Monday, September 26, 2016

The Heart of Romans Introduction Part 3

Have you ever been lost? Physically lost? You made a wrong turn, then another, and another until finally, you had no idea where you were. There’s a panic that overwhelms you. You can see all around but nothing is familiar. You begin to wander about with no clear sense of direction. What do you do? If you’re a guy you stop and ask for directions. Or just keep going and hoping.

Unless you have a GPS on your phone, finding someone who knows where you are is the surest way to solve your problem.

When God created man in His own likeness, according to His image, it wasn’t just a random expression of “well I got one that looks like me.’ But one whose heart beats like mine does. A child after your likeness is one, when others see them, they say, “That child reminds me so much of you.” There was something about Adam that showed something about God.

Adam was 130 when Seth was born. He and Eve had had other children after Cain and Able, but Seth was in Adam’s own likeness, according to his image (Gen 5:3). The likeness of God in Adam is now in Seth.

Quite possibly, Adam spent time with Seth, reliving the stories about creation and the garden, the fall and the expulsion. When Adam told of the joy of walking with God in the cool of the day, Seth’s heart began to beat faster, wanting that same fellowship. In the midst of a fallen world emerges one who desires to walk with God.

Passion, desire, is hard to pass on. It often fades. It can be seasonal or go dark for years. But to establish that passion as a legacy, it has to be cultivated; it has to be nurtured; it has to be responded to; it has to be demonstrated. Passion for God becomes a defining characteristic of who we are as believers. Seth represented such a man.

So it is no surprise that the Bible says: To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. (Gen 4:26)

Not just calling out His name but calling on His name, believing in all that name represents, expecting when he calls out, something happens.

And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered. (Joel 2:32)


They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.’ (Zech 13:9)

Calling out to God releases His grace which opens for us the door of Heaven drawing us in and granting us the privilege of standing before the very throne of Heaven confident we are children of God.
In the Garden God called out to Adam and Eve. Out of the Garden, men and women must call out to God.

Five generations later: Enoch – Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Gen 5:24)

From calling we move back into walking. Remember the original design, God’s intentions: Man would walk with Him in relationship and fellowship. The memory of that privilege was being passed down from one generation to another.

Jacob blessed Joseph, and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day…bless the boys. (Gen 48:15)

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; (1 Jn 1:6)

As Adam represented God’s intention for man in the Garden, Enoch represented God’s intention for man outside of the Garden. Like stepping into a narrow stream, Enoch stepped back into the flow of God’s intentions.

There has always been a remnant that follows a narrow path throughout history. The vast majority choose the broad road that leads to destruction. Out of that vast majority, a remnant chooses to walk with God. Enoch chose the narrow path. Enoch walked with God.

We have calling and waking—then comes Noah and the flood. Remember how God cursed the ground in response to Adam and Eve’s sin?
Now Lamech had a son and called his name Noah, saying, "This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed." (Gen 5:29)

Why would Lamech think that? Perhaps those who called out to God, who walked with God, who fellowshipped with God, also gained insight from God. Something was up and God was about to step back into the plight of the earth. God was giving them a heads up. Somehow Lamech knew Noah would be the one through whom God would cleanse the earth and remove the curse. It is unlikely he understood the means by which God would accomplish that.

Gen 6:1-2
Sons of God – angels?
But Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (Matt 22:29-30)
            Angels are not reproducible beings.
            Adam came from God. Son of God
            Eve came from Adam. Daughter of man
For a man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man…though neither is independent from the other. (1 Cor 11:7-8)

And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:26-27)

Vs. 3 – Strive: shield man from My wrath
Judgment will happen in 120 years

Vs. 4 Nephilim – not a race but a category of men who were known for their might, strength, and size. Reference to them as giants later.

There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight." (Num 13:33)

Nephilim were mighty men, victorious warriors, men of renown – of reputation. Perhaps they were like guardians or served as peace-keepers—some structure of law and order. And maybe the reference is…things were so bad even they couldn’t stop the disintegration of society.
But they were not the bi-product of the sons of God and daughters of man.

Vs. 5: Instead of righteousness begetting righteousness, unrighteousness was begetting unrighteousness.

Cf: 11-12

Without righteous, left to themselves, men will choose evil over good. Without the attitude indicator, the plane is going to crash.

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. (Prov 4:23)

Without pure hearts, the impurity within the heart rules. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. (Matt 15:19)

Transgression speaks [calls out] to the ungodly within his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. (Ps 36:1)

Where there is no vision the people are unrestrained [perish]. Prov 29:18

Vision of what? Holiness of God, Almightiness of God, Sovereignty of God, Goodness of God.

When there is no fear of God there is no fear of rebelling against God.
Vs. 6: sorry – to comfort oneself
Was God sorry for the decision to create?
Did He regret He ever made man?
Did He not expect this to happen?
He was pained by man’s response and what He would have to do to reconcile it.

Grieved: King David has a son named Absalom who wanted to take away the kingdom from his father. He was killed in battle.  The king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you!" (2 Sam 18:33)

Absalom had turned against his father. David’s son had become his enemy. But David loved Absalom. His death hurt David so much he wished he had died instead of his son.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, [ones in opposition to God’s intentions] Christ died for us. For while we were enemies [those who have turned against God] we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son... (Rom 5:10)

Never think God was a detached observer in Heaven. He was a grieving Father, whose Son would eventually die in order to reconcile people back to Himself.

Vs. 7 – sorry – consoled

Vs. 8 – but Noah found favor—to bend or stoop – coming down to the level of our need. Word for Grace in OT.

Gen 6:9 – Noah walked with God

In a world of crooked lines, Noah walks as a straight line.
In a world where everyone went the broad way, Noah took the narrow path.

Why did God choose Noah? Good boat builder? Great with animals? Young and vibrant? Noah was a man of faith who walked with God. To Noah, God had applied favor, grace, and thereby declared him right with Him. Therefore, Noah was righteous, not because he built a big boat, but because he walked with God with clean hands and a pure heart, and one other thing…

Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did. (Gen 6:22)

He believed and acted on that belief.

Precedents are all set:
God’s intention is for people:
·         to call out to Him for salvation,
·         walk with Him in fellowship,
·         and live by faith, conforming to His plans, trusting Him for the outcome.
Connect the dots in your life and you’ll find that’s how the Lord brought you to Himself. He invited you into a forever relationship with Him and you said, “Yes.”

And if you haven’t yet taken Him up on His offer…

TAKEAWAYS are more what you could literally takeaway today. A forever relationship with God

1.      A – Accept what God has said is true and what Jesus did is enough.
2.     B – Believe that He is inviting you to respond.

3.      C – Call out to Him for salvation.

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