Defining God’s Grace Given to Noah

Genesis chapter 6 is the very first place the word grace is found in the Bible. To get a better understanding of what God means when He speaks about the word grace, we go to the Bible to find His definition and the way He manifested it to Noah. “Seek and you shall find”; so let’s knock on the door of the Word of God and see what He will show us.

If we go directly to its first usage, we see that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Instead of relying on what we may think this means, we should examine everything that’s occurring all around this statement to get a better view and the larger picture.

Genesis 6:7-8
“And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

We find the total destruction of man and we find Noah finding grace in the eyes of the LORD. Digging deeper we will discover more information about grace and how Noah obtained it and why the others didn’t.

Genesis 6:5-6
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.”

Let’s compare what’s being said about Noah and the rest of the men of the earth. We’ll also learn more about Noah through God’s testimony of him. The summary of God’s grace given to Noah can be found at the center of this page; and the conclusion of God’s grace given to Noah can be found at the bottom of this page.

Genesis 6:9
“These are the generations of Noah:
Noah was a just man
and perfect in his generations,
and Noah walked with God.”

Genesis 6:13
And God said unto Noah,
The end of all flesh is come before Me;
FOR the earth is filled with violence through them;
and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Genesis 6:17-22
“And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish My covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”

Genesis 7:1
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 7:3-5
“Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female;
to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

For yet seven days,
and I will cause it to rain upon the earth
forty days and forty nights;
and every living substance that I have made
will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.”

Genesis 7:21-23
And all flesh died that moved upon the earth,
both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast,
and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,
and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life,
of all that was in the dry land, died.

And every living substance was destroyed
which was upon the face of the ground,
both man, and cattle,
and the creeping things,
and the fowl of the heaven;
and they were destroyed from the earth:
and Noah only remained alive,
and they that were with him in the ark.

Genesis 8:1
And God remembered Noah,
and every living thing,
and all the cattle that was with him in the ark:
and God made a wind to pass over the earth,
and the waters asswaged;

Hebrews 11:7
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.

1Peter 3:20
Which sometime were disobedient,
when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah,
while the ark was a preparing,
wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

2Peter 2:5
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;

Ezekiel 14:14
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 14:20
Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it,
as I live, saith the Lord GOD,
they shall deliver neither son nor daughter;
they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

Summary of God’s grace given to Noah

Here are the reasons God gives for the destruction of the pre-flood world and the favor given to Noah in saving his life, the life of his wife, his sons and his daughters-in-law along with some of the animals:

These are the Decrees of God concerning the men and all the creatures left on the earth before the flood: What God Said:

“I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them.”

“The end of all flesh is come before Me;”

“…behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”

“And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.”

“…and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.”

What God Did

“And all flesh died that moved upon the earth.”

“…All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.”

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person”

These are the Decrees of God concerning Noah pre-flood: What God Said:

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

“But with thee will I establish My covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee…”

“…of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive…”

“Come thou and all thy house into the ark; FOR thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.”

“Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.”

What God Did:

“…and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”

And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;”

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person

The character of the pre-flood people of the earth:

their wickedness was great, – Genesis 6:5
every imagination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually – Genesis 6:5
the earth was corrupt – Genesis 6:11
the earth was filled with violence – Genesis 6:11
all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth -Genesis 6:12
were disobedient – 1 Peter 3:20
the ungodly – 2 Peter 2:5

The character of Noah:

Noah was a just man – Genesis 6:9
Noah was perfect in his generations -Genesis 6:9
Noah walked with God -Genesis 6:9
Noah did everything God commanded him to do -Genesis 6:22; 7:5
Noah was righteous -Genesis 7:1
Noah was faithful – Hebrews 11:7
Noah was a preacher of righteousness – 2Peter 2:5

The Conclusion

What God Saw pre-flood and His Reasons for what He Did:

“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; FOR the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”

“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.” “But with thee will I establish My covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.”

The Definition and Manifestation of God’s Grace given to Noah

God established His covenant with Noah. God kept Noah, his wife, his sons, his daughters-in-law, and two of every kind of animal (7 of the clean animals) alive in the midst of the total destruction of the world’s inhabitants.

God saved Noah from the condemnation of the wicked; the judgment of death and destruction (the wages of sin is death), the curse of the law. God extended Noah favor, mercy and forgiveness due to God the Father’s mercy.

God the Father’s Mercy

When God comes to us initially, we are completely spiritually dead in our own sin. God doesn’t come to us first because we have done any good or obeyed some of His laws. This is where I believe Titus 3:5 comes into this picture.

Not by our Works

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost…

“The wages of sin is death”, so even if we kept all God’s laws without ever sinning again after one sin; that would never erase the sin that was committed or the death penalty that came with that one sin.

The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant

This is why we need Jesus Christ and His perfect blood atonement to take away our sins. Our heavenly Father set up rules for how we obtain salvation. We know this is a fact because if there were no rules established by God to receive salvation; justification (the forgiveness of sins), would be given to everyone and everyone would have Jesus’ blood applied to them; but, we know this is not the case so what are the rules?

The Everlasting Covenant: the gospel of Jesus Christ

The rules are contained within God’s Everlasting Covenant, it’s the gospel message which was preached from the beginning to Adam; that a Savior would come to redeem fallen man. The Everlasting Covenant contains two different types of laws: 1. Sanctuary Laws and 2. Moral Laws. Under the Old Covenant, the sanctuary laws were based upon a symbolic animal sacrificial system that could never erase sins, but stood as a credit toward Jesus’ blood atonement. Under the New Covenant, we are no longer under the earthly sanctuary laws or the Levitical priesthood; but we are under the heavenly sanctuary laws and the priesthood of Melchisedec, Jesus Christ being our High Priest, our one Mediator between God and man, our Intercessor, our Redeemer, our King.

So in order to be accepted by God we must believe and obey Him. God rejected Cain and his offering because he was seeking justification (forgiveness) for his sins another way other than what God had instructed him to do; Cain was in rebellion and didn’t receive forgiveness at that moment according to scripture God rejected him. God continued to extend to Cain His merciful longsuffering, but Cain’s sins were not removed while he was in disobedience and wouldn’t have been until he followed God’s covenant.

So just like in Noah’s case; did the works actually save Noah directly? No, it was because of God the Father’s mercy.

Are our sins removed by God the Fathers mercy only and nothing else at all; if not why? The answer is no, it took Jesus Christ’s life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension into heaven.

Why isn’t it just by God the Father’s mercy alone without Jesus having to die? Because God’s decree to Adam in the Garden of Eden is that “the wages of sin is death” and this decree couldn’t be reversed (like Esther 8:8).

The death penalty had to be satisfied. If we satisfied it we could never have life again. The only way it could be satisfied for us and us to be able to still live would be to have a perfect sinless clean human substitute. We couldn’t redeem ourselves and another sinner couldn’t redeem another sinner because death cannot bring forth life. Only life can bring forth life.

Job 14:4
“Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.”

Walking with God: Keeping the Everlasting Covenant

Why did God the Father choose to only give Noah grace and not the rest of the pre-flood world? Did Noah’s works have any connection with his salvation? Yes they did. How and Why?

Is it because his own works erased his past sins? No. We know that Noah couldn’t be justified by his own works.

Is it because if he obeyed God’s laws God owed him salvation? No. I’ve already stated that no law kept can erase one sin, also we can never “earn salvation” because there is no law that can give us life; only the payment of the death penalty with a perfect substitute can do that.

Galatians 3:21
“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”

Noah inherited Salvation by Covenant Keeping

It is by God’s design and establishment God’s rules that we have an opportunity to receive salvation. It is called The Everlasting Covenant. God owes us nothing whether or not we keep His laws; but God has PROMISED that if we enter into His covenant by 1. Believing the gospel of Jesus Christ; 2. Confessing our past sins, 3. Repenting of those sins and put them away while continuing to do so, 4. Ask God’s forgiveness for those past sins: He says He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

How do we continue to walk with God like Noah did? We continue putting sin away; and do not sin. But if we fall and do sin, we confess, repent and ask forgiveness just like Jesus taught us to do in the Lord’s Prayer. Job understood these things as well. God said that there was no man like Job who feared and obeyed the LORD.

Job 1:8
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”

1John 2:1
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”

Proverbs 4:4
“He taught me also, and said unto me,
Let thine heart retain my words:
keep My commandments, and live.”

Proverbs 7:2
“Keep My commandments, and live;
and My law as the apple of thine eye.”

Deuteronomy 30:15
“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;”

Deuteronomy 30:19
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you,
that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”

Proverbs 12:28
“In the way of righteousness is life;
and in the pathway thereof there is no death.”

Proverbs 13:14
“The law of the wise is a fountain of life,
to depart from the snares of death.”

Proverbs 18:21
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue:
and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Romans 8:6-7
“For to be carnally minded is death;
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:
for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.”

This means that the spiritual mind is subject to the law of God because we know that “the law is spiritual” (Romans 7:14).

Romans 7:25
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God;
but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Romans 8:13
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”

Romans 8:10
“And if Christ be in you,
the body is dead because of sin;
but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”

Noah sinned just like all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. I believe that Noah was taught the plan of salvation and knew about God’s Everlasting Covenant. He made animal sacrifices to God when he left the ark. Since Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD we know God had forgiven his sins calling him just, righteous and perfect (meaning blameless without sin). God is so good and merciful.

So the question of how Noah’s faithful works had any bearing on his salvation goes back to God the Father’s requirements of keeping His Everlasting Covenant; both the sanctuary laws which included faith in the Messiah and His atoning blood; and all of God’s moral laws (Hebrews 11).

By keeping God’s covenant we become heirs of salvation. This is because the most important promise of His covenant is that He will be our God (our Father) and we will be His people (His children)

Salvation is through the inheritance of the Everlasting Covenant and not by works lest any man should boast as the Bible tells us clearly. Some of the Jews in Jesus day lost sight of this and stumbled at the law by forgetting this very essential principle. Romans 9:32 “Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;”

Noah demonstrated his faith in obeying God by keeping His Everlasting Covenant. This doesn’t mean that Noah never sinned again; it means that Noah put sin away like the example we are given of Job.

Noah’s faithful, righteous obedience in keeping God’s covenant is called “walking with God” even though he had sinned in the past just like we all have. This is the complete picture which I see and believe is completely accurate according to scripture.

Romans 3:20
“Therefore by the deeds of the law
there shall no flesh be justified in His sight:
for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Romans 3:23
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Galatians 2:16
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law,
but by the faith of Jesus Christ,
even we have believed in Jesus Christ,
that we might be justified by the faith of Christ,
and not by the works of the law:
for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

We know by Romans 3:20 and Galatians 2:16 that no one has ever been justified (received the forgiveness of sins) by the works, deeds of the law; the law only shows us what sin is and on the flip side it also shows us what righteousness is. The scriptures are very clear that there was never any law that was given to man that could give him life once he lost it through committing one sin (the wages of sin is death). It is only by the precious, sinless blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that anyone, Old or New Testament, can receive the forgiveness of sins and those sins be erased off of their heavenly records which we all will be judged by at the Final Judgment Day of the LORD.

Galatians 3:21
“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”

Hebrews 10:4
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”

Many would define grace as God’s unmerited favor. I believe that is a good definition; however when people state that definition, their conclusions as to what that means and what that looks like is most often not based on God’s definition of grace as we see from His example which He’s left us to learn from in Genesis chapters 6-9.

While it is true that everyone who has ever lived has sinned and come short of the glory of God including Noah, we also know that “no flesh”, which means no one, has ever been justified (received the forgiveness of sins) by the works, deeds of the law including Noah. But God has been very clear about why He destroyed the pre-flood world with the disobedient ungodly people living at that time. God has also been very clear as to why He chose to have favor, mercy and save Noah from that same destruction. God said it was because Noah had been righteous, just, perfect, walking with God in uncorrupt behavior being a godly man. How can we reconcile these seeming contradictions? It takes a complete understanding of sin and God’s Everlasting Covenant, the plan of salvation.

There are no contradictions in God’s word; there are only misunderstandings and lack of wisdom.

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

Given Romans 3:23 and Romans 3:9-18 it would appear that our actions do not weigh into God’s saving grace or our eternal salvation. After all we also have Titus 3:5 which says that it’s “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us …”

All of these scriptures are true and accurate, but many people don’t understand how all these scriptures fit together and are reconciled unless they understand God’s plan of salvation from the very beginning of creation, His Everlasting Covenant through the blood of Jesus Christ. The folks under the Old Covenant weren’t saved by the works of the law and neither are we; we are all saved by the mercy of God our Father and the blood of His Son Jesus Christ who lived a sinless life, died a sacrificial death, was buried and resurrected on the third day ascending up into the heavenly sanctuary to appear before His Father to obtain eternal redemption for all who are sanctified by the faith that is in Him; being obedient to that faith.

Acts 6:7
“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

While works and deeds of the law cannot save us directly because those things do not give us redemption or life; only a perfect sinless death substitute can pay that death penalty (paying our sin debt), God has still required our faithful godly obedience in keeping His holy covenant in order to inherit salvation and be called His children (which is only one of the promises of His covenant). This doesn’t mean that we will not ever sin again, but rather that we put sin away and if we do sin we follow God’s covenant by confessing, repenting and asking forgiveness of those sins as they occur. We also must forgive our debtors too according to the Lord’s Prayer.

I hope you will join me as I continue this study of God’s grace and His Everlasting Covenant in upcoming posts. Thank you for visiting our site. May God’s mercy and His blessings be with you.

Author: Our Father's Covenant

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