“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
What Is Living by Faith?
God tells us that Noah became an heir of righteousness who did righteous work and left a legacy of righteousness. Noah’s faith was to trust God’s words utterly and to believe in the invisible God. Trusting and obeying God’s words is faith. Therefore, Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
Noah believed what God said to him, and prepared an ark being warned of things not yet seen. During the time of Noah’s days on earth the ways of people were cruel and violent. Just like the survival of the fittest, the strong devoured and extorted the weak. There was no law, and there was no such thing as protecting the weak. Only the strong could survive. The world reached to the point where violence was so great that people couldn’t survive. Finally God warned them that He would sweep the world away with water and judge them. God said to Noah, “Make an ark for yourself and your family. Go into the ark. I will then destroy the world with water but you will be safe.” So Noah obeyed God and built the ark according to Gods plans.
As you know, an ark is a large wooden container. God said, “Make an ark and go into it.” Being delivered from your sins is similar to this. Noah prepared an ark, being warned about things yet to be seen, so he could save his family and the animals on the earth. Because of his obedience Noah became an heir of righteousness. When we look at his life, we can learn how to trust God and to follow Him. The Bible says that Noah trusted in the invisible God, and did everything according to His word out of fear and respect.
The Bible is the record of people who lived by faith in God. In this age, it is impossible to watch over one’s heart or live by faith without having faith. How can anyone live without faith in God? How can we live by faith when the virtues, morals, and the yardstick of the world are changing? People who live by faith live like Noah did. Noah was a human being just like us, but he trusted the invisible God purely based on what God told him. Genuine faith is to believe in God just as if you are seeing Him, and to believe that He is alive and accomplishes His will.
God told us that this time He would destroy this world with fire, and if we are people who live by faith, we must believe that His words will come true. We also need to prepare an ‘ark’ by faith just like Noah did. Living a life of faith means to trust the invisible God and put our faith in His words and live accordingly to them. The Bible says that Noah did everything according to what God told him. God said to Noah, “Bring two of every sort of animals and I will keep them alive,” and he obeyed. Know this; the times we are living right now is as wicked as the time of Noah.
We Are Living the Life of Noah
Even though we can’t see God with our physical eyes, we follow Him by faith as Noah did, for we believe that He exists and His words are the truth; and what He said will indeed come true. Trusting in God’s righteousness is like this. The conclusion of the matter is, ‘faith is to trust, follow God’s word and to live an obedient life towards God’s word just as Noah did’. ‘Faith is to live like Noah. It is to live like Abraham. It is to trust God as Abraham and Noah did. Faith is just like that.’ Do you understand? In fact, faith is assurance. Being sure of what is invisible is… faith.
Since we are human beings, we have weaknesses in living a life of faith. But those who truly believe in God distance themselves from those who do not believe in the righteousness of God. The Bible says Noah prepared an ark. We shouldn’t interpret his behavior literally, but rather, have the same faith he had. “Whoever trusts the invisible God and follows His Word belongs to God’s household. Who is our family? Aren’t those who are truly born again of the gospel of the water and the Spirit our brothers and sisters?” Family means not only our physical family but also our spiritual family who are united with the Church of God, and who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We are truly God’s family if we live by the faith in God. Do you all have physical families? Yes? Looking at them, if you truly lived by faith, whose side would you take, your physical family, or your spiritual family? In such a situation, living by faith is to stand on God’s side. A man who lives by faith lives like Noah did. He trusts in God as Abraham did.
Therefore, a life of faith is living like Noah. It is also living like Abraham who followed God’s word. It is also living like Isaac who obeyed God. Living by faith is living the same kind of life that our forefathers of faith had lived. This is how we should live, do you agree? One thing to always remember is, although it is okay to have weaknesses, we should be careful not to do anything harmful to the Church of God because of our weaknesses.
You all must know that we all have weaknesses. I have an older brother who will not accept the word of God even as I tried to show him the truth in Gods Word. But even so, I still keep doing my best to share as much as I can when the opportunities present themselves. He does not oppose me in person, but apposes God’s word by rejecting the righteousness of God. That is why I keep praying and exhorting to him to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But the reality is, because I truly believe in the righteousness of God, I cannot live in unison with my brother. On the other hand however, if I did not believe in God’s righteousness, I could be united with him regarding worldly things.
Like this, you cannot be united with your physical family if you truly believe in God’s righteousness and they don’t. Even though they are your flesh and blood family, you cannot be in union with them. The reason is crystal clear; their belief is completely different from our beliefs. Again, living by faith means to live for the righteousness of God. Out of the fear of God and His Words, Noah built the ark, stored food in it, and took live animals into it also just as God had told him. God said then He was going to destroy the world by flooding it with water due to man’s absolute wickedness. But today God says He will, this time, burn the world up completely. So like Noah, He is warning us to prepare for our spiritual salvation. God told Noah to prepare an ark for his family, the people, and all the animals. And so Noah obeyed God and prepared the ark. And by him, doing this by faith, he spread new seeds of life in the world.
The same thing holds true for us also. Just as Noah built an ark by faith, we too, by faith, build the ark by sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit with people everywhere. We are bringing many people into the ark by doing this. People with such faith live a life that is pleasing to God. They do not necessarily live like monks who supposedly have great knowledge of God’s word while chanting, or fasting and praying all day long, but they live their lives by faith, just like Noah and Abraham did. And by faith we preach to the world this perfect gospel of the water and the Spirit that saves perfectly.
We Are Building Arks All Over the World
God told Noah to take enough food for him and his family, and Noah obeyed God. In the same way, we are storing food for ourselves by faith. We do so by publishing print and electronic media. A lot of people feed on the bread of life through our publications. The life of faith in the Lord is reflected here. This is the way one lives by faith. Faith is seeing what is invisible and living as if it were real. Faith can see what our physical eyes cannot see.
In the eyes of a man of faith even the destruction of the world becomes vivid to him. This is what spiritual faith enables us to do. In the world of faith, and spirituality, we are experts in preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. At this moment we are living by faith. Noah wasn’t the only one who lived by faith, for we also, like him, live by faith in God. Do you agree, or is your thinking different, saying, “we have no choice but to do this?” Are you by chance thinking along the lines that ‘If I could succeed in the world, I would have already left? But I remain here because I can’t do well out there?’ If you are at all thinking this way then you are indeed not living by faith. You need to correct your crooked mind and heart.
By exercising your faith in God, discard your carnal thoughts and testify boldly, “I may be welcomed, and be successful in the world, but I willingly suffer along with God’s people who are preaching the righteousness of God. It is right to live for the kingdom of God. This is why I reside in the Church of God. It is right to live like Moses.” You should make up your mind and continue to live by faith in the righteousness of God. There is a huge difference between serving God by faith and serving God reluctantly or superficially. Walking in faith is only possible when we trust God, even though He is invisible.
Some saints in the church who have their own businesses sell their products because they believe that their products are profitable. ‘Doing such and such will bring me this much profit’; this is what they think when they run their businesses. That is basically faith in action. We do everything assuming the outcome by faith, not because we have no other choice but to do it. Isn’t that true? We do everything by faith.
With this same mind set we should do our job in the Church, reminding ourselves that our work will help spread the gospel even more, and help people receive salvation from their sins. Even when you cook and do the dishes, do it by faith, saying, to yourself, “because I cook, and do the dishes for the saints, they can renew their strength to work even more so that people can receive remission of their sins.” Everything we do, we do by faith. Everything else we do apart from faith in God…is sin. The Bible says, “whatever is not from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).”
The Apostle Paul said in his Epistle that whatever is not from faith is sin. We all are people who live by faith. We do one thing after another by faith. Do you know the gospel song that goes something like this, “Until the day I come to the end of my life’s journey, Jesus led me all the way.” Walking in faith is doing it step by step, and by faith the work of God gets done. True faith is continuous action, staying active. It is right to live by faith since we trust in God. It is right to act by faith since we trust God. Dear brothers and sisters, we should take the dross away from our hearts. This is the way we can have faith, with a sincere heart. The Bible says, “Take away the dross from silver and it will go to the silversmith for jewelry (Proverb 25:4)”.
When we smelt silver, we see the dross in the silver. Our faith must be pure. You and I are people of faith who trust in God’s righteousness, and we should take away the dross, that is, anything that is not pure faith, away from our thoughts. Fleshly thoughts co-exist side by side with faith in our hearts. We should take such thoughts away from our hearts. All we need ever is faith.
A few years ago we started preparing to publish print and electronic media for the mission. We are doing it right now, but when did it really begin? It began fifteen years ago. With our physical eyes we couldn’t visualize just how the evangelism by the print media could be possible, but we visualized it by faith. But when the time came, it materialized just as we visualized it by faith, and it has been working ever since. That is working faith in action.
For this reason I am asking our brothers to pack my sermon tapes away securely when we move over into another building. These sermons are like a treasure trove for the soul. So we not only record the sermons on tape but we also video tape them. Those who don’t know what I was thinking might have thought I was a weirdo. I remember losing some tapes. Despite all the nagging to pack the tapes in well, the box was misplaced and couldn’t be found anywhere. We found a few boxes when we were remodeling our building in Injae. I bet there are useful things in there. I want you to take your time in going through what is in them. We need to rearrange the contents for later use.
I can’t ask you whether you have sins or not in your heart, because you have already received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and you no longer have sins. Your faith has grown and I need to preach to you on discipleship, whereas the people in the world need to hear my pure evangelical sermons. That is the reason why we need to transcribe my sermons recorded on those tapes and publish these evangelical sermons. We should be united in faith in God’s righteousness. Noah made the ark by faith, and by faith he stored food in it to feed his family and all the animals.
The life of faith we are living is not so easy. We are not living a mere religious life. Numerous people receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Isn’t it true? I hear that the climate in African countries, like that of Kenya, is nice all year round. Speaking about mission for African people; various missionaries built mission centers and lived comfortably. How is the situation these days? The climate has changed dramatically. There has been severe political turmoil in many African countries, resulting in many innocent people being killed. Many animals, including goats and cows are dying off due to the never ending droughts. But in Kenya an average of eight people receive the remission of sins every week. We also receive besides Kenya, emails from at least another eight people a week from across this continent, but that doesn’t mean that only that many people have come to Christ; we don’t know whether it’s eight hundred or eighty coming to Christ. Now is the best time to preach the gospel to them.
We preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to those who are dying in both body and in spirit. People confess that after reading our books, they have come to know and believe that the Lord has blotted out their sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and that He has become their Savior. In their eyes, we are the ‘Noah’s. We are all the ‘Abrahams’ and ‘Noah’s’. For this, they always thank us. They write in their letters; “May God bless your mission organization and Rev. Paul C. Jong.” The letters are not just written to me but to all of us. If they pray for Gods blessings, we will all benefit from their prayers. However, if they should curse us, then they will be cursed.
We are the people of faith. We are the Abrahams, and the Noahs, and the people of faith. I believe you are just like our forefathers of faith. You are God’s workers, who support the evangelical ministry of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, after receiving the remission of sins, by having faith in this perfect gospel. There is no one more precious than you. I think of myself in this way before God. We are all precious in the sight of God. We are precious because we are living by faith in the righteousness of God.
Through the gospel of the water and the Spirit we preach, people receive the remission of sins, and gain new life. We are now living by faith in God and in His righteousness. We will keep running the race of our faith in the presence of God. We must understand how rewarding and precious it is to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You should keep in mind just how valuable your work really is. Only when we do this can we keep our pride in our faith, and keep on walking in faith. I pray God will bless us in both body and in spirit.