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Rest on Unfailing Promises

By Joe Boot/ May 3, 2015

Series  Genesis 1-11: Creation, Covenant and Culture

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Salvation

Scripture  Genesis 8:1-22

Despite the flood's total destruction, God never abandons creation or culture, but rather He renews it by preserving a faithful remnant.

Scripture:  Genesis 8:1-22

Sermon Notes:

  1. In the cataclysmic flood of God’s judgment, only Noah’s family was saved to enter into God’s rest.
  2. Every judgment from God is also an occasion for deliverance and salvation.
  3. Inside the ark, safe from the floodwaters, for over a year Noah needed a firm personal knowledge of God’s nearness, not merely an abstract theology of God’s providence and sovereignty.
  4. Despite the flood’s total destruction, God never abandons creation or culture, but rather He renews it by preserving a faithful remnant.
  5. Man’s destiny is tied to the creation; the material world is not just a temporary, interim state.
  6. We stand in covenant relation to God as vice regents in the earth, which God created good.
  7. Christians have been influenced by neo-Platonism have come to think of the creation as evil, as something to be rescued from. But God in Christ is redeeming and restoring the sin-cursed earth.
  8. Noah, whose name means rest, was saved by grace through faith, and yet he demonstrated his faith by his works (cf. James 2:14-26).
  9. Noah’s obedience involved cultural, scientific and engineering endeavour:  among other expertise, Noah demonstrated skills of shipbuilding and animal husbandry.
  10. Christian pietism sees every event as a personal lesson for “my private spiritual life,” reflecting a pietistic preoccupation with self.
  11. God brings the ark safely to rest. Like Noah, we’re called to serve God, but the salvation of the world doesn’t depend on Noah or upon us.
  12. Upon returning to dry land, Noah makes sacrifices which prefigure the atonement of Christ and signify an end to the curse upon the earth.
  13. In the cross the curse of sin was broken for God’s redeemed people and the creation.
  14. God promises never again to destroy the earth by a flood, and bestows His blessed rest.
  15. Noah stands in God’s holy temple as God’s priest-king, and he is commissioned to again fill the earth.
  16. Salvation is to enter God’s rest spiritually and to establish that rest materially on the earth.
  17. We as God’s people then enter the rest of God and extend that rest of God unto all things, universalizing the Sabbath victory of Christ.

Application Questions:

  1. Why did God choose a complex geophysical event (the flood) to judge the wicked and to save a faithful remnant?
  2. How can we cultivate a close personal knowledge of God and His providence to help us in times of difficulty?
  3. What has been the influence of Platonism upon the church?
  4. How does Noah prefigure Christ?
  5. What does it mean for us to enter and extend God’s rest?