God is Pro-Life (Gen 9:1-7)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

We have to remember that God is the God of eternity, and if the study of Genesis has shown us anything it is that the problems we face today as sinners have their root at the introduction of sin in the Garden, and the resultant curse, but that there is hope — eternal hope — found in fearing the LORD, trusting in the LORD, which necessarily entails obeying His commandments.

We’ve also seen what happens when men don’t obey God’s commandments, when they don’t fear Him, trust in Him. Most recently, we’ve seen the entire population of earth — with the exception of eight faithful men and women, represented by the head of the family, Noah — the entire population of the earth blotted out, washed away by a global, catastrophic Flood. But hope came at the end of the Flood. In chapter eight that the waters subsided, Noah and his family got off the ark, and the first thing he did was worship the LORD. The old world was dead, but by the grace and mercy of God he, his wife, his sons, and their wives had their lives preserved to forge humanity’s way — under God — in a new world. Noah makes an altar and sacrifices clean animals. All of this is pleasing to God. He smells the soothing aroma.

And then curiously, in 8:21, He says to Himself, not others, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.” He says this to Himself in chapter eight. But now, as chapter nine begins, He will once again speak to man, and specifically to Noah. We pick up in Genesis 9:1: Continue reading God is Pro-Life (Gen 9:1-7)

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On Kim Davis and submitting to governmental authorities: An open letter to Southern Baptist pastor Russell Williams

Dear Pastor Williams,

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 2.42.42 PMYou don’t know me and we’re not Facebook friends, although it would appear we have one mutual Facebook friend. But like you, I am the pastor of a Southern Baptist church and today I came across your post on the Kim Davis situation — as of the time of this writing at 65,324 shares. Since you, in the office of pastor, asked your audience to allow you to weigh in on what is going on, as a fellow pastor I ask you and anyone reading this to consider my response to what you have written.

You write:

First: This is not a case of the government forcing anyone to violate their religious belief. She is free to quit her job. If she quits her job to honor God surely God would take care of her.

I’m not sure how someone in your position can write that with a straight face, given that the judge basically threw her in jail for contempt until she changed her mind. She was released, thankfully, in no small part due to public pressure, but you are naive if you do not think the government, in this case the judicial branch, was trying to force her to violate her religious belief.

Yes, of course she is free to quit her job. And for all who are in Christ God will not only “take care” of them, but reward them with an “inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away” (1 Pet 1:4).

But why should she quit her job, because really, what law has she broken? The constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was amended to prohibit marriage except between one man and one woman. That still stands, and those think five black-robed judges can make law — which is what they have attempted to do in Obergsfell v. Hodges — should remind themselves that legislatures make laws, and there is no law here that Kim Davis has broken. As for the argument the Supreme Court’s decision has overridden the Kentucky Constitution, one should read the tenth amendment to the United States Constitution, which states, “The powers not delegated by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it, to the States, are reserved to the States respectively.” When even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court says June’s decision was not at all a legal decision, the several states are more than justified in saying to the federal government, “Uh, no,” when told so-called “same-sex marriage” is now the law of the land. The Supreme Court can no sooner make laws than I can fly. And if you were to take a look at me you know that isn’t happening.

You wrote:

Second: This is not a case of someone trying to uphold the sanctity of marriage. If she wanted to uphold the sanctity of marriage she should not have been married four different times. If she is worried about her name being affixed to a marriage license that goes against a biblical definition of marriage, she should not have her name on the last three marriage licenses given to her.

First, the Kentucky Constitution doesn’t forbid second, third, and fourth marriages but it does prohibit so-called “same-sex marriages,” so legally this argument is invalid.

But more to the point, I’m not about to justify her re-marriages, but this is a personal attack against her whether than an interaction with the reasons for her refusal to submit to an ungodly and unjust court decision.

And this is where your Facebook post really goes off the rails…

You wrote:

Third: This seems to be a case of someone looking to cash in on the religious right. Churches all across the south will throw money at her to come and tell congregations how the evil American government put her in jail because of her faith in Jesus.

This is slander. Plain and simple. I mean, do you know for a fact she’s looking to cash in? I’m not talking about if she will. I mean, as you wrote this, do you know she’s looking to cash in? Do you have a list of churches lining up to green her pocketbook right now? If not, this is slander. You are ascribing evil motives to her and accusing local assemblies of believers of being accomplices, and you should repent of that.

What Kim Davis does from here is anyone’s guess, but it’s just plain sinful to insinuate she is going to use this to enrich herself before the fact.

You wrote:

This is why we are losing.

No. Rather, arguments like yours are, quite frankly, why it seems we’re losing. When Christians turn their knives on those willing to take a stand against ungodliness from the government and the unjust and unlawful actions of the government, that’s why it seems like we’re losing.

Except, we aren’t and we won’t. Praise the Lord His kingdom is not of this world, and when He returns in glory He will bring in everlasting righteousness, and that inheritance I mentioned earlier, which the apostle Peter wrote of, is reserved in heaven for all whom God has caused to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of dead. Though we and Kim Davis have been distressed by various trials now, we aren’t losing and won’t lose, because Jesus will be revealed in glory, and those who are His will still belong to Him (c.f. 1 Pet 1:1-9).

You wrote:

This is why people have such disdain for evangelicals.
Not because we disagree but because we don’t take the bible seriously. If ever there was a case of “he who is without sin cast the first stone”, this is it. If ever there was a “take the log out of your eye” moment, this is it.

Haven’t you cast a stone at Kim Davis here? Calling her wrong for her stand and then accusing her of using it to profit without any proof thereof?

Anyway, this is not why people have such a disdain for evangelicals. The unbelieving world disdains believers because of what Jesus said in John 15:18-21:

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but before you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.

Finally, you wrote:

We must stop looking to the government to make America a Christian utopia. Our kingdom is not of this world.
We must abandon all thoughts of fixing others and let Jesus fix us.
If we want sanctity of marriage then stop cheating, stop having affairs, stop looking at porn, stop getting divorces. That is the way for the church to stand up for the biblical definition of marriage, not by someone martyring their self-righteous self.

I agree with this up until the last clause, which is shameful for reasons I’ve already explained. Put down the log in your own eye.

This nation has never been a “Christian nation,” per se, and I have no expectations it ever will be, and quite frankly, it’s not my goal that it become one. The Lord’s kingdom is not of this world. We should expect to be hated, expect to be scorned, and to live with obedient faith as it relates to marriages all those things you wrote — stop cheating, stop affairs, stop looking at porn, stop getting divorces — amen and amen! But that doesn’t mean we have to obey unjust, ungodly laws. That doesn’t mean we have to say, “Please, sir, can I have another?” when the government whips us. And it certainly doesn’t mean we, as Christians, need to provide aid and comfort to those who hate God as they persecute someone who, as of two or three years ago from what I’ve read, is a sister in Christ (and yes, I’ve heard she attends a modalist church but not knowing her personally and lacking more information I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt).

I regret your post, and that the majority of the shares you have gotten are likely in agreement with you, judging by a few of the comments I saw. Know that this Southern Baptist pastor could not disagree more vehemently with your take on things, and when the government comes knocking on your door I hope you’ll show more backbone for the gospel of Jesus Christ and being His disciple than you have here.

I wish you well.


Matt Privett
Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church

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But God remembered Noah (Gen 8:1-22)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

Let’s consider Genesis 8:1-22…

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained; and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. The water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.

Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her [f]beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.

Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.

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. The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

In Genesis 6 there was the buildup to the Flood. In chapter seven the Flood came, along with the resultant destruction and death, a horror story of unspeakable gravity — God’s righteous, holy anger burning against sin and sinners, all that lived on the land being blotted out, but that which was in the ark, the instrument of salvation. And perhaps since the account of the Flood and the ark point so clearly to the salvation we find only in Jesus, many have tried to forget or explain away what is so clear in Genesis 6-9. As one commentator puts it, “In our modern age of scientific skepticism, the enormity of this great event of the past has been all but forgotten. Its testimony of the awfulness of sin and the reality of divine retribution is so disturbingly unwelcome that men have tried for ages somehow to explain it away and forget it.”

That is why in the last session so much attention was given to why this is not a myth, or a local flood, or a regional flood. It was a global catastrophe destroying all the earth and what lived on it. Continue reading But God remembered Noah (Gen 8:1-22)

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Can I trust my Bible?: Pitting Genesis 10-11 against Luke 3:36

200px-LeningradCodex_textHave you ever heard someone say there are errors in the Bible and so that’s why it should not be trusted? And have you ever heard someone give one of those alleged errors and not know how to respond to it? Well, we can trust the Bible we have. For that matter, we must trust the Bible we have because it is indeed the inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient word of God. But at the same time we need to know how to answer the objections of unbelievers and biblical skeptics. The text of Genesis 10 and 11 opens the door to one such objection. This article addresses how believers should deal with it.

This is what Genesis 10:24 says in the New American Standard Bible – 1995 Update (hereafter NASB):

Arpachshad became the father of Shelah; and Shelah became the father of Eber.

And this is what Genesis 11:12-13 says in the NASB:

Arpachshad lived thirty-five years, and became the father of Shelah; and Arpachshad lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Shelah, and he had other sons and daughters.

That seems straightforward enough… until you compare it with Luke 3:36. In the third chapter of Luke we read a lengthy genealogy which traces Jesus’ lineage as the Son of David all the way back past Abraham to Adam. And this is what Luke 3:35-36 says in the NASB — where we pick up the genealogy in progress:

the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, (bold emphasis added)

Our Luke texts add a name between Arpachshad and Shelah — Cainan — which is missing from Genesis 10 and 11. So why is that? And does it mean there is a mistake in the Bible? Continue reading Can I trust my Bible?: Pitting Genesis 10-11 against Luke 3:36

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The Death of the Old World (Gen 7:1-24)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

After three sessions in Genesis 6, in this study we finally move on to chapter seven. God had previously decreed His Spirit would not strive with man forever, because every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, so 120 years were given for man before he would be blotted out. During that 120 years God showed grace to Noah and told him to build the ark, because a flood that would wipe out everything was coming, but God would preserve Noah, his wife, his sons, their wives, and animals. He would save them from the judgment.

Well, tonight in Genesis 7, the judgment, the Flood comes. So read chapter seven…

Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.” Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him.

Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth. Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood. Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground, there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.

On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him.

Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.

This was the death of the old world. Continue reading The Death of the Old World (Gen 7:1-24)

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