LTRP Note: With the release of the Hollywood movie Noah and its blasphemous representation of God’s truth as told in the Bible and an outright attack on Bible-believing Christians, coupled with emerging Christian figures (such as Mark Driscoll who misses the point while trying to make a point in his claims that Noah was not a righteous man1), the article below by Dr. Harry Ironside is timely.
Unfortunately, teachers like Mark Driscoll further confuse the Gospel message. In Driscoll’s so-called defense of the biblical account of Noah, he says that the Noah account was an example of God’s grace and that it had nothing to do with Noah’s righteousness or even Noah’s faith in God. And in fact, in a sermon by Mark Driscoll, he says that Noah was “bad all of the time” (see video clip below). This is a commonly believed and twisted view of God and salvation that says God chooses some and rejects others, based on nothing more than God’s own personal whim rather than on one’s faith or trust in God (“without faith it is impossible to please [God]”—Hebrews 11:6). In actuality, the story of Noah is about God saving the one man on the earth who had faith in God as Dr. Ironside explains below. And Scripture is very clear that God called Noah a righteous man.
In this day and age when not only the world but also Christian leaders are turning a blind eye to sin, looking for an excuse to sin (such as World Vision’s recent announcement that they were going to start hiring homosexual couples2), let us, as Bible-believing Christians, remember that while we know we are saved only by God’s grace and of no righteousness of our own, we are to strive to be holy (sanctified, set apart) as God is holy (1 Peter 1:16), forsaking the ways of the world to walk with Him. It is the life and righteousness of Christ in us that compels us and gives us the strength that we so desperately need.
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)
Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. (Genesis 6:9)
Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. (Genesis 6:22)
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. (Genesis 7:1)
The word of the Lord came again to me, saying, Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God. (Ezekiel 14:12-14)
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2 Peter 2:5)
By Dr. Harry Ironside
Salvation is beautifully illustrated away back in the Old Testament. You remember when God was about to bring the flood of judgment upon the earth, He commanded Noah to build an ark for the saving of his house. Then when the ark was all completed, God said to Him, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark.” When they entered the ark, they were safe there until the judgment was passed, until in God’s due time they came out upon a new earth.
Noah, like Abraham, is a very striking example of one who has been declared righteous because of his faith. It was faith that led him to prepare an ark for the saving of his house, when there seemed no evidence of a coming flood. It was faith that led him to obey God and enter that ark, with all his family, when commanded to do so by God. Inside the ark all were secure until the deluge was over. They were kept by omnipotent power. The ark bore all the brunt of the storm. Noah and his household were shut in by God, who had Himself closed the door. The same hand that shut them in shut all the unbelieving antediluvian world outside. The ark was a type of Christ. All who are in Christ are eternally secure.
Suppose when the ark was completed God had said, “Now, Noah, go and get eight large, strong spikes and drive them into the side of the ark.” Imagine Noah procuring these spikes and doing as commanded. Then when each spike was securely fastened, let us presume that God said, “Come thou and all thy house and take hold of these spikes, and all who hang on to the end of the flood will be saved.” How long do you think Noah and the rest would have been secure?
I can imagine each one taking hold of a spike—then the waters rising as the rain poured down. In a few minutes, they would have been soaked to the skin. Then think of the terrific strain on joints and muscles as the ark was lifted from the earth and began its perilous voyage through the raging waters. I think I hear Noah calling to his wife, “Mother, how is it going; all is well?”
And she calls back, “I’m holding on. Do pray for me that I may be able to hold out to the end!”
Soon poor Mrs. Ham would cry out, “It’s no use, can’t hang on any longer. I am going to backslide.” And she would let go and be swept away by the flood. How long do you suppose it would be before every one of them would be obliged to let go and so go down to death?
Thank God, that is not a true picture of His salvation. He is not calling men to hang on to Christ. But just as Noah entered into the ark and found there perfect security, so every believer is in Christ and saved for eternity. It is not a question of our ability to hang on, but of Christ’s ability to carry us safely through to the glory. He who has begun the good work in us will perfect it until the day of manifestation.
When God justifies a sinner, that sinner is in Christ; and there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. It is true that inside the ark order should prevail. I have no doubt that Noah and his family all sought to behave themselves inside the ark as those who owed everything to the matchless grace of God which had delivered them. So you and I should devote all our lives and powers to the glory of Him who has saved us. But our salvation does not depend upon our devotedness and faithfulness. It depends upon His faithfulness. “He is faithful who hath promised.”
(From Dr. Ironside’s book, Great Words of the Gospel – chapter 10 – public domain)
Video clip of Mark Driscoll saying Noah was not a righteous man:
(posting this video is not meant to be an endorsement of the source but rather posted for informational and research purposes)