Parallels Between the Ark and the Church

Kent Bailey

The theme of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is a dramatic revelation of God’s scheme of Redemption for fallen humanity. A careful study of the epistle of First Peter demonstrates not only the reality of such a plan, but also the magnificent greatness of such. This scheme of Redemption is so magnificently great that the Old Testament prophets diligently inquired of the salvation that has been offered unto us (1 Pet. 1:10). The scheme of Redemption is so magnificently great that it took centuries from the human participation of sin in the garden of Eden unto the coming of Christ bringing about his earthly ministry, his rejection of the masses, his suffering and death on the cross, his burial and victorious resurrection from the dead, and ascension to Heaven (1 Pet. 1:18-21).

This scheme of Redemption is so great that one is so saved by the blood of Christ in being begotten by the gospel of Christ to bring about a penitent faith that leads one to confess Christ and be baptized for the remission of one’s past sins. When one accomplishes such, one has purified his soul in obedience to the truth, being born again not of corruptible, but rather the incorruptible seed of the word of God which lives and abides forever (1 Pet. 1:22-23).

Regardless of the horrible sufferings one must endure, if one will remain faithful during the “trials of faith” one will receive the end of his faith, even the eternal salvation of his soul (1 Pet. 1:7-9). The traditional view that faith will be lost in sight is not consistent with the Biblical definition of the term faith, and is not in harmony with what the divine record teaches about such. The noun faith means confidence and the verbal equivalent believe means to confide, trust, or rely upon. Such inherent components of faith cannot cease. Following his resurrection from death, our Lord stated to Thomas, “because thou hast seen me thou hast believed” (John 20:29). The faith of Thomas was gained, rather than lost, in sight. Paul wrote, “have I not seen the Lord?” Seeing Christ did not result in his losing faith which afterward he mentioned in Second Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed.”

The element of faith does not end where knowledge begins—the more knowledge one develops, the greater faith one will have. In First Peter 1:9 the phrase, “end of your faith,” was not relating to the termination of such. While indeed the term, “end” (telos, NT Greek) is correctly defined as being that of termination in some instances; telos is also correctly defined as being “the end of which all things relate, the aim, the purpose.” In First Peter 1:9 the inspired writer used the term “end” with reference to the end result, purpose, or design not termination.

The magnificent greatness of salvation in Christ is depicted in First Peter chapter 3. When one considers the magnificent greatness of salvation who can ultimately harm us if we are true followers of Christ (1 Pet. 3:13)? If one suffers for the cause of truth rather than being focused on the temporal aspects of life in this world, one needs to be focused upon giving an adequate defense of his faith (3:15).

Our faith is anchored in the Lord God; not in humanity. We must be ready to give an answer (apologia, NT Greek). The term apologia is defined as a defense. We are to be ready to give a defense of the truth that inquires of a reason (derived from logos, NT Greek). According to Thayer (380-382), along with Arndt and Gingrich (478-480), this term has a variety of definitions. The context of First Peter 3:15 points to that of being a ground, reason, or evidence of our hope and faith.

Not all suffering is pointless. Such is demonstrated in the ridicule and rejection of Noah and his preaching as well as in the vicarious sufferings of Christ on the cross for our salvation. The magnificent greatness of salvation is noted in the parallel regarding the ark and the church of Christ (1 Pet. 3:18-22). In noting a comparison in salvation from the great flood and in salvation that is found in Christ the parallels are striking!

In the days of Noah God authorized the construction of only one ark (Gen. 6:14). There were no life boats of “arks of your choice.” In the beginning of the gospel age Christ built only one true church (Matt. 16:18-19). He did not build a multiplicity of denominations and/or para-church institutions.

In the days of Noah God authorized the ark to be constructed out of only one type of wood—gopher wood (Gen. 6:14). When the one true church was established it was built out of those who had been purchased by the blood of Christ (Col. 1:13-14).

When Noah constructed the ark, God authorized only one door (Gen. 6:16). Christ’s way is the only entrance into his church (John 10:1-9).

On the inside of the ark there was only one family wearing one family name—that belonging to Noah (Heb. 11:7). The church of Christ is God’s one true family wearing the name of Christ (Eph. 3:14-15; Acts 11:26).

Noah and his family within the ark were saved from the evil sinful world by God using the great world-wide flood to transport them to a new life (Heb. 11:7). Those within the church of the Lord have been translated by Christ by means of baptism to a new life in him (1 Pet. 3:21).

All of those who were saved from the great flood were within the ark; all of those outside were lost and condemned (Gen. 6:17-22). All of those who are saved in Christ are within the church of Christ; those accountable outside are lost (Acts 2:47; 20:28; Col. 1:13-18; Eph. 1:22-23; 2 Thess. 1:7-10). God invited all individuals in Noah’s day to escape condemnation in the flood (Gen. 7:1).

God invites all sinners today to escape condemnation of the Judgment by coming into Christ (Rev. 22:17). Do not neglect, reject, or despise God’s offer of salvation in Christ.

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