One of the Bible's best-known stories is Noah's Ark, but did you know that the ark itself is what we call a type of Christ? Previous posts have more deeply explored the idea of a type - a reality in the Old Testament that prefigures and looks ahead to a corresponding reality in the New Testament. The word comes from the idea of hammering or striking as in minting coins or using an old fashioned typewriter. Here are some of the ways that Noah's Ark prefigures Christ.
Judgment is coming. Something very clear in Scripture is that God judges sin. God is very patient and merciful; He may wait years and generations to send judgment, but He always judges sin. In Noah's day, Genesis 6:5 describes man's sin as follows: "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." We sometimes deceive ourselves into thinking God does not notice or care about our sin. But Genesis 6 teaches clearly that God sees all, including the thoughts of our hearts. He knows, and He responds. In Genesis 6:7, God promises, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth." Judgment is coming. God the Holy Spirit convicts people in our day of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. 2 Peter 3:10 says, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." A day of judgment is coming. As judgment was coming in Noah's day, so it is in ours.
God has provided a way of escape. As an act of God's breathtaking grace, He provided a way of escape in Noah's day. Genesis 6:9 tells us that despite the amazing wickedness of Noah's generation, "Noah walked with God." When we looked at Enoch, the man who did not die because the Lord took him, walking with God is a personal relationship with the Lord established by faith. Genesis 6:8 says, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." God extended grace to Noah and laid out the plan to build the ark. God has provided a way of escape for you and me as well. Jesus Christ declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6). Jesus said in John 10:9, "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." Believing in Jesus makes all the difference. Famously, John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." For a generation facing promised judgment, "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." As God provided a way of escape from judgment in Noah's day through His grace, so has He done the very same in our day through sending His Son Jesus to be our Savior.
Come inside the ark! Genesis 7:1, God extends a beautiful invitation to Noah: "Then the LORD said to Noah, "Come into the ark." The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." You are invited to come into the ark of Jesus Christ. If you are in Christ, there is no judgment or condemnation for you. As Noah was in the ark, he did not face the death those outside the ark faced. If you've never trusted Christ before, God is giving you this opportunity to receive Him. Make no mistake. You have sinned. Judgment for your sin is coming. It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment. The only way you can escape the judgment of God for your sin is by entering into the ark of Jesus Christ by faith. Hebrews 2:3 asks, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him." God has opened to you the way to escape His certain judgment for your sin. Will you once and for all accept Christ as your Savior - your divinely appointed escape from judgment to come? If you do so, please get in touch with us using the Digital Connection Card at https://GraceFay.org/Online and let us know you are trusting in Jesus today. We will follow up with you and help you get started in your new walk with Christ.
1. Designate a place and time for online worship.
If you do church online with us here at Grace Baptist, we offer our online service every two hours on Sunday from 9 AM to 11 PM. Your schedule may be different from one week to another, but as much as possible, pick one of these times to participate in church online. It is also helpful to find a place that is quiet, free from distractions, and so on. You want to have the optimal setup for meeting with God in worship and hearing from His Word. You may want to sing aloud during the music, and there is time for prayer. Every part of church online is enhanced when you have a quiet spot in which to worship the Lord.
2. Prepare your heart for worship.
Preparing your heart for worship is a good idea whether you are doing in-person or online worship, but it can get lost more easily with church online. You can prepare your heart for worship through prayer: "Lord, I am about to enter into a time of worship with church online; speak to my heart through the message and the musical worship. Use this experience to draw me closer to Yourself." You can open to the passage of Scripture that is being preached that day and begin to meditate on it. Here at Grace, we are in a series through the Old Testament. The passage immediately following last week's passage will be today's passage. You can find it easily and begin to read through it. It is great to silence your electronic devices, shut your email, close your Facebook and social media feeds, so that you can focus on the time of worship. This is a big reason we encourage people to log onto https://GraceFay.org/Online. We don't have a list of unfiltered videos to show you just as soon as church is over. You can focus on the content of the online worship service.
3. Download your notes and complete your connection card.
Each week, we upload notes to our website on the church online page so that you can download those and follow along. We leave room in them for you to jot your own notes. This is a great opportunity to make notes for topics you want to study in the future in your own devotional time. It may also be that you come across a question that we do not answer in the message, and you want to email it to us after the service. The Digital Connection Card is an essential way for us to minister to you as a church. We believe God calls the church to do more than just provide you with a video worship experience once per week. We are called to give you opportunities to use your spiritual gifts, to pray for and minister to you, to disciple you and help you grow in your journey with the Lord, and to hold you accountable to the obedience to which God calls all of us. The Digital Connection Card is a tool that assists us in fulfilling that calling while you are unable to attend in person.
4. Develop a plan for returning to in-person church.
After a macabre pattern of the phrase "and he died," the account of Enoch jolts us to attention. Genesis 5:24 says, "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." The way Hebrews 11:5 reports this event is: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." As Genesis Chapter 3 closed, God stationed cherubim and a flaming sword between fallen mankind and the tree of life, lest man in his fallen state should eat of the tree of life and live for ever. Then as we come to Chapter 5, here is a guy who, by faith, does not see death but instead, goes to be with God forever. As Genesis scholar, John Sailhamer put it in his excellent work The Pentateuch as Narrative, Enoch found the way back to the tree of life - a door, if you will. Enoch walked with God by faith.
There are at least three requirements for one person to walk with someone else. The first is direction. For two people to be walking with one another, they have to be traveling in the same direction. Applied to walking with God, wherever God leads, we go. As the hymn text says, "I'll follow my Christ who loves me so; wherever He leads I'll go." In his excellent devotional work, Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby encouraged readers to find where God is working and join Him. As a church, as leaders, as individual Christians, walking with God means going where He goes, traveling in the same direction as Him. Then, there is pace. If someone advances several steps ahead of the other person, the two are no longer walking "together." If you go for a walk and someone you don't know passes you, they may speak or nod, but you don't know them. You are traveling in the same direction, but you are not in lockstep together. You are not walking with that one. When God lead His children in the wilderness, there were times He instructed them to set up the tabernacle and camp for awhile. There were other times that He told them to pull up the tent spikes and keep moving. We get into problems when we try to go at our own speed rather than trust God's timing. In addition to direction and pace, there is fitness. This one may not seem as obvious, but I am here talking about the strength of a person's heart. In August 2020, I began working out with a personal trainer. We timed my mile pace. It was right at 30 minutes. I hated all 30 minutes. If my trainer had taken me to the football field of any local stadium and told me we were going to run up the stadium stairs three times this afternoon, I would probably have died of a heart attack. I was not ready for that. (Probably still not!) There is a progression to how God deal with His people. We grow as we walk "from faith to faith." The things that challenged our faith on day one of our journey with the Lord probably would not challenge us now, and we were not ready back then for what God has us facing now. He did not tell Abraham everything He was going to do in Abraham's life when he first approached him as Abram back in Genesis 11-12 .The stronger your inner person, the more you accomplish walking with God. The heroes of Hebrews 11 accomplished great things for God, not because they were extraordinary people, but because they had extraordinary faith.
If you are a believer, pray to God, "Lord, I want to walk closely with you. There are times that I have strayed. May I walk closely with you." If you pray that prayer and stay in the Word each day, God will absolutely walk with you. He wants to walk with you much more than you want to walk with Him. If you are not a believer, the first step on your walk with God is to come to the cross of Jesus. Believe that you are a sinner condemned before God, and yet Jesus Christ God's Son died in your place. Receive by faith what He did on the cross as payment for your sin, and be born again. God rose Jesus from the grave, and Jesus stands victorious over sin, death, and hell, and grants that victory to all who believe in Him and Him alone. That is your first step on your journey, and then you are raised to walk in newness of life. Let us help you get started on your journey. Use the digital connection card at https://GraceFay.org/online so that we can help you grow as you seek to walk with God.
The Bible contrasts the first Adam, the man God formed out of the dust of the ground in Eden, and the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary who died on the cross for our sins. For example, 1 Corinthians 5:14 says, "The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven." Romans 5:14 speaks of Adam, "who is a type of Him who was to come." Let us look at the biblical testimony in Romans 5 about this important contrast and bring out some observations that relate to you and me.
To rewind all the way to the beginning, the eternally self-existing God had created the universe (Genesis 1). God had given to mankind every tree of the Garden of Eden to eat and enjoy for nourishment, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil man was commanded not to eat. The serpent tempted Eve, Adam's wife, and she not only ate of the forbidden fruit but also gave to Adam who also ate. Romans 5:12 says, "through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin." This single act of disobedience against the clear command of God brought the curse of sin and immediate spiritual death and eventual physical death upon the entire human race.
Since Adam was our original ancestor, we were "in Adam." When Adam sinned, we sinned. When Adam died, we died. When the guilty verdict and penalty of everlasting death were handed down to Adam, they were handed down to us. We come into the world destined for hell, because we were "in Adam," disobeying God. This is a key reason why it is no good for people to try to reform themselves apart from God's plan of salvation or to try to make themselves acceptable to God in their own strength. We enter the planet with a death sentence hanging over us. In the words of John 3:18, we are "condemned already." This sin nature which we inherit from the first Adam causes us to commit sins of our own, but we are considered sinners due to our connection to the first Adam.
But there is more! Enter the second Adam, who is Christ Jesus our Lord. The first Adam started out with untested creature holiness and fell. The second Adam has the infinite holiness of being the God-Man, the divine Son of God. He is fully God and fully man. God the Son took on human flesh and dwelt among us. And just as through one act of disobedience, sin and death passed upon all who were in the first Adam (that's you and me), so through one act of obedience (Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sin), righteousness and everlasting life pass upon all who are in the second Adam. The finished work of the Second Adam answers and overturns the work of the First Adam. (Read all of Romans 5 for context.)
All of this raises one crucial question - how does a person become "in Christ" or "in the Second Adam?" You can become "in Christ" only through simple faith. You believe that you have sinned and come short of the glory of God. You believe that Christ Jesus died in your place and paid the penalty for your sin. You believe that He rose again on the third day and offers you victory over sin, death, and hell if you will simply believe. The instant you believe, the curse of sin is overturned. You pass from death unto life. You are redeemed, forgiven, and made righteous before God. When you leave this world, you will immediately be in the presence of God forevermore. It is a new beginning. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17a).
Will you trust Him today? Will you believe today? Will you stop trying to get to God on your own and in your own way? Lay aside all your so-called good works and simply trust the finished work of Christ. Become "in Christ" by faith, and receive the righteousness and eternal life that passes down to all who are in Him. When you do that, complete your Digital Connection Card at https://GraceFay.org/Online so that we can help you grow in your new faith in the Lord Jesus.
Our Lead Pastor is the writer behind this blog. We pray it ministers to you for the glory of Christ.