His faith produced his fear: his faith and his fear produced his obedience. Nothing in Noah is held up before us as an example, but that which grew out of his faith.
“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.”—Hebrews 11:7.
I. First, notice that in Noah’s case FAITH WAS THE FIRST PRINCIPLE. The text begins, “By faith Noah.” Noah believed what seemed highly improbable, if not absolutely impossible.
II. Secondly, FEAR WAS THE MOVING FORCE. Faith was the living principle, but fear was the moving power; for the text puts it, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear.” Faith molded him, but fear moved him. How was this? “I thought,” says one, “that perfect love casts out fear.” Yes, fear of a certain sort; but there is another fear which perfect love embraces and nourishes. Noah had no evil fear. He had not a servile fear: he was not afraid of God as a culprit is afraid of a judge, or a convict of the hangman. He knew whom he believed, and was persuaded that he had a favour towards him.
III. Thirdly, OBEDIENCE WAS THE GRACIOUS FRUIT. Faith and fear together led Noah to do as God commanded him. When fear is grafted upon faith, it brings forth good fruit, as in this case.
Noah obeyed the Lord exactly. How often does the Scripture say, “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he”! See again and again, “Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.” Those who have faith in God should show it by a holy fear, which makes them zealous to leave nothing undone which is commanded of the Lord, and to add nothing of will-worship to the perfect law of God. “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it;” was the wise word of the Virgin. Obey the Lord with all your mind and all your heart, in the way of faith, if you would find salvation. Prove that you have grace, by your accurate obedience.
IV. And now I come to my last point, upon which hear me patiently. RESULTS DID NOT FAIL TO COME. One hundred and twenty years preaching, and no converts remaining! One hundred and twenty years building a ship, and yet no water to float it! One hundred and twenty years warning people that God is about to destroy them, and yet no flood! Surely, the good man’s life is a failure. No doubt wise folks said of him, “He is a good old man, but he is uncharitable, and has become an alarmist.”
from the sermon "Noah’s Faith, Fear, Obedience, and Salvation" – Delivered on June 1st, 1890