Letters from Neil | April 24th, 2020

Redemption AZ / May 31, 2020
covid-19, salt

April 24, 2020

Good morning Salties and friends,

Please continue to pray for protection and healing for the admin staff at the church. We’re still dealing with sickness. Thanks, now back to Genesis 6.

In the rest of verse 18 through verse 21 God indicates exactly who and what are to enter the ark to be saved. He is preserving His creation of specific humans, animals and even food. I believe this is a picture of the definitive redemption in Christ. According to Rev 5:9 only some from every tribe, language, people and nation were ransomed by His blood. In mercy, God planned a covenant, provided an ark and secured the salvation of at least some, who if left to themselves would have perished along with the rest.

These verses also demonstrate the principle of sanctification. Verse 19 says Noah shall bring two of every sort of animal into the ark while verse 20 says two of every sort shall come in to you. Noah’s work and God’s power get the animals into the ark. Philippians 2:12-13 demonstrate that our wills and our actions are the very arenas where God’s power is working to sanctify us (see also 1 Corinthians 6:11). The Westminster shorter catechism says “sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.”

Let’s remember that God is the creator of everything in this amazing universe. He could have spoken a word and the perfect ark would have been sitting on Noah’s lawn ready to sail. But God stirs us to use our energy and talent to accomplish His purposes. In Philippians 2:12-13 Paul is emphasizing both God’s part and our part in sanctification without trying to rationally harmonize the two. He just simply states both truths; the believers’ part in v12 and God’s part in v13 (see also 1 Corinthians 15:10.) God’s divine grace in his life didn’t make Paul lazy, rather he worked even harder to serve.

In these times of physical isolation, it’s harder to work out our salvation but God’s gracious work in our hearts goes on by the power of His Spirit, so let’s continue to look for ways to “love our neighbors.”

In Christ’s love, Neil