressed in another place:

“For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man” (1Cor 11.8-9).

Again, this an issue of function and not status. As Paul explains a little later “…all things are from God” (1Cor 11.12). Both men and women share equality in this sense as image bearers, but are not equal in authority, roles, and responsibility. Like I said, not a particularly easy concept to convey in our feminist driven society. For such teaching will be taken as highly offensive. However, the reason “…why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head…” (the covering is symbolic of her husband) is “because of the angels [messengers]” (1Cor 11.10). The Greek term translated angels here is actually messengers, thus the bracketed section. A messenger from God conveys God’s will, His Word.

This, in light of the reference to the creation of the woman in vv. 8-9 (cf. Gen 2.21-25), signifies the responsibility that Adam had towards Eve in giving her God’s instruction (ff. Gen 2.16-17), which he failed to do. Instead of protecting his wife by standing firm upon God’s Word, the Lord indicts Adam for listening to his wife’s word instead (ff. Gen 2.17). Something that should not have been done for he had been given the role of authority as her head and was responsible for not keeping it.

What Jesus Christ did for His bride—the Church—was what Adam ought to have done. For the trustworthy Husband lays down (sacrifices) Himself for His bride:

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by washing her of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy without blemish” (Eph 5.25-27).

By so honoring His wife Jesus demonstrates how greatly He loves, how much he desires to nourish and cherish her (see 5.28-29). And the wife or the Bride of Christ displays her love for the Lord by submitting to her husband (Eph 5.24). What is true of the human marriage out to be true in a greater sense with this supernatural union between Christ and His people. The bond of love, of deepest intimacy is meant here not some perverted notion that fools have been known to utter.

Therefore, the Husband has authority to set the limits of His bride’s (the Church’s) activity.

Response to question 3 forthcoming…


Image by <a href=”http://Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay“>Pete Linforth

Posted in Beliefs, Covenant, gospel, Headship, Law, Salvation, Theology

Law and Gospel Distinct, but not Opposed

“You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord” (Lev 18.4-5; emphasis added).1

As I was traveling home one day after work I flipped on a Christian AM radio broadcast out of Columbus, OH, and the host at the time (a retired minister) gave some very good advice. He said, “The devil is in the extremes.” His point is that straying to the left or the right gets us off the path that God intends for us to walk.

What I have found over the better part of a decade in preaching ministry is that Christians seem to either tip to one side of the other when it comes to God’s Law-Word. Either they get really nervous and begin to think you’re bordering on heretical teaching when you start speaking of the Law of God as a requirement; or, they embrace the Law in such a fashion that their obedience to it is what saves them, not Christ. Both positions are false.

The Law and the Gospel are distinct, but they are in no way in opposition with one another.

The Law of God is always placed before mankind in covenantal status. All people have a covenantal status with God. They are either covenant-keepers or covenant-breakers. We must not view the Law of God as given outside of the covenant.

When Adam sinned he did so as a creature in covenant with his Creator God. As the first man God placed upon him the responsibility of the human race. The command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1.28) was not fulfilled until after the testing period in the garden in Eden (Gen 3). Adam named his wife Eve because she was to be the mother of all living; this took place after the Fall. It was Adam’s response to the Law-Word of God that determined the outcome for his progeny. His choice of acknowledging and submitting to the authority of God’s Word alone determined the type of inheritance he was purchasing for his children. This is true because Adam was stationed as the head of humanity by God, his obedience or transgression would have lasting consequences on all his children.

Rather than listening to the voice of God, Adam chose to listen to the voice of a fellow creature (his wife) and his own heart (he made his own choice, no one made him do it)—Gen 3:12, 17. This act of rebellion against the Creator earned Adam and his children after him the position of being covenant-breakers. In the language of the apostle Paul we read that it was Adam’s transgression that ushered “sin…into the world… and death through sin” and this “spread to all men [i.e. people] because all sinned” (Rom 5.12. In short, Adam’s trespass brought condemnation to all men for through him all his children became sinners (cf. Rom 5.16-20). Which means that in Adam our covenantal relationship with God is broken, but the standard NEVER changed!

The problem is not the Law of God.

How could it be when God’s Law is described as holy, good and spiritual (cf. Rom 7.12, 14)? What then is the problem? The problem is found in our hearts and minds. For what impure thing could ever come from the Holy God when it is man that is declared impure (cf. Job 9.2; 25.4)? The promise given to Adam was that if he did well, he would live (cf. Gen 2.16-17).2 The same promise is what we see given in the Leviticus 18:4-5 passage quoted above. The promise is that if we do what is good we will live—”the person who does them shall live by them.”

There is a problem, however, that arises. Just one infraction against the Law of God on one point is to be guilty of breaking all of it. As James the apostle explains to the Christians he is writing to in the first century demonstrates:

  • “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it” (Jam 2.10; cf. Deut 27.26).

The truth of the matter is this, “without [holiness] no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12.4; HCSB). Perfect obedience to the Law of God equals eternal life. If you do all that the Law instructs you, life is promised. If you are able to do this you will be (not strive to be—you will be) “perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5.48).

Yet it is here where we identify the root problem. Human beings fail to do this very thing:

  • “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God [why?], for it does not submit to God’s law [why?]; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8.7-8).3

Pay attention to the word “cannot” for it adds greater depth to the phrase “does not” before it. The reason the natural person (the way they are born into this world) “does not” keep the Law of God, the Holy Spirit says through Paul, is because he/she “cannot”—they (we) are unable to do so. This text reveals our own inability as human beings to follow the instructional voice of God because of (due to) our natural hostility to the Lord. God speaks and people by their very nature rebel. The commandment of God comes and we are appalled. Not only do we not keep the Law of God because we do not want to, we do not want to because we are not able.

This is the foundation of why it is said that when man is confronted with the Law of God our mouths are shut. We have nothing to boast in, because we are by nature rebels at heart. We demonstrate that we are covenant-breakers rather than covenant-keepers at every point in response to God’s Law-Word:

  • “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God [why?]. For the works of the law no human being will be justified in his [God’s] sight, since through the law comes the knowledge of sin” (Rom 3.19-20; emphasis added).

The Holy Scriptures are adamant on this point; the Law of God proves that we are sinners. The Law of God which promises life to those who obey all of it brings forth condemnation to the whole human race because of our inability to keep it.

The reason this is important is…?

We need to understand our current relationship as God’s creatures. Our internal relationship towards God will determine our internal/external reaction to Gods Law-Word. In Adam we are all covenant-breakers; that’s our status. In Christ people become covenant-keepers; that’s the new status, not because of what we do, but only because of what He has done as our representative head.

Jesus obeyed the Law of God perfectly. He never sinned. Therefore, his life of holiness is what enables God to remain both just and the justifier; giving to the offspring of Christ the status through inheritance that He alone enjoyed—i.e. Holiness leading to life; eternally.

  • “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2Cor 5.17-18).

Why does the Bible say this?

Our standing before God as covenant-keepers has been changed, by what Christ’s life purchased on our behalf.

  • “For our sake he made him…” Who made who? God the Father made the Son… “to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2Cor 5.21).
  • “He himself bore our sins in his body on a tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1Pet 2.24).

Righteousness speaks of living-rightly; something we in Adam are incapable of doing as the Law of God demonstrates. Holiness speaks of being separated from sin, purity; something we in Adam are incapable of having as the Law of God demonstrates. And in that state we will never see the Lord (Heb 12.14).

The standard of righteousness and holiness did not change when Adam fell. The requirement still stands:

  • “The one who does them [i.e. obedience to the Law] shall live by them [i.e. promise to continue living]” (Gal 3.12; emphasis added; cf. v.10).

But, we “don’t” and we “can’t” obey the Law of God that is our condition as covenant-breakers, and so…

  • “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the [nations; peoples]4, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Gen 3.13-14).

**This is the gospel of God.

The Law and gospel are distinct, but they are not opposed to one another.

The standard of God for righteousness and holiness did not change when in Adam we all became covenant-breakers (i.e. sinners). However, due to our unwillingness and inability to do what is right so that we might live, the Father sent the Son into the world to save His people from their sins (cf. Matt 1.21). This transaction by God the Father on account of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit changed our status before God as covenant-keepers. Jesus became our new head replacing the former one (cf. 1Cor 11.3; 15.22).

With these things in mind—having set the stage so to speak—I want to speak on a few things related to the Law of God and the misunderstandings in terms of the supposed “harshness” or “awfulness” regarding it that I touched on when examining some philosopher’s arguments not long ago. Until then, God bless.

___________________________

ENDNOTES:

1 All Scripture unless otherwise noted shall be of the English Standard Version (ESV).

2 All of God’s Laws have both a positive and negative aspect attributed to them. These are not always stated, but are implied. For example, the commandment not to steal means to enjoy the property that God has provided you. The commandment not to murder means to cherish and protect the life given by God to mankind. The command not to covet what is your neighbors means to covet (desire) that which God has provided you and what God alone can give which leads to contentment. Unfortunately, we do not take the time to mull over all the implications of the Law of God and so, as a result, we miss the full scope of the goodness that God has given us.

3 If you want to know why Paul reaches this conclusion, or if you are confused as to what it means to be “in the flesh,” I would suggest that you go back and read the chapters that lead up to this categorical statement. The scope of this post does not permit me to delve into it. If you would like my reasoning, feel free to ask and I will attempt to respond in a reasonable time frame.

4 The Greek term is “ethnos” which is defined as in a variety of ways, but carries the generalized meaning of nation or people groups. In the O.T. the concept regarded all “foreign nations not worshiping the true God….” Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2001. Paul’s point here is that what Christ did fulfilled the promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations (cf. Gen 17.4). These true offspring of Abraham were not physical descendants, but children of the promise which is Paul’s argument throughout the Galatian epistle. As seen in Gal 4 and the argument given in regards to Isaac and Ishmael.

Posted in Biblical Questions, divine mercy, divine wrath, Headship, Noah, Salvation, the Flood, Theology

The Flood of Noah’s Day: Extent and Purpose

A while back I mentioned that as I was scouring the blogosphere I had come upon a skeptic’s challenge to answer what they deemed tough questions for the Christian faith. My first go around dealt with God’s omnipresence and omniscience in relation to the question presented in the garden: “Adam, where are you?”; “Adam, who told you that you are naked?”; etc. (https://kristafal.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/why-god-asks-questions). This time we are going to deal with the Flood (the deluge) of Noah’s day. In particular, its purpose and intent.

The general assumption that I am dealing with entails the idea that God planned the Flood for a reset, and yet obviously failed for sin is seen once again in Noah’s family; the family that God had went to great extents to save.

Why did God send the Flood? What was the extent of the Flood? Was God’s purpose to make a perfect world (“to reset”) by ridding the world of sinners? All of these questions are vitally important to understanding God’s purpose and intent in sending the Flood.

One of the most interesting details about this historical account in Scripture is the amount of space devoted to it.1 Things are often repeated over and over again, to the point of ad nauseum, but they are done so for emphasis. Look at it this way, when I want to make sure that my children are comprehending the message they are receiving from me (or their mother) the subject matter will often be repeated at various intervals. Why? So that the intended meaning gets through. It is harder to ignore instructions and say “I misunderstood” when specific steps have been repeated over and over again.

So, why did God send the Flood?

Short answer….it was an act of divine judgment (i.e. the wrath of God), and yet at the same time an instance of divine mercy. Both are demonstrated in the great Deluge of Noah’s day.

DIVINE JUDGMENT

  • “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6.5).2

That is to say, every imagination, every fantasy, every desire was turned not to the God who created them, but to every lustful passion that could spring forth from a corrupt heart. This is why God said just a few verses earlier…

  • “My Spirit shall not abide with humankind forever in that he is also flesh. And his days shall be one hundred and twenty years” (Gen 6.3; LEB).

This declaration by the Lord is not a determination of how long men’s lives would be shortened to. The purpose of the statement is that in the near future (120 years to be exact) God would remove His life-giving spirit from man. The breath of life would be extinguished from those living at this time.

In God we live, move and breath (cf. Acts 17.34), and in separation from Him we die. This separation leads not only to spiritual death to which all the sons and daughters of Adam are born into this world—i.e. still-born3—but also results in physical death where the spirit is separated from this body of flesh in which we all do now dwell (cf. Eccl 12.7). The final death is eternal in magnitude which is rightly defined as eternal separation from the goodness, mercy and gracious love of God—i.e. the lake of fire (cf. Rev 20.14; 21.8).

What is promised by the Lord in the opening verses of Genesis 6 is that judgment is coming. Righteous retribution against creatures who refuse to acknowledge the God who created them and gave them life (cf. Prov 10.27). At the end of the grace period (120 years) God promises that He will “blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Gen 6.7). This specific thread of truth is repeated several times over the next couple of chapters, as God reveals His plans to Noah and the subsequent readers of the Mosaic text (cf. Gen 6.13, 17; 7.4; 21-23; 9.9-11). We will look at some of these texts in a moment, but let us first turn out attention to Noah.

DIVINE MERCY

All of the earth’s citizens at that time were distinguished from one man, Noah, who was so named because his father believed, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands” (Gen 5.29). The Hebrew for Noah (No-akh) sounds like rest, and therefore is meant to convey the idea of rest and/or comfort. Our English word carries similar meaning in that rest can mean “peace.” Most certainly, that is what Noah enjoyed when God was gracious to him (rest in God, comfort in God, even peace in God).

After offering His assessment of the rest of Adam’s race, we are told that the Lord looked upon Noah and made a distinction:

  • “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen 6.8)

What does that mean? How did Noah find favor in God’s eyes? Did he look under a rock? Did he see it in a cloud?

The concept of Noah finding favor is not humanly stressed. That is to say, finding the favor of the Lord is not something we do, but something He gives. Favor equals grace. Grace always is something that God gives, not something that man grabs for. If the grace of God were something man grabbed for, then it would no longer be a gift that God bestows upon His creatures. We may obtain it, to be sure, but only as God freely gives. Therefore, we read that Noah as a result of the grace of God “was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. [He] walked with God” (Gen 6.9).

What was the extent of the Flood?

In Genesis 6:13 God discloses His plan to Noah saying, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” Did you catch that? The extent of the Flood is the entirety of the earth. Some say that God only sent the Flood to destroy sinful people, not the earth. This is the proposal of those that deny a global Flood.

“Hold on a minute, why would God want to destroy the earth? Why would he want to destroy the animals? That doesn’t seem right. That doesn’t seem necessary, let alone fair!”

This is the same argument levied against the idea that God would judge all men guilty in Adam, because of Adam’s sin (Rom 5.18). Doesn’t seem rational. Doesn’t seem fair.

In response I must ask, “According to whom? Rational or Fair to whom? To God or man?” To be sure it is an affront to man, but this only solidifies that our reasoning has been severely skewed as a result of the Fall. But, God is judge not us. He determines the basis for rationality, logic and truth. He defines the meaning of goodness, kindness and love. He reserves the right to lay at the feet of man and all those under him just condemnation for sin.

UNDERSTANDING HEADSHIP

This is why the Flood was necessarily global in scope. This is why the Flood included the life of all land animals and birds of the air, even the very earth itself. In the beginning, when God created mankind He gave them dominion (the right to rule) over all things created on earth, even the earth itself:

  • “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen 1.26; italics added).
  • “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen 1.28; italics added)

God gave to humankind (male and female) created in His image the right to rule over earthly creation. This dominion (rule) was passed onto His image bearers in the hope that they would demonstrate the same type of sovereignty that the Creator of all creation demonstrates on a creaturely scale. In other words, God placed all things on earth—including the earth itself—under the headship (role of authority) of man.

One of the things that my dad taught me growing up is that where the head goes the body follows. He taught me this in learning self-defense, but the mechanics of it is true in leadership as well. Poor leaders (the head) will result in poor results (the body). When man rebelled in the garden the only thing that sustained them was the grace of God. God is not required to continually give grace to His creatures. If this is a requirement that He must do, then it is no longer rightly defined as a free gift but a right.

The utter rebellion seen in the days of Noah was just cause for God’s destructive efforts. The miracle is that God decided to be merciful to anyone, let alone a family of eight. Notice that this family of eight was saved because the head of the family found grace and that grace which led to righteous living effectively profited the body as a whole (Noah’s wife, their sons and their son’s wives were saved).

So, my point thus far is that it is right for God to judge others in light of what the head has done. We see this in Adam’s rebellion. We see this in Achan’s rebellion (Josh 7.20-26). And, we likewise see this in Jesus (the last Adam) obedience. If we do not like the fact that we are judged guilty under the head of Adam, then we will likewise—if we are consistent—not like being judged righteous under the head of Jesus. What we see true in these two heads, we see demonstrated in the Flood of Noah’s day. All the earth was destroyed in that day, and any that were not on the Ark, be they animal or man, had their breath extinguished. All who were under the head of Noah, who was under the head of God was saved, and the result was the salvation of all the animal kinds.

THE FLOOD WATERS

Water always seeks a level playing field. We find the same truth demonstrated with heat, air, even electricity.4 Water when it fills the cup takes the form of the cup in which it was poured. Water when poured out flows to all the low spots first and then levels out as the waters quit coming. The same is true in historical account of the great Flood.

  • “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And it rained upon the earth forty days and forty nights” (Gen 7.11-12).

Rain came from above, and rain came from below. The skies poured forth her water, and the great deep let loose her own. This continued nonstop for forty days and nights, but the overflow of water was not finished until day 150 (Gen 7.24). Until that time the water level continued to rise:

  • The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth…And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep” (Gen 7.18a, 19-20). NOTE:
    a cubit was from elbow to tip of finger, they ranged anywhere from 18-24 inches. This makes the total depth conservatively 22 ½ feet above the mountains.

The result? We are told that as “the waters increased and bore up the ark…it rose high above the earth” (Gen 7.17b). Those inside were saved, but outside all was death:

  • “And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died” (Gen 17.21-22).

The same God who saved Noah and his family aboard the ark, is the same one who erased all living things from the face of the earth (Gen 7.23). Obviously, all sea creatures were exempt; although, a great many died under the tumultuous conditions. That was the extent of the Flood.

As a side note, I should add the following. There is no biblical evidence to support the concept of a localized (universal—if your Hugh Ross) Flood. If it were, then an ark would be unnecessary (saving either man or animal), as they could travel to a place where the flood waters would not reach. You may believe such things, but the sand on which you stand will not uphold you in the end.

What was God’s Purpose in Sending the Flood? A Reset?

The purpose in flooding the earth was not to reset things back to Edenic conditions. That would be an impossibility. Such reasoning ignores the fact of sin’s entrance into the world, and the bondage to which all earthly things have been entangled. The only hope for restoration is found in Jesus the Christ.

Does God give us all the details of why He did what He did? No, nor should we think that He ought. What is given is sufficient for faith, but necessarily limited in the sovereign counsel of the Triune God of Scripture.

Do we learn anything from this event? Much. We learn the seriousness of our sin and God’s response to it—death/separation from life. We learn the depths of God’s gracious mercy and the results of it—life. We learn of the passage way to which one secures mercy, of which the door of the ark necessarily points to, is the means that God has established (alone).

Just as the pitch applied to the hull of this saving vessel provided a protective covering, so too does the blood of Christ applied to the believer provide protective covering. In Christ, as those in the ark, life is promised, life abundantly, life everlasting. Through Christ true rest, comfort and peace is afforded, but to all else death (eternal death) is promised:

  • “Enter the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the ways is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt 7.13-14).
  • “I am the door [gate]. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10.9)
  • “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14.6).

This is the picture granted to Noah and his family as God hung His war-bow in the clouds. This, in an ultimate sense, is the purpose of the Flood…to point us to Christ. And, to serve as a warning to those who refuse Him.

ENDNOTES:

1 There are nearly four chapters given to this specific topic; whereas, there are only two chapters devoted to God’s creative works.

2 All Scripture unless otherwise noted shall be of the English Standard Version (ESV).

3 We would be wise to pay special consideration to what Paul says in Romans 8:1-11 where he very pointedly explains what our condition is before Christ (our utter deadness due to our sinful natures and as a result rebellion towards God’s Law-Word), and after: “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness…he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you”” (Rom 8.10, 11). Though, this certainly points to the Resurrection in the end where all things are consummated, this is not Paul’s immediate outlook given the context of his dialogue.

4 Heat will always level out in a given space, however as its energy is dissipated entropy results. Vacuums are abhorred in nature, air always seeks to fill the void, to equalize in pressure. Electricity always goes in the path of least resistance, it is similar to a river current seeking a destination, but eventually it enjoys dwelling in an even playing field between two points where no resistance is felt.