These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. – Genesis 6:9-10
What would make him do that?!? You may have said that when you saw a friend vote for another party’s candidate. You may have wondered that when someone abandons the faith and lives a life of wanton hedonism. You might ask it in a different – perhaps judgmental way – when you see a celebrity conversion or a former gangbanger get religion on death row.
Motives are a slippery thing, and none of us have perfectly pure motives. We all slide one way or another in our hearts when it comes to obedience and faithfulness. But at the end of the day Christians resist temptation, go the extra mile, forgive others, or abandon evil pursuits because we believe God’s ways are pure and good.
There are certainly false motives to outward godliness. People will hide their unbelieving hearts with outward piety and surface godliness. But in the ambiance of godlessness and rebellions violence the only true foundation for righteousness is faith. We do what we do because we believe what we believe.
Abraham is the Father of faith. Noah is the father of righteousness. Abraham believed the LORD and it was counted to him as righteousness. Noah lived out his faith, resisting temptation, and following God’s ways, and walked with God. He obviously believed that God’s ways were good, right and salutary. His faith led him to that conclusion.
What conclusions is your faith leading you toward these days? Is there a relationship to be repaired? Is there an offense to forgive? Is there a restitution that needs to be made? Is there a sin to abandon? Is there a way of righteousness to which you need to be recommitted?
Righteous acts flow from believing hearts. Godly behavior springs from faith in God. The hymn writer, Paul Speratus puts it this way:
Faith clings to Jesus’ cross alone
And rests in him unceasing;
And by its fruits true faith is known,
With love and hope increasing.
For faith alone can justify;
Works serve our neighbor and supply
The proof that faith is living.
Let’s supply our neighbor with the proof of our faith in acts of love, mercy, obedience, and true godliness. Noah did that and saved his family from grave disaster by God’s grace.
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