Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Friday, November 13, 2009

The Ark of Safety - Part One

HBS Group - Genesis 7:1-24


Lesson 19 

I have a few announcements.  Donna moved back to Ohio a short time ago.  I believe the Lord answered her prayers concerning a job offer there. 
I have asked her to keep in touch. 

We pray for her health issues, for encouragement, and for strength, so that she may accomplish all that the good Lord has called her to do.
We also pray for the child in her care.

I want to extend a heart-felt welcome to all our visitors tonight.  Thank you for taking the time to be here with us.  I pray that you'll find this Bible study an aid and a blessing.

We are an informal, nondenominational group.  
Snacks and coffee will be found in the area during the Bible lessons.   


My main goal, and my promise to you, is this; I will only teach what the Bible says.  If I have an opinion about a certain piece of Scripture, I will let you know it is my opinion.  Otherwise, it is ALL about the Word of God.  

It is each and every Christian's responsibility to KNOW what this books says and what it does not say.     
Please understand; I don't claim to know it all and there is certainly room for disagreement on some subjects.  But when it comes to salvation I'm pretty stiff-necked.  The Scriptures are quite clear on this matter; so there is no "wiggle room" there. 

We started our Home Based Bible Study one year ago this month.  We were a "small group" then, and we remain one today; but God is good all the time.  

I want to thank Fred and Sunny for being such gracious hosts.  You are a blessing to all of us - thank you.

Before we leave tonight, we need to decide on the next Bible study date.The holidays are almost here; and if I remember correctly, it was in November last year when we all decided to take a break until after the holidays.


 Now, it's been a while since we last met; so I believe a brief review is in order. 


If you'll remember, as we continue to study the flood, I pointed out a couple of significant parallels.  The first concerned the ungodly lifestyle choices mankind made in the time period preceding the flood, compared to the ungodly lifestyle choices the majority are making today, and which are becoming more and more apparent in our society today.   If you'll carefully study these two time periods, you'll discover there is very little difference between the two.  
History has a way of repeating itself.



The second parallel I spoke of concerned the Ark and the security it provided all those who chose to enter in; and the shed blood of Jesus Christ which affords salvation and security for all those who choose to enter into a personal relationship with Him.  You do that by believing in His death, burial, and resurrection.  (REF: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).



The shed blood of Jesus Christ is neither a small detail nor a "common" thing. With this thought in mind, I want to begin today's lesson by quickly reviewing a couple of terms introduced in lesson eighteen.


1) The Hebrew word for "pitch" is kaw-faw.  It means to "cover over."  Pitch (or tar) was used to cover over both the inside and the outside of the Ark of Safety to prevent the flood waters of judgment from penetrating. Consequently, this made the Ark a place of safety for all those within.


Today when you place your trust (faith) in the shed blood of Jesus Christ you're salvation is secure. 

If you are not under the blood, then there is no salvation.

Now there are those in the church today who don't like to hear the word blood. They appear to be uncomfortable with its usage.  So some church leaders have opted to omit it from their Sunday sermons.  In some cases, you'll find they have even removed songs which contain the word blood from their hymnals.

It is your belief in the shed blood of Jesus Christ that seals your salvation; and by that act of faith, plus nothing, you are then declared righteous (in right standing) with God.


But let's use the Bible text to teach. 
It's not about what I say, but what does the Bible say.


Romans 3 25: (Paul is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ) whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation (now watch this) in His blood (and this by our) faith. This was to demonstrate His (Christ Jesus) righteousness, because in the forbearance of God he passed over the sins previously committed.


Don't let that word "propitiation" throw you. This word means that Jesus Christ willingly became the blood sacrifice God demanded for the sins of mankind, past, present, and future.  By Jesus' act of obedience, even unto death on the cross, God's wrath was appeased and mankind's sins expiated.


This is such good stuff! And I enjoy teaching it.


You see, it is all about the righteousness of God from first to last.  There is only one absolute and eternal standard of righteousness that is of the nature and character of God. This is called the "righteousness of God." We say that whatever God does is right because righteousness is summed up in Him.


Whatever God does is right and He does it because it is right.

Psalm 71

19: "For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens...

Isaiah 55

8: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declared the LORD."

9: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts."

2) The second term I'd like to go over again is this same word "pitch" in the Hebrew language is also known as "atonement."  The word atonement is an abstract (not relating to concrete objects but expressing something that can only be appreciated intellectually). We express this idea through the word "forgiveness."


Atonement is an outward action that covers over an offense.


Example: You're at a restaurant; the waiter accidentally dips his tie into your bowl of soup while leaning over to pour water into your drinking glass. Astonished, the waiter says, "I'm so sorry!"  To which you reply, "That's all right.  No real harm done."  That's atonement.

Now let's get back to our Bible study.  Please turn to Genesis chapter seven.


It has been approximately 1600 years since God created man, in His image, and placed him in the Garden of Eden. These first six chapters of Genesis cover that time period. 1600 years!  I know we have a tendency to glance over a number like that and just move on; but think! 1600 years is a long time. The U.S.A. has only enjoyed its independence for 233 years in comparison. God waited patiently for 1600 years, or so, before passing judgment on that corrupt society.


God is long-suffering. This is true.  However, God does not "wink" at sin.


God worked through men. "...who called on the name of the LORD" during this age.  But after a time, even these men faded from the scene.  Now God was grieved that He had made man.  His creation has been corrupted by man's sinful influence and their anti-Godliness.


Out of all the men living at this time, and historians believe that number to be in the low BILLIONS, God chose one righteous man, named Noah, to be saved. Why?  I'm so glad you asked.


In a previous lesson, we learned that God would one day send His Redeemer through "the seed of the woman."  (REF: Genesis 3:15)
Noah would help fulfill that plan of redemption. We find evidence of this truth in Luke chapter three.  At verse thirty-six, you;ll find Noah is named in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.


Genesis 7 1: Then the LORD said to Noah, "Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time." (NASB)


The King James Version Bible uses the word "come" instead of the word "enter."


Genesis 7 1: And the LORD said unto Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation." (KJV)


Does it make a difference? Yes, I believe it does. Allow me to explain.

When the LORD GOD said, "come..." into the ark, where do you suppose God was speaking from? By using the word "come" it would indicate that God spoke from inside the Ark.

Webster defines the word come as: to move from a place thought of as "there" to or into a place thought of as "here."

Do you see the difference? 

God was speaking from inside the Ark to Noah and his family. 
Think about what that means.

I think Noah only had a vague idea of what was about to happen to the planet earth.  Given that, place yourself in his sandals for just a moment.  Do you suppose Noah may have been experiencing some fear and trepidation?  I think so. But the LORD comforted them with the knowledge that not only was He in the Ark of Safety, but that He would remain with them until the storm had passed.

Although the flood waters raged outside from above and below, and the hurricane force winds howled, drowning out the sounds of all those lost souls perishing outside the Ark, absolutely no harm would come to those who chose to enter into the Ark.  Their safety was assured.

This invitation to "come" is still our call to salvation today.
The Ark is an Old Testament picture of our salvation experience today.

Remember what I have often said, what is concealed in the O.T. is often revealed in the N.T.

In lesson eighteen, we learned about the construction of the Ark.
We discovered that the Ark only had one door. How did Noah and his family enter the Ark?  This is not a trick question. 

They came in through the one and only door.

Just as Noah entered the Ark of Safety by that single door, we understand that there is but one way for all to experience salvation today, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

And once you are "in Christ Jesus" your salvation is secure.

In light of that Bible truth, I want to spend some time speaking to you about "eternal security." To do that I need to show you a verse that is coming up. Skip to verse sixteen.

Genesis 7 16: Those that entered, (Remember the invitation was offered to all those that would come. God permitted the door to the Ark to be left open for seven days) male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; (Now here it comes) and the LORD closed it behind them.

...and the LORD closed it
(the one and only door to the ark) behind them.

God sealed the door after they were inside the Ark.  

Now hold that thought as you go to the book of John, chapter ten. 

John 10

1: Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber."

2: "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.


Skip down to verse 6.

6: This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

And now verse seven.  This is why we are here.  Look carefully.  We've been speaking about entering the Ark by a "single door" in order for Noah and the rest to be saved.

7: So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.


And now verse nine.  You'll find Jesus has to repeat His statement; but He adds one more important item.


9:  "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved...

This is a conditional statement.  He or she who enters into the salvation experience must enter through Jesus Christ.  This important fact flies in the face of those who teach there is some other way to achieve salvation. 


You need to know a little something about shepherds and sheep to understand this allegory.  The sheepfold is where sheep are kept.  The shepherd and the sheep enter this pen by a single door or entryway.  
And here's the thing, the sheepfold door was located at ground level.  
Therefore, it is accessible to everyone.


This "door" was not located at some hard-to-reach site high on a mountain side.
You don't have to swim the deepest sea, carry an elephant over the Alps, or cross a bed of hot, burning coals barefoot to reach it.
It's right where its always been; right there in front of you.

.
Romans 10


8: But what does it say?  "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART" - that is, the word of faith which we are preaching


It's all about God.  He did all that needed to be done for us all.

When Jesus cried out from the cross, "It is finished," He meant what He said.
For anyone to come back and say, "No, I feel there is something more I must do" makes God out to be a liar!  Man cannot add one thing to the finished work of the cross...oh but they try.


So, Jesus tells us He alone is the door.  There isn't a "back door."
You have to meet Jesus face to face.

Revelation 3

20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." 



Jesus is the only way.


John 14


6: Jesus said to him (Jesus is addressing Thomas the Doubter.  You have to admit.  There's a little bit of Thomas in each of us.), "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes (See, there's that word "come" again.  We found this same word in Genesis chapter seven) to the Father but through Me."  


You can't make the message any plainer than that.  This phrase says what it means and means what it says.  But let's jump ahead to the book of Acts to see what the apostle Paul has to say on this subject.


Acts 4


12: "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."


And so, this is the reason why God had Noah build the Ark with only the one door.  To find refuge and safety one had to enter by that one door.
There is no "human latch" on the inside of the door.  God shuts it!  
God sealed the door to the Ark after He shut it.  


You can apply this to our salvation experience today.  
Once you "enter in," who seals your salvation?  God does!


II Corinthians 1


21: Now He (God) who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us in God,


22: who also (What?) sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a (What?) pledge (Or down payment, if you will).


And:


Ephesians 1


13: In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel, (Not "a" gospel, as if there were more than one, but "the" gospel because there is only one) of your salvation - having also believed, (Now that's past tense) you were (here it is again) sealed (Where?) in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.

Salvation is such an important topic and that's why I've decided to park on this for a time.  Christiandom has really muddied these waters so to speak.  
Today there is so much argument and controversy in the church regarding Eternal Salvation.  Why, some actually teach that your salvation can be lost.  
It's there one moment; and then poof, it's gone. 

Others teach that salvation is much like a prize to be won.  They present a list of dos and don'ts to their people and then say, "Here do this and don't do that.  
If you can manage to do all these things, you just might get to heaven." 

I'm sorry...might get to heaven?  
Wouldn't you like to know you're going to heaven. 


There's no need for confusion.  The Bible gives very clear instructions about what must be done in order to be saved.  And once you are saved, your salvation cannot be lost.  


Ask yourselves these two questions.

1) Was Noah and all those who chose to go into the Ark safe and secure?
2) Is the shed blood of Jesus Christ sufficient to take us through times of testing and in that day of final judgment which is to come?

The answer is YES.   Remember what I'm trying to show you.  

God shut the door of the Ark, sealing all those inside, and guarantying their safety.  The scenario is much the same for us today who are saved by faith plus nothing.  God did all that needed to be done.  Once you believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Scriptures, not only are you saved, but your salvation is SECURE.  
(REF: I Corinthians 15:1-4)


Salvation is eternal.  That's what this book says.  It's not my idea.

If someone is telling you otherwise, I suggest you walk away from there.


But, let's go to the book; and what a promise!  Why?  Because God cannot lie.
If you believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and I trust that you do, then we have to rest on the fact that if God said it that settles it.
Taking God at His word is the definition of FAITH.


Romans 8


1a: Therefore, there is now (That's present tense) no condemnation for those who are (Where?) in Christ Jesus.  


This is a conditional statement.  It does not cover the entire human race, but only those who are in Christ Jesus.  How is that done?  By faith plus nothing.
That promise comes from God folks.

Remember, Noah and his family had to "enter into" the Ark of Safety to be saved.  In like manner, today a person must "enter into" a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved.


Here's an extra.  Some Bible translations have added a few words to the text above (ROM 8:1) that were not in the original manuscript.  These words don't necessarily harm the verse; but they were added by the Bible translators.  
These words are: "...who walked not after the flesh but after the Spirit,"

And that's free for nothing.  Just thought you would like to know.
When you come across an italicized word or group of words in Scripture, please know that the word or words were added by the translators.  
They were not in the original manuscript. 



Romans 8:1 tells us that there is NOTHING God can bring against us in CONDEMNATION if were in Christ Jesus.
Nothing.  Why?  I'm glad you asked.


For the same reason that once Noah and his family went into the Ark, and the door was then shut by God, He sealed it.  The Ark and its inhabitants were then protected against the flood waters of judgment.  Nothing would harm them.


This is what the Bible is saying.  These are not my words.
If you are "in Christ Jesus" by faith in His shed blood, you are then saved and your salvation cannot be lost or stolen.


Follow me to Romans chapter six.


Romans 6


11: ...Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

More good news!  Those who are in Christ Jesus are ALIVE to God.


Turn to Hebrews chapter five.


Hebrews 5


8: Although He (Jesus Christ) was a Son, He learned obedience from things which He suffered.

9: And having been made perfect, He became to (How many?) all those who obey him the source of (What?) eternal salvation.

Eternal is eternal folks.  Once you are in Christ Jesus, through faith in His shed blood, His death, burial, and resurrection, all according to the Scriptures, you are then saved and your salvation cannot be lost.  Satan will try to convince you otherwise, but listen, truth is truth.  Will you believe God or the father of lies?


There is nothing God can bring against us who are in Christ Jesus. 

 
















 

You need to know something about shepherds and sheep before we continue with this allegory. The sheepfold is a pen where sheep are kept. The shepherd and the sheep entered this pen by a single door or entryway. Skip down to verse seven.

7: "So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I AM the door of the sheep."

And now let's read verse nine.

9: "I AM the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved..."

Of course, this statement by Jesus is conditional.
He or she who enters in must enter through Jesus Christ.

This important truth flies in the face of all those who teach there is something more or extra a person must do in order to realize salvation. But sadly it doesn't end there. They also teach that you must continue working or striving so that you don't lose your salvation. Preposterous.

People listen to this inaccurate teaching because it's human nature to think there is something we MUST do to obtain salvation. Listen, if our salvation depended on something/anything that we could do ask yourself this question. Why did Jesus have to suffer and then die? Think about it.

The sheepfold door is located at ground level. Therefore, it is accessible to everyone.
It was not located at some hard-to-reach site. In other words, you don't have to climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest sea, or walk over a bed of hot, burning coals barefoot to achieve it.
The door is right there in front of you. It always has been.

It's simple really, and yet so complex at the same time, but God did all that needed to be done. God did it for us all. That's how much He loves us...

When Jesus cried out from the cross, "It is finished," He meant what He said.
For anyone to come back and say, "No, there is something I must do" makes God out to be a liar.

Man cannot add one thing to the finished work of the cross. Oh, but they try.

Jesus said He alone is the door one enters to be saved.

John 14 6: Jesus said to him, (Jesus is speaking to Thomas the doubter) "I AM the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

The apostle Paul gives us the same instructions.

Acts 4 12: "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been (What?) given (Salvation is a gift from God. Now what is the definition of the word gift? It is something freely given and freely received. Once you offer to pay or do something in exchange for it; it is no longer a gift. Salvation cannot be earned) among men by which we must be saved."

Again, Paul writes in I Corinthians this statement for us believers.

I Corinthians 3

10: According to the grace of God which was
(What?) given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, (Paul speaks of laying the foundation) and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.

11: For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Christ Jesus.

And so this is the reason why God instructed Noah to build the Ark with only one door.
To find refuge one must enter by that one door.
There is no human latch on the inside of that door. God shuts it!
When that one door was shut by God, there was no possible way for anyone else to enter in.

I believe this is applicable to our salvation experience today.
Once you enter in, who seals it? God does. Read on.

II Corinthians 1 21: Now He (God) who establishes us with you (Where?) in Christ and anointed us in God.

22: who also (Watch this) sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a (What?) pledge (Or a promise).

There's more:

Ephesians 1 13: In Him, you also after listening to the message of truth, the gospel, (Not a gospel meaning there is more than one; but THE GOSPEL meaning there is but one) of your salvation - having also believed, (Now that's past tense) you were (Here it is again) sealed (Where?) in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.

There is so much argument and controversy in the church today regarding eternal salvation.
That's why I wanted to "park" on this subject for a time. There are those who preach that your salvation can be lost. Others, teach salvation is like a prize that may or may not be won.
Some preach that you have to constantly strive to achieve it and then keep it. They present a list of dos and don's to their people and say here, do this and do that. If you can manage to do all these things well, you just may get to heaven.

Excuse me. May get to heaven? Wouldn't you like to know for certain you're going to heaven? I would. That's why I teach my friends.

Now, I won't argue about such things. I'm willing to discuss them; and there is room for some disagreement. But on the subject of salvation; I will not bend. I go by what the Bibles says not by what man teaches. If what you are hearing does not line up with Scripture, leave it.

Ask yourselves:
1) Was Noah and all those inside the Ark of Safety secure?
2) Is the shed blood of Jesus Christ sufficient to take us through times of testing and in that day of final judgment which is to come?

Yes - and more!

Remember, what I'm trying to show you. God shut the door of the Ark, sealing all those inside, and guarantying their safety. It's the same scenario for those who are saved today through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ plus nothing. You cannot add one thing to it. God did all that needed to be done.

Once you believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jeusus Christ, not only are you saved, but your salvation is secure. (I Corinthians 15:1-4)

I'd like to start with Romans chapter eight. What a chapter and what a promise we all have here.
Why? Because God cannot lie. If you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and I trust that you do, then we have to rest on the fact that if God said it, that settles it!
There is no room for controversy.

Romans 8 1a: Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are (Where?) in Christ Jesus.

This is a conditional statement. It does not cover the entire human race as some teach; but only those who are in Christ Jesus. And that, my friends, is a promise from God.

Remember, Noah and his family had to "enter into" the Ark to be saved. All those outside the ark were lost. In like manner, when a person today "enters into" a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ you are saved through faith.

I think you should know that some Bible translations have added a few words to the text above that were not in the original manuscript. They don't necessarily harm the text in any way, but these next words were added by the translators. These words are: "...who walked not after the flesh but after the Spirit."

Those words are not in the NASB. Just thought you might like to know.

Romans 8:1 inform us that there is NOTHING God can bring against us in CONDEMNATION if we're in Christ Jesus. Not a thing. Not one sin. Why? I'm glad you asked.

This is what the Bible says. These are not my words.
If you are in Christ Jesus, your salvation is secure.

Follow me to Romans chapter six.

Romans 6 11: ...Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Those who are in Christ Jesus are ALIVE to God. Turn to Hebrews chapter five.

Hebrews 5




8: Although He (Jesus Christ) was a Son, He learned obedience from things which He suffered.


9: And having been made perfect, he became to all those who obey Him (See. Once again, this is a condition statement) the source of (What does it say?) eternal salvation.
Eternal is eternal folks. It means what it says and says what it means. It means without end!
Once you are "in Christ Jesus" by faith in His shed blood, his substitutionary death on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection on the third day, according to the Scriptures, you are then saved and your salvation cannot be lost. Satan will try to convince you otherwise, but the truth will set you free. Will you believe God or will you believe the father of lies?

So, there is absolutely nothing God can bring against a believer in condemnation, if we are in Christ Jesus.






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