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How Was Noah Saved Through Water

How Was Noah Saved Through Water

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Published by dlee7067
The wording of 1 Peter 3:20-21 seems a little unusual to our way of thinking. The text says Noah and his family were "saved through water." You and I would probably say he was saved from water. How do we explain this passage?
The wording of 1 Peter 3:20-21 seems a little unusual to our way of thinking. The text says Noah and his family were "saved through water." You and I would probably say he was saved from water. How do we explain this passage?

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Published by: dlee7067 on Dec 27, 2009
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How Was Noah Saved Through Water?
How was Noah and his family saved through water? Peter, in 1 Peter 3:20-21, saysthey were but just how is a little hard to understand without some thought andstudy. The passage reads as follows: “when once the longsuffering of God waitedin the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eightsouls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us,namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a goodconscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (NKJV)How was Noah and his family saved through water? What was he saved from?What is an antitype? Was he saved by grace or by works (he did build the ark)? There are a lot of questions. Let us start from the beginning.We are all aware of the story of how the flood came about. After God made man indue time mankind came to be great sinners before God. “Then the Lord saw thatthe wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughtsof his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5 NKJV) God determined to destroyman for his evil, an evil so great it grieved God in his heart and made him sorry hehad created man. (Gen. 6:6-7)However, the text then says, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Gen.6:8 NKJV) One cannot emphasize too much the teaching of this text. That said itgoes against almost everything that men today have to say about grace. Gracetoday, as men see it, means you need do nothing at all toward your own salvationother than believe in Jesus. If more was required of you that would be, so theyreason, salvation by works.How did God show Noah grace? Was it not by telling him what was going to happen(judgment was to befall the inhabitants of the earth and life on the earth bedestroyed) and what he (Noah) needed to do to save himself? That was it exactly.But, in today’s world of so called Christendom this is not grace. Noah had to worksome say, based on Gen. 6:3, one hundred and twenty years on the ark. Peterspoke of the longsuffering of God waiting in the days of Noah while the ark wasbeing prepared (1 Peter 3:20) so it was no short term project. Noah received gracebut had something to do, an obligation to fulfill, if he was to be saved. Being savedby God’s grace does not mean man has no part in his own salvation, that man hasnothing to do. There is also one other very important New Testament verse on Noah’s salvation.“By faith Noah, being divinely warned (God’s grace-DS) of things not yet seen,moved with Godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which hecondemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according tofaith.” (Heb. 11:7 NKJV) How is it we freely admit that Noah was saved by graceand faith and yet he had to work many, many years building this giant ark and yet
 
we say if a man is baptized to be saved it is being saved by works even though thewhole process takes but minutes?Is it ignorance, is it prejudice, is it hypocrisy, is it something else? I have no answer. This much I do know—Noah was saved by grace through faith the same as we aretoday (Gen. 6:8, Heb. 11:7). He was moved so much by faith that it instilled withinhim “godly fear” (Heb. 11:7) and put a diligent work (or obedience) ethic into hislife. James says, “so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26 NKJV) which isexactly where Noah would have ended up without the works. There is a difference between a work of obedience to God’s command and a workthat merits salvation. The Bible condemns the latter. You cannot merit your way toheaven by works. Don’t you think Noah was well aware that the God who causedthe flood was just as capable of capsizing the ark Noah had built if he chose to doso? Do you really believe that people who believe the Bible teaches that baptism isnecessary in order to be saved think that they are saving themselves apart fromGod when they are baptized and that they have no fear of God? If the ark of salvation floats, whether it be Noah’s or our own, it is only because the grace of Godallows it.How was Noah and his family saved through water? By water they were saved froma sinful world, separated from it, separated to God. They became creatures in anew world, one without sin. The water that brought death to others brought life tothem as it lifted the ark up placing them in a place of safety above the waters of destruction. To say they were not saved, they were already saved with or withoutwater, is to argue with the text which says specifically, “eight souls, were savedthrough water.” (1 Peter 3:20 NKJV)Do you think it strange that the water that brought salvation to the 8 brought deathto the multitudes? One cannot help but think of the waters of baptism of our ownera. The water that brings salvation to some (Mark 16:16) will bring death to otherswho are willingly disobedient to the command. This brings us to Peter’s use of a word somewhat strange to many - the word“antitype” used in verse 21 in the New King James version and also the word that isfound in the Greek text. Let me quote that to you again. “There is also an antitypewhich now saves us, namely baptism.” (NKJV) Some of the more modern versionsphrase it like the ESV or nearly so, “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now savesyou.” The New American Standard is very close to this when it says, “Andcorresponding to that, baptism now saves you.” Many of the things in the Old Testament symbolized or we might say were types of things that would come to beunder Christ in the new dispensation. The waters of the flood in the days of Noahwere the type while baptism today is that which corresponds to it, baptism is theantitype.

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