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Noah Blameless at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church     From Nothing but the Blood Audio
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. —Genesis 8

So in Eden, we saw immediately God indicating that blood was the way back—even if Adam and Eve weren’t able to discern it, then. And with Cain & Able, we saw God quickly showing that it was never the blood He wanted. There wasn’t an amount of blood that would reconcile God and humanity’s non-negotiables, but that there was a heart component to it.

Adam and Eve have another child, Seth, and humanity continues. Generation upon generation move forward. Some are good and some do evil. One of the three men who did not die (free Rooster eBook for the each of the first to name these men in the comments section below) is stuck in there, too. There were good men who walked with God. They were doing relationship with God in the hope that one day . . .

the non-negotiables could be overcome.

But humanity as a whole turned evil and judgment came even while Noah found favor, was righteous (blameless) and also walked with GodNoah found favor, was righteous (blameless) and also walked with God. If you don’t know the story, Noah is called to build an ark (he does), floods come and destroy all of mankind and Noah and his family are left as the only survivors on the planet. Creation is reset.

The interesting part of this story in terms of our discussion is that after a year at sea, the first thing Noah does upon leaving the ark is sacrifice every clean animal to God.

We’ve talked about how Moses isn’t coming for bit, so Noah is still under no requirement to provide a sacrifice, but this is new information. Noah was righteous and blameless. Judgment had just been visited on humanity for its sin. Shouldn’t Noah be back? Noah’s walking with God like Adam and Eve did. Why the sacrifice?

I believe this is God, not as urgently as the previous messages, but indicating to humanity (through this story) that even the blameless still fall short. Adam and Eve’s blood still course through Noah and despite his status (righteous and blameless), he (like me) can’t not sin.

This should provide us a comfort and a warning. Billy Graham has said that when he presents in heaven, he’s not going to say, “I’m Billy Graham here to come into heaven.” He’s going to say, “I’m with Jesus.” I haven't quoted this exactly, but if you’re not familiar, Billy Graham is the real deal. He’s the kind of preacher you always wished would represent Christians. It is a comfort to know that even Graham can’t earn into heaven. We all fall short.

But there’s a warning in this, too. How do you treat waiters? Have you ever introduced yourself to someone who works in the kitchen? Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is homeless? When you interact with folks that make less money than  you or that are there to serve you or that can never provide you anything, what is your first thought? Do you think there but for the grace go I, or how can I get my needs met, or what are they going to want from me? I don’t have this down. I struggle with it every day, but when I see that the distance between the greatest evil and the most righteous is measured in feet while God’s standard is still light years away (the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second, so a single light year is the distance light travels in an entire year—5.878 trillion miles), I can’t look upon another human and think anything other than that's me.

Noah reminds us that whether you’re at the front of the bus or the back, it’s not leaving the ground without life blood to cover it.

We’re only eight chapters into Genesis and God’s revealing the Gospel like crazy. Let those with ears to hear, hear. And those with eyes to see, see. And those with something to say, type it in the comments below. Hehehe.

I love you.                                                                                  

This is the sixth part in a multi-part post expanding on an exceptional talk Billy Graham gave at the University of Cambridge in 1955 with influences from Tim Keller's sermon series Christ: Our Treasury (The Book of Hebrews). To hear an overview of this material, consider listening to the original Nothing but the Blood audio, linked here (it'll stream from a mobile device), read all the posts to date by clicking #nothingbuttheblood, or hear the most recent version of the Nothing but the Blood talk by streaming it on the player, below. If you'd like to get these posts sent to you via email (and you're not already), click here to register and make sure to tell us that you're a Back Porch Friend.

The next in this series, Part 7. Abram Sees God Pivot Scripture is available by clicking here.

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