[This sermon was preached during a Family Worship Service, which included young children.]
Here we are in our trek through Genesis, beginning chapter 7. But first, pop quiz: What’s Genesis 1-6 about?
You might answer creation, sin, God, or humanity; which are all arguably right. But what if I told you Genesis 1-6 is mainly about God talking?
- God’s speech is specifically mentioned nearly 30 times in just these six chapters
- It’s mentioned 13 times during the creation account, and it’s featured as God’s means of creation (“And God said, ‘Let there be ____.”).
- It’s mentioned 15 times during the fall account, and it’s featured as God’s means of cursing (“The LORD God said to the serpent… to the woman… to Adam…”).
Of course, any story will use repeated phrases like “Suchandsuch said”. But in Genesis 1-6, we see God’s words doing things that words can’t usually do. He uses his words to create the universe, curse sinners, and save people.
Noah was righteous, blameless, and close to God. What did this look like? The main example of Noah’s virtue is his response to God’s spoken word.
- “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22).
- “And Noah did all that he LORD had commanded him” (Genesis 7:5).
Others in Genesis rejected God’s spoken word.
- The Serpent tempted Eve to question it. (“Did God actually say…”)
- Eve and Adam ate the fruit God told them not to eat.
- Cain rejected God’s counsel and murdered his brother.
Of course Eve, Adam, Cain, and Noah lived long lives and did many things. But Based on what’s included in the Bible, the most important thing about them was how they responded to God’s words. Because God still speaks, the most important thing about each of us is how we respond to his words.
God Still Speaks
God still speaks in three ways:
- Scripture: God’s word written down by prophets. We ‘hear’ it by listening to and reading it.
- Son: God’s word made human. We ‘hear’ it by believing the good new so Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
- Spirit: God’s word made alive to us today. We ‘hear’ it by conviction (when the Spirit makes us feel bad about our sin) and illumination (when the Spirit opens our eyes to the Bible and the Gospel).
God still speaks to us. The most important thing about your life is not your looks, you accomplishments, your family, or anything else like that. It’s how you respond to God’s words.
Ask yourself, are you like Eve, Adam, and Cain; or are you like Noah? Are you ignoring or rejecting God’s words; or are you doing everything he commands?
[These are designed for use in our weekly small groups, but can be helpful for personal reflection, dinner table discussion, or personal discipleship relationships as well. Small group leaders are encouraged to select the three questions they feel will be most helpful for their groups, rather than attempting to discuss them all.]
Trusting and Following Jesus
- Read John 1:1 and 14. How would you explain these strange verses to a non-believer?
- Noah “did all that the LORD had commanded him” (Genesis 7:5). This sort of obedience is still central for God’s people today. Read Matthew 7:24-27, John 14:15, and James 1:22-25.
- On a scale of 1-5, how are you doing with doing Jesus’ words, building your house on the rock, keeping Jesus’ commandments, being a doer of the word who acts? Why did you answer how you did?
- What is one concrete step you will take toward following Jesus by obeying his words?
Loving God and People
- Work together to find all the verses in Genesis 1-6 that mention God speaking.
- Looking at these verses, what all did God do through his words in Genesis 1-6?
- What does this tell us about God?
- How does this effect the way we worship him?
Evangelizing and Making Disciples
- Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. List all the ways we as a church use God’s word for teaching, reproof, correction, and training.
- Which of these ways is most profitable for you personally? Which is most profitable for us as a church?
- How can we encourage more of our people to participate in our church’s ministry of God’s word?