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320px-Domenico_Morelli_Noahs_DankgebetAll are invited to midweek study during the month of May.

We will be meeting each Wednesday  at 6:00 PM at the Pastor’s home to answer common questions the universal deluge which occurred in the days of Noah.

It would be helpful to read the narrative in Genesis 5-10 in preparation for the class.

The schedule and outlines are below:

05/04/16  –  Did a global flood really happen?

Absolutely! As Bible believers, our first response to the events recorded in Genesis 5-10 must be this: Acknowledging their historicity

In order to make this easier, consider how many scriptures unapologetically assume the flood’s historicity:

Isaiah (Isaiah 54:7-10)
Jesus (Matt. 24:36-39)
Peter  (1 Peter 3:18-22)
Paul  (Hebrews 11:7)

To help further in this, consider the following rough chronology of events (year is dated B.C.):

02/10/2348 – The ark entered (7:1-9)
02/17/2348 – Flood waters came (7:10-11)
03/26/2348 – Flood waters ceased (7:12)
07/17/2348 – The ark beached (8:1-4)
10/01/2348 – Mountaintops seen (8:5)
11/11/2348 – Raven sent out (8:6-7)
11/18/2348 – Dove sent and returns (8:8-9)
11/25/2348 – Dove returns w/leaf (8:10-11)
12/02/2348 – Dove leaves permanently (8:12)
01/01/2347 – Ark uncovered, earth dry (8:13-14)
02/27/2347 – The ark emptied (8:15-19)

05/18/16  –  Who (or what) were the Nephilim?

Intro – The Nephilim (lit., “Fallen Ones”) were the main reason God sent the flood (Genesis 6:1-4).

Note – The translation “giants” is a result of influence from the Latin Vulgate’s term “gigantes” (c.f., Numbers 13).

Question – Who (or what) were they? Here are the views:

Option 1:  The hybrid offspring of fallen angels and human women which posed a genetic threat to man’s salvation. Support:

“Sons of God” is a title ascribed to Angels (Job 1:6)
Jude 6 affirms a serious angelic transgression
2 Peter 2:4-5 connects angelic sin to the flood
Noah’s purity (vs. 9) could refer to his DNA
Jewish fables (Book of Enoch, 6-7) fill in the blanks

Option 2: The reprobate children of Sethites and Cainites which posed a covenantal threat to salvation. Support:

Things reproduce according to their kind (Gen. 1:21-25)
Angels are a-sexual/non-reproductive beings (Matt. 22:30)
The event is introduced with a genealogy (Gen. 5)
The context emphasizes man’s sin (Gen. 6:3)
Men are called “Sons of God” (Matt. 5:9, Rom. 8:19)
“God” (Hebrew: elohim) means “mighty ones” (Ps. 82)
Other “men of renown” are human (Num. 16:1-2, Ez. 23:22-23)
Nephilim are not extinct (Num. 13:33). Where are they today?

05/25/16  –  How can scripture say God repented?

The theological truth: God is “Immutable” in his being and will (he does not change):

– Numbers 23:19
– Psalm 102:26-27
– Malachi 3:6
– James 1:17
– Hebrews 13:8

The question: How can Genesis 6:6-7 say “God repented” and what should we do with this seeming contradiction?

Wrong Solution # 1 – Many simply translate the Hebrew word “nacham” differently (e.g., relent, retract, etc). This helps, but only negligibly.

Wrong Solution # 2 – Some deny God’s immutability and subscribe to a doctrine called “Open Theism.”  This is just heresy.

Right Solution # 1 – Scripture accommodates its language to our capacity so that finite creatures might know their infinite Creator (i.e., anthropopathism).

Right Solution # 2 – God executes his unconditional decrees through conditional administrations. He remains fully immutable while we become fully responsible.

06/01/16  –  Who were (or are) the “spirits in prison”?

The Simple Lesson: Jesus and Noah were vindicated by God after bearing witness in a hostile world. We too should remain steadfast.

The Puzzling Illustration

1. Who are the spirits in prison?  Unbelievers who have died?  OT believers who have died?  Fallen Angels?

2. What exactly did Christ preach?  A second chance for salvation?  Completion of his redemptive work?  Final condemnation?

3. When did he preach? In the days of Noah?  Between his death resurrection?  After his resurrection?

The Plausible Interpretations

1. Christ preached to men in Hades after his death (i.e., announcing either salvation or judgment).

2. Christ preached to Noah’s contemporaries (who are now in hell) through Spirit-inspired preaching.

3. Christ proclaimed his victory over fallen angels before his resurrection and ascension.

06/08/16 – What does the flood have to do with baptism and salvation?

Errant Extreme # 1 – To reject any connection between baptism and salvation. This denies the plain reading of 1 Peter 3:21a.

Errant Extreme # 2 – To make the connection between baptism and salvation absolute. This denies the plain reading of 1 Peter 3:21b.

Proposed Answer – Baptism invites a person and/or family to make a saving  appeal to God that is reminiscent of Noah’s experience. It sounds something like this:

“Lord, I believe that you will pour out your wrath,
And I thank you that your grace has been revealed,
So I now pray that you would save my household,
By admitting us into the Ark of Christ’s church,
While showing mercy upon whom you will;
That we might pass safely through the waters,
And land our souls safely on heaven’s shore.”

06/15/16 – How is the flood connected to capital punishment?

Violence – Widespread violence had filled the earth and provoked God’s judgement (Genesis 6:5, 11-13).

Procreation – After the flood, God wanted the earth repopulated by his image-bearers (Genesis 1:28, 9:1).

Lifeblood – God asserts his absolute authority as the Lord of all living things (Genesis 9:2-5).

Justice – Those who shed man’s blood shall be executed by man (Gen. 9:5-6, Ex. 21:12, Deut. 19:11-13, Num. 35).

Perpetuity – This civil law predates Sinai and is explicitly re-affirmed in the NT (Romans 13:4, 1 Tim. 1:8-11).

06/22/16 – Will such a global catastrophe ever happen again?

Doomsday prognostication has become popular in modern science, politics, and entertainment: “The end is near!”

Scripture assures believers that the world will remain in stable condition until the second coming of Christ because of God’s Covenant with Creation (Genesis 8:20-9:17). Details:

A Covenant – Divine promise confirmed by a sign

The Sign – God’s retired “battle bow” hung in the sky

The Promise – Seasonal and celestial stability

Benefactors – All created things (man & beast)

This covenant will remain in tact until the last day when God washes the world clean once again with a fiery food of judgement (2 Peter 3:1-13).

PS – Some theologians refer to the universal benefits of this covenant as “common grace” (c.f., Matt. 5:43-45).

06/29/16 – What’s with the strange conclusion? 

Drunkenness? Nakedness? Cursing a grandson? And then Noah just dies? What kind of ending is that?!

1. It serves to remind us that the flood did not wash all sin away.

2. The reader is called to look for future redemption.This future redemption would still flow from the initial promise of Genesis 3:15 (i.e., salvation through a seed).

3. Through the flood (and this prophetic conclusion), God got history back on track and re-headed for redemption:

Canaan (“lowly” or “humiliated) would become the  Canaanite civilization and never be allowed to   establish world domination again.

Shem (“name” or “renown”) would enjoys God’s  electing grace. From Shem would come the  “Hebrew” clan and the rest is history…

Japheth (“enlarge”) would populate the world and  eventually be admitted into the tents of Shem (c.f.,  Genesis 10, Luke 10:1-24, Ephesians 2:11-13).