NOAH'S ARK AS A TYPE OF CHRIST
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.
INSIGHTS INTO WALKING WITH GOD
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.
WHAT IS A BIBLICAL TYPE?
"What type of car do you drive?" "What type of music do you like to listen to?" "Do you know how to type?" These questions show the versatility of the word "type." The Merriam Webster Dictionary lists four broad categories for the noun "type." The fourth is "a person or thing (as in the Old Testament) believed to foreshadow another (as in the New Testament)." One usage of the term in the New Testament is Romans 5:14, "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." The etymology of the word comes from the idea of striking a coin (similar to the old striking motion of typewriters) and the imprinting of a king's seal. One can see the conceptual connection between minting coins and creating example after example, type after type.
When exploring biblical types, you are looking for two things. First, you are looking for a resemblance. This establishes the basis for a conceptual connection between the two realities. Then, you look for design. To some interpreters, this is less important than to others. But the idea here is that God intended for us as readers of His Word to connect these two realities, that God superintended and directed the behaviors of the Old Testament figure in such a way that it would pre-figure or foreshadow the corresponding New Testament reality.
We are currently in a series called The Old Testament: The Drumroll to Christ. In our most recent message, we explored how Abel is a type of Christ. Abel was a shepherd, and our Lord Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. His sheep recognize His voice and follow Him. As Abel's brother hated him, so the Lord's half-brothers despised Him before His death. Although Abel was a sinner, he was slain without having committed a capital crime. In a certain sense, Abel did not deserve to die. Our Lord Jesus was murdered completely without cause or warrant. Pilate himself said, "I find no fault in Him." Abel offered a lamb sacrifice, and the sacrifice he offered was accepted. Our Lord Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is our sinless substitute; He died in our place. Whereas the penalty of death hovered over us as we stood guilty before God, Christ died in our place. He absorbed the wrath of God for our sin. His sacrifice was accepted! He alone can save to the utmost all who come to God by Him. To identify a biblical type does not mean that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the two entities in every detail. Such a requirement would mean there are no types of Christ, because only Jesus is the divine Son of God, the God-Man, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The historical account of Abel's murder in Genesis 4 foreshadows so many elements of our Lord Jesus's life and substitutionary atonement provided through His death on the cross.
My question for you reading this blog is this: Has there ever been a time when you believed in Jesus? Has there ever been a time when you recognized that you are a sinner and believed in what Jesus did on the cross as payment for your sin? Do you believe that God raised Jesus up from the dead, and that He alone can give you the free gift of eternal life? If not, why don't you believe today? For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Receive the free gift today by faith. Once you do that, get in touch with Grace Baptist Church through the digital connection card at https://GraceFay.org/Online so that we can help you get started on your journey with the Lord.
To God be the Glory for the types of Scripture that point us to Christ.
Luke 1:26-38 describes a scene where the angel Gabriel appeared to the virgin Mary and made the well-known announcement that she had been selected by God to be the mother of the Christ. The Christmas season is the most common time that we see depictions of angels everywhere - on Christmas cards, ornaments, decorations, and more. While we never want to go to the extreme of worshiping angels (Colossians 2:18), it can be helpful to assimilate what God has revealed in His Word about them to perfect our understanding of Scripture's message. I have always understood Gabriel's role as being the messenger of God, but studying the occurrences of his name in Scripture this year brought that understanding more into focus. The nature of his messages each time he is named in Scripture has to do with Messiah and His mission. Let's review these together.
There are four times the angel Gabriel is named in Scripture: Daniel 8:16, Daniel 9:21, Luke 1:19, and Luke 1:26.
Daniel 8:16. In the passage that follows this verse, the angel Gabriel makes the prophet Daniel to understand an end time vision. Antichrist will be mighty but not by his own power, and he will come against the Prince of princes (the Lord Jesus Christ). "Yet he will be broken — not by human hands." (CSB) This relates to Messiah's end-time mission in defeating the Antichrist and setting up His millennial kingdom.
Daniel 9:21. Daniel 9 is the famous chapter where we find the 70 weeks prophecy. Interestingly, Daniel was greatly loved by God such that God chose to reveal end times visions to him through His messenger Gabriel another time. As a sidebar, there does appear to be a strong connection between those who draw near to God (Daniel was known for his prayer habits) and God's self-revelation. Gabriel is explaining here the exact time that Messiah will be cut off. Interestingly, the timing of Jesus's death on the cross lines up precisely with this centuries-old prophecy. Once again, Gabriel's message pertains to Messiah and His salvation mission from start to finish.
Luke 1:19. Here, Gabriel appears to Zacharias the priest. Zacharias learns that he and his wife Elizabeth will be blessed to bear a son. Despite being past the age of child-bearing and having a long history of barrenness, this miracle would fulfill prophecy. Isaiah 40:3 says, "Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God." This son whom Elizabeth and Zacharias would bear would be named "John," and John the Baptist would fulfill this prophecy of Isaiah to be the forerunner of Messiah. Again, we see Gabriel's message pertaining to Messiah and His mission. Zacharias asks for a sign since he has his doubts about the truth of Gabriel's message. As a result, we are told in verse 19: "And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” This underscores the role of Gabriel, his relation to God, and some of his delegated power and authority.
Luke 1:26. The last place we find Gabriel named is when he appears to Mary. Mary is surprised and wonders what kind of greeting this is. Gabriel lets Mary know that she has been selected to bear the Messiah in fulfillment of prophecy. Mary does not doubt or ask for a sign, yet she is given a sign. Her question is more of a logistical nature: "How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (verse 34). Gabriel provides Mary with the sign that her relative Elizabeth who had been barren is now with child. Here again, we see Gabriel's message pertaining to the first advent of Christ - his birth and earthly ministry. Gabriel instructs Mary to name the child Jesus.
So Gabriel is only named four times in Scripture, but each time he is more than a mere messenger of God. His messages relate specifically to Messiah's forerunner, Messiah's birth, Messiah's death, Messiah's conquering of Antichrist, and setting up a kingdom of which there will be no end. Gabriel's appearances in Scripture tell the full story of Messiah and His mission.
Our Lead Pastor is the writer behind this blog. We pray it ministers to you for the glory of Christ.