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April 24, 2018


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. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


1 Peter 3:20-21



There have been many messages preached on the ark pointing to it being the only source of deliverance for Noah and his family.  As is pointed out in our text, the ark paints for us a wonderful picture of the salvation of Jesus Christ.  There are so many parallels that the comparisons would certainly be endless.  We need to understand however that the ark was not really Jesus, it was just a picture of Jesus and the salvation that he offers.  Another factor that needs to be understood is that everyone who stepped inside that ark would one day walk out of it and eventually die.  Entering the ark did not guarantee Noah or any of his family members a place in heaven, only their faith in God which would come before walking into that ark would do that.


Baptism in our text is compared to the ark that Noah and his family entered.  Only a professing believer in God would dare walk into the ark, for there was no other reason to enter therein.  Remember, not a single drop of rain appeared until seven days after Noah’s family had entered the ark.  Saving faith produced the act, it was not the act that produced the salvation.


Therefore, just as the ark was a “picture” of the salvation of Jesus, so too is baptism a “picture” of our regeneration in Christ.  The ark provided a “kind” of salvation that was physical, and relative to this life (the inhabitants all died physically), but the “faith” of those in the ark would be that which produced spiritual salvation relative to eternal life.  It is in this manner, or “the like figure” in which baptism produces a “kind” of salvation relative to this life, in that it produces a “good conscience toward God.”  Obedience to God is always that which produces a good conscience, and a bad conscience is something we want to be avoid. Someone once said, “Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.”  Baptism does not “put away the filth (sins) of the flesh,” but it does save us from a guilty conscience caused by disobeying God.



Parting thought:


The ark did not “put away the filth of the flesh,” but Noah and his family would have been crazy not to have stepped into it when God gave them the commandment.  Likewise, baptism does not wash away our sins, but Christians are not wise when they refuse to step into the baptism waters commanded by God after their profession of faith.

Nothing can touch the Word of God. Not all the powers of earth and hell, men and devils combined, can ever move the Word of God. There it stands, in its own moral glory, in spite of all the assaults of the enemy, from age to age. 'For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.'“ ~C.H. Mackintosh