Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Baptism & Salvation: Part 1

Let's take a moment to study the flood of Noah.

Scenario: A finished ship with vile sinners outside, with eight people inside of whom it is only known that Noah was righteous. However, it is implied that the others were obedient because they listened to Noah. God's spirit did not strive (work) for man because those on the earth were wicked, and their mind was on evil continually. God was sorry that he even made mankind, even though with his all-knowingness, he knew this day would come. God said that he would destroy what he had created, but he found grace in Noah. Not the other seven, but in Noah alone.

Noah's household was made safe because of Noah's faith. God made a covenant of grace with Noah. I will save you and your household. By grace even the other seven sinners were made safe because of their works.

All those who went into the ark, even the animals, went in voluntarily. They accepted God's graceful promise. Strangely enough, even the animals were more wise than most the people! The Lord shut them in after they entered by that one door, and thus they were safe! Everybody and everything on the land which breathed died. Since Noah and his household did not die, they were made safe from death. A wind passed over the earth and the rain subsided. That gracious act of God saved mankind from death! Salvation was to come on the mountains of Ararat.

The biblically determined date of the flood was 2304 B.C. (creation.com). Strangely enough scientific evidence places recent volcanos of Mt. Ararat at  2500-2400 B.C., in other words, for all practical purposes, in the time of Noah. That is important because the flood waters came from underground volcanoes according to scripture. Since Mt. Ararat was actually in Armenia, Noah's ark came to rest, not on Greater Ararat but Lesser Ararat, the portion in Armenia. It seems that since Greater Ararat was the source of the greatest volcanic activity, that God made Noah's Ark safe on Lesser Ararat in Armenia. One can read much about shifting plates in this area of high volcanic activity, but evidence makes the flood of Noah's time as credible!

The dove is the symbol of peace, and it was the bearer of danger and safety tidings for Noah. Although, the dove brought back and olive leave, Noah still waited seven more days to ensure safety was at hand. Perhaps Greater Ararat was clear, but Lesser Ararat not at that time. Noah wanted to make sure that they were indeed safe!

Then the earth dried, and God, not Noah said, "Go forth." As they went forth on dry land, their status went from safe (on the ark) to saved (on dry land). Noah built and altar and made a sacrifice to God. God was well-pleased. Noah testified to the fact that God saved them, and God enjoyed that. Because God was pleased with Noah's faith, his act of grace was that mankind would never be wiped from the face of the earth again. After he saved them, the covenant was eternal.  God then told them to multiply and replenish the earth.

This is a story of going from the danger of the world, to promised destruction, to the safety of the ark, to being saved on dry land.

Tomorrow we will continue on with the significance of the flood.

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