We often discuss Noah and Ark with children, but it’s not a very child friendly story. It’s difficult to think about all the people who died during the flood. We don’t know how many people lived on the earth, but we do know all but 8 of them died in the flood. This world event reminds us of the seriousness of sin. In Genesis 6:5 God sees the thoughts of men are continuously evil, so evil God regrets having made man (Genesis 6:6). What we learn as we read these verses in Genesis 6 is our sin impacts God. God did nothing wrong, God is perfect, the world He created was perfect, but the choices of humanity were evil and far from perfect. The choices of humanity caused God emotional anguish. God couldn’t allow the world to be so corrupt, and for sin to go unpunished. So, in His perfect justice, He caused a global flood to whip out all of humanity, minus 8 people who were safe on the ark.
The sin we commit as individuals living in the world today, hurts God as well. Sin is always against God because it is God who has established what is right and wrong for us to do. When we don’t obey Him, we are rebelling against His will for us and elevating ourselves above Him. Our sin breaks God’s heart, just as the sins of the people before the flood broke God’s heart as well. Yet, God also rejoices when a sinner repents (Luke 15:10). If God is happy when we repent it only makes sense, He would be broken hearted over our sin.
God’s Promises are Always Kept!
Luckily for us, God has promised never to flood the Earth again, but He has also promised to forgive us of our sins, through the great sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross. God told Noah, in Genesis 6:17, He would flood the Earth and wash away all the evil in the world and God did exactly that! In Genesis 6:18-19 God says He will establish a covenant with Noah, keeping him and his family and all the animals safe on the Ark, and God did exactly that! God always keeps His promises, so when God promises to forgive our sins, we can be confident He’s going to do just that! However, we must be willing to obey Him, just like Noah had to be willing to obey God as well, for him and his family to be saved. Noah had to build the ark exactly as God told him. We too must listen to God’s instructions on how we can be saved from our sin.
God’s Plan for Salvation
Luckily for us God is clear on what we must do to be saved. We must confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10), repent of our sins (Acts 2:38), and be baptized washing away our sins (Acts 22:16). Some people stop with Romans 10:9-10, saying all we must do is confess Jesus as Lord to be saved. But while God’s Word describes confession as an important aspect of salvation, it’s not the only thing we must do. It would be like Noah building the ark but not building the rooms God told him to build inside the ark (Genesis 6:14). Noah would have started correctly but not finished correctly. We must make sure we are obeying God all the way through the salvation process.
Baptism and The Flood
Baptism is the moment in time we are saved, it is when our sins are forgiven (Acts 2:38) and washed away (Acts 22:16). It’s very interesting the way Peter compares the ark and the flood to baptism.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.1 Peter 3:18-22
This passage often confused me, specifically verse 20 which describes the people being saved through water. I thought God was saving them through an ark, the people in the water died. Then I realized what Peter was saying. While it is true God kept Noah, his family, and the animals safe in an ark, yet the flood saved Noah and his family from the evil of the world. It removed the evil, washing it away as all those who were condemned died. Peter then explains baptism corresponds to the water of the flood, in verse 21. Just as the flood removed evil from the world so baptism removes the evil we have committed. It’s not a bath removing dirt, but a spiritual cleansing removing sin, washing it away. This is how Peter can say, baptism now saves, because baptism washes our evil, our sins, away. Baptism is how we can appeal to God for a good conscience, or appeal to God for a renewed relationship with Him, one that isn’t stained with sin. This means we need to be baptized when we recognize the sin in our life and the way our sin impacts our creator.
Certainly, sin is a big deal and deserving of punishment! After all, sin causes God sorrow! However, obeying God’s plan for salvation causes Him great joy. God keeps His promises, always! If we obey His plan to save us, we will be saved!