The account of Noah in Genesis 6-8 is a beautiful story of salvation. Although all that breathed on the face of the earth, save the eight souls, perished, Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord,” for he was “a just man, perfect in his generations” (Genesis 6:8-9). There are many parallels we can find in Noah’s salvation and ours today.
First, the Hebrew writer tells us, “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” (Hebrews 11:7). Noah didn’t just believe in God, but he believed God enough to be moved with godly fear to obey God. Just like Noah, no man today can be saved without faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Such faith must be a faith that obeys, for God is “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Noah is an example of this, for he gave attention to complete obedience: “thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did” (Genesis 6:22). Just like Noah, no one can be saved today without faith that responds in obedience.
Second, just as God provided for only one ark of safety – one ark of the saved, if you will – so today there is one church. “There is one body…” (Ephesians 4:4). Just as only those in the ark, Noah and his family, were saved from destruction, so only those in the church are saved. The church is the saved: “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). In Acts 11:26, Barnabas and Saul assembled themselves with the church, and these were ones who had “believed and turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21), who were “added to the Lord” (Acts 11:24). No one today is saved outside the church, for the church IS the saved.
Third, consider how the divine record tells us of the ark having one door: “and set the door of the ark in its side” (Genesis 6:16). Just as the ark had one door of entrance, the kingdom of Christ, the church, has one door: “Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep….I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:7-9). Entrance into the kingdom is only by the door of Christ Jesus, and that entrance is also described this way by Paul: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The one entrance into the body, the church, of Christ is baptism in the name of Jesus. Oh, that men everywhere would know this!
Last, Peter tells us that Noah and his house “were saved through water,” and “there is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism…” (1 Peter 3:20-21). Noah was saved through water in that the ark of safety was lifted by the water from the destruction of every other living land creature and man. Today, “baptism now saves you, not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21, NASB). The apostle is saying nothing less than this: just as Noah was saved through water, so men are saved now when they are baptized. It could be said that water was then and is today an element that separates the saved from the lost. Then, in Noah’s day, it was water lifting the ark from the disobedient and from destruction to safety. Today it is baptism in water that separates the saved from the disobedient, and it is that point at which God delivers a man from the power of darkness and translates him into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 1:13).
Truly, we can say our salvation is similar to Noah’s; we are added to the one church through the one door, Christ, when we submit in obedient faith to water baptism in the name of Jesus.
– Larry Jones