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The One Ark and the One Church

by Harold Bigham

In 1 Peter 3:20,21, the apostle Peter writes, "…which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ". Peter again records in 2 Pet. 2:5, "…and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly." In both of these passages, Peter instructs us that Noah was a preacher of righteousness who labored and built "the ark" to save the world from the universal flood , of which only eight people were saved. What are some lessons that we can glean from the days of Noah relative to the one ark and the one church?

  1. Noah built one ark, according to God's instructions (Gen.6:14; 7:1). It is very significant to remember that Noah did not build "arks" to help in saving people from the flood! He built only ONE! Jesus Christ built one church (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4). Jesus did not establish "churches" to redeem sinful man! Denominationalism is condemned by the Bible (1 Cor. 1:10). There was only one ark and there is only one church!

  2. There was only one way into the ark (Gen. 6:16). The door was made for an entrance into the place of safety. There is only one way to enter into the church (John 3:3-5; Gal. 3:26-27). One cannot enter into the place of safety today without first finding the door of the Saviour and obeying His commands. Jesus said, "I am the door: by men if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture," (John 10:9).

  3. There was only one source of light in the ark-a window (Gen. 6:16). Without the window, there would have been no light. All would be dark. There is only one source of light for the church-the gospel of light (1 Cor. 2:1-10). Without the gospel, all would be dark and hopeless (Rom. 1:16; Heb. 4:12).

  4. There was only one family presented in the ark (1 Pet. 3:20). Noah's family was the only family that obeyed the conditions that gave them safety from the universal flood! Thus, there was only one family in the ark. There is only one family in the church. It is the "house of God" (1 Tim. 3:14-15). Those who have obeyed the conditions/commands are members of the one family, the church!

  5. Every need was supplied in the ark (Gen. 7:23-24). The greatest need of all was life itself. Noah and his family were able to flee the flood and to put their feet upon the earth after a period of time (Gen. 8:6-22). Every spiritual need for man is located in the church (Eph. 1:3). Paul states, "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory," (Col. 3:4). Peter reminds us that God has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

  6. There was only one danger relative to the ark. Those that missed the ark died in the flood. They died because of their rebellion toward God. It was their sins that kept them from being saved from the curse of the flood (Isa. 59:1-2). There is a great and grievous danger facing the present world today. It is the Judgment Day in the which those who are not in the ark of safety, the church, will receive the sentence, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," (Matt 25:41). Why receive such a punishment! Obey Christ and enter the church – the ark of safety!

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

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