Serving an international
Vol. 10 No. 8 August 2008
Many of us have preached many sermons on such subjects
as “The Ark as a Type of the Church.” We need to
realize that although we can
properly use the ark to illustrate many things about the church, the
Peter says in
However, our purpose today is to understand some principles about salvation from the ark, even though we may not be using it as a type of the church. If we were claiming that the Bible teaches that it is a type of the church, we might have difficulty explaining how people were in it before the water was applied, and various other problems. It can still be used to illustrate truths that the Bible teaches in other places.
First, when God said to Noah, “Make thee an ark of gopher wood” (Genesis 6:14), there are two things of vital importance. The thing specified was an ark. Noah might have said, “I have great faith, so I will build a barn, for any one with any reasoning knows that animals can be cared for better in a barn than an ark.” He might have reasoned, as some of those I thought were brethren are reasoning today, “I know he said gopher wood, but that is generic, meaning any kind of soft wood, so he really does not care. I will use my sanctified common sense and use the best wood available, which is oak and hickory.”
There is a principle here of which we constantly need to be aware. When God specifies a thing, no other thing is acceptable. He may in his grace overlook some things as “in the times of this ignorance” (Acts 17:30), but that is for him to decide, not for you and me.
When God specifies a method, that method is authorized. Some other way we may devise is not authorized. When God specifies a time, that time is authorized. Some other time we may imagine is not satisfactory. There may be some apparent exceptions to these principles in which God specified some particular thing, time, place or method, and yet by some act or word indicated that the thing specified was not significant, but I am not aware of any. If any reader is, I would appreciate hearing of it.
These principles or “rules” are not something that
devised or imagined. They are discovered by an examination of all the
and revelation of God on such matters. When God specified to Naaman to
We cannot prove by the fact that the ark had only one
door that there is only one way to be saved. However, we may use it to
illustrate what Jesus plainly teaches in