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THE TYPOLOGY OF THE ARK

(SERMON #44 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, April 27, 2008

“Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark”
(Genesis 7:23).


You cannot study the Bible for any length of time without realizing that the Ark is a type of Christ, a prototype or symbolic picture of the Saviour. We are specifically told of the typology of the Ark in I Peter 3:20-21.

“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” (I Peter 3:20-21).

Dr. Henry M. Morris said of this passage,

These eight souls (Noah, his three sons, and the four wives) were “saved by water” (this could also be translated “through water”) in the sense that they were saved from the deadly moral and spiritual pollution that had engulfed the antediluvian world after the demonic invasion. The waters bore up their Ark of safety, even as these same waters destroyed the old world and their old lives (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Defender’s Study Bible, World Publishing, 1985 edition, note on I Peter 3:20).

Dr. W. A. Criswell said that the term “like figure” in I Peter 3:21 is “antitupon (Greek), which evolves into the English word ‘type’” (The Criswell Study Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1979 edition, note on I Peter 3:21). Thus, both the Flood and the Ark are given as types of Christ in I Peter 3:20-21. Dr. Henry M. Morris said,

Thus both the Flood, with its ark of safety, and baptism, with its emergence from the waters of burial, are like figures [or types] of the wonderful reality of the death and resurrection of Christ, as well as the death to sin and new life of the believer (The Defender’s Study Bible, note on I Peter 3:21).

“Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark” (Genesis 7:23).

I am going to give you seven ways that the Ark prefigures, or typifies, the Lord Jesus Christ. These seven points of comparison are amplified, re-arranged, and somewhat simplified from Gleanings in Genesis by Arthur W. Pink (Moody Press, 1950 edition, pp. 103-109).

1.   First, the Ark shows God’s provision of salvation in Christ.

God told Noah,

“The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch” (Genesis 6:13-14).

Before the Flood came, God had ordained that Noah and his family should be saved in the Ark. Noah was told to construct it before a single drop of water fell. So, also, salvation through Christ was not something God thought of after man sinned. From eternity past God had purposed to redeem a people unto Himself, and therefore, in the counsels of the Godhead, Christ was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). The Ark was God’s provision for the salvation of Noah, as Christ is God’s provision for the salvation of sinners, and has been so in the mind of God “from the foundation of the world.”

“Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark” (Genesis 7:23).

2.   Second, the Ark shows that we are spared from God’s wrath
through Christ, our substitute.

The Ark of Noah was a place of safety. It protected its inhabitants from the outpoured wrath of God on a sinful world. This speaks of the propitiatory work of Christ,

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:24-25).

“And he is the propitiation for our sins” (I John 2:2).

“He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10).

Dr. W. A. Criswell said, concerning propitiation, that it comes from the Greek word “hilasterion.” Dr. Criswell said, “Here the translators of the KJV are precisely correct in rendering the word ‘propitiation’…propitiation is the work of Christ on the cross in which He met the demands of the righteousness of God against sin…satisfying the requirements of God’s justice” (The Criswell Study Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1979, note on Romans 3:25). The prophet Isaiah shows the meaning of propitiation graphically, when he says of Christ,

“It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin”
      (Isaiah 53:10).

In His propitiatory work on the Cross, Christ bore the wrath of God. God bruised Him in our place. God put Him to grief on our place, so the wrath of God fell on Christ and not on the true Christian. Thus the wrath of God was propitiated by Christ’s vicarious work on the Cross, where God “bruised him” and “put him to grief” in our place, when the judgment that should have fallen on sinners, fell on Christ, our vicarious substitute. The punishment that should have fallen on sinful man fell on Christ instead.

“It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief [in our place, as our substitute]: when thou [God] shalt make his soul an offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10).

Thus the propitiatory work of Christ on the Cross means that He was punished by God, and tasted the wrath of God, as a substitute, standing as a substitute in the place of sinners, who receive salvation because Christ bore the wrath of God on Himself in the place of sinners who are reconciled to God by the substitutionary work of Christ on the Cross.

This is certainly typified in the Ark of Noah. The judgment of God fell on the Ark (the type of Christ) not on those within the Ark. Those in the Ark typified those today who are sheltered from the wrath of God because they are in Christ, as Noah was in the Ark. Thus, they could not be subjects of God’s wrath because it had fallen upon the Ark, instead of them. What a wonderful picture of Christ the Ark is. It bore God’s wrath in the Flood, while Noah and his family were preserved inside, just as the true Christian is preserved when he is “in Christ Jesus” (I Corinthians 1:30). No judgment can fall on the one who is “in Christ” because the propitiatory wrath of God falls on Jesus, not on the true Christian, who, like Noah, is safe in Christ – just as Noah was safe in the Ark. The wrath of God falls on Christ, just as the wrath of God fell on the Ark rather than those inside, for

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

Because of this,

“Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark” (Genesis 7:23).

Those outside the Ark had to bear the full force of the Flood. God’s wrath was poured out on them in full measure because they were not in the Ark. So it will be to all who are not “in Christ” when the judgment of God falls on them.

3.   Third, the Ark shows that Christ is the only way to enter salvation.

Look at Genesis 6:16.

“And the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof”
      (Genesis 6:16).

The Ark had only one door in it. They all had to go through that single door to enter the Ark. One door was all it had. Noah and his family, as well as all the animals, had to enter the Ark through that single door.

Likewise, this points to the fact that there is only one way to escape from the wrath to come. Jesus said,

“No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

The type is the one door to the Ark. The antitype is Christ, who said,

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved”
      (John 10:9).

Notice also that the door of the ark was “set in the side thereof” (Genesis 6:16). Surely this points toward the piercing of the “side” of Christ on the Cross.

“But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side”
      (John 19:34).

This suggests that the way to the heart of God is now open to guilty and ruined sinners.

“Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark” (Genesis 7:23).

4.   Fourth, the Ark shows the atonement of Christ.

Look again at Genesis 6:14,

“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch”
    
 (Genesis 6:14).

The word “pitch” is translated from the Hebrew word “kaphar,” which means “to cover.” “Kaphar” is translated seventy times in the King James Bible as “to make atonement.” The simple meaning of “kaphar” is “to cover.” The atonement was made by the Blood of Christ, which provides a covering of sin. Sin must be covered by the Blood of Christ. Romans 4:7, in the New Testament, gives a quotation from Psalm 32,

“Blessed are they…whose sins are covered” (Romans 4:7).

Commenting on Romans 4:7, R. C. H. Lenski said,

So great is this blessed act that David adds another term: “were covered up”…The idea is not that of hiding under some cover that may be pulled off; and the sins be exposed after all, but of covering out of God’s sight forever. What sort of cover can possibly do this? The blood of Christ, our mercy seat (R. C. H. Lenski, Ph.D., The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, Augsburg Publishing House, 1961 edition, pages 298-299).

When you come to Christ, your sins are covered by His Blood, as the Ark of Noah was covered with pitch. And so,

“Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark” (Genesis 7:23).

5.   Fifth, the Ark shows the resurrection and ascension of Christ.

The typical teaching of the Ark reaches beyond the atonement to the resurrection of Christ. Look at Genesis 8:4.

“And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4).

At the end of the Flood, the Ark rested on Mount Ararat. The final resting place of the Ark was upon that mountain top. This points to the resurrection of Christ, who “ascended up on high” (Ephesians 4:8), “where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). The final resting place of the Ark was upon a mountain top, typifying that place above, where the Lord Jesus Christ is now seated at the right hand of God the Father.

6.   Sixth, the Ark shows the absolute security of those who are in Christ.

Noah and his family did not have to preserve themselves. They were protected from the Flood by the watertight Ark which was covered “within and without with pitch” (Genesis 6:14). No matter how hard it rained, or how high the water rose, all of those inside the Ark were safe. This speaks typically of the convert’s eternal security in Christ. As Noah and his family were safe in the Ark, so “your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). Once you are “in Christ Jesus” (I Corinthians 1:30) you cannot lose your salvation!

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

Look at Genesis 7:16,

“And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in”
    
 (Genesis 7:16).

Once Noah was in the Ark, God Himself “shut him in.” What a wonderful thought this is! Once you have entered into Christ, you are “kept by the power of God” (I Peter 1:5).

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36).

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish” (John 10:28).

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Peter 1:5).

“And they went in…and the Lord shut him in” (Genesis 7:16).

“Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark” (Genesis 7:23).

7.  Seventh, the Ark shows the invitation God gives to come in to Christ.

Look at Genesis 7:1.

“And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark” (Genesis 7:1).

This is the first time the word “come” is found in the Bible. It is given over five hundred times in the rest of the Scriptures. It seems highly significant that the word “come” appears for the first time here.

“And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark” (Genesis 7:1).

“Go” would have implied that God was telling Noah to depart from Him. “Come” shows that the Lord would be present with him in the Ark. This pictures what Jesus said in the Gospel,

“Come unto me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

So, my appeal to you this morning is the same appeal God gave to Noah. Come into the Ark. Come into the salvation Christ provides. Come in to Jesus. Your sin will be covered by His Blood. Jesus will preserve you from the judgment of God. Come in to Jesus. Come in and be saved.

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Genesis 7:16-24.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Jesus, I Come” (by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE TYPOLOGY OF THE ARK

(SERMON #44 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark”
(Genesis 7:23).

(I Peter 3:20-21)

1.   First, the Ark shows God’s provision of salvation in Christ,
Genesis 6:13-14; Revelation 13:8.

2.   Second, the Ark shows that we are spared from God’s wrath
through Christ, our substitute, Romans 3:24-25; I John 2:2;
I John 4:10; Isaiah 53:10; I Corinthians 1:30; Romans 8:1.

3.   Third, the Ark shows that Christ is the only way to enter
salvation, Genesis 6:16; John 14:6; 10:9; 19:34.

4.   Fourth, the Ark shows the atonement of Christ, Genesis 6:14;
Romans 4:7.

5.   Fifth, the Ark shows the resurrection and ascension of Christ,
Genesis 8:4; Ephesians 4:8; Colossians 3:1.

6.   Sixth, the Ark shows the absolute security of those who are in
Christ, Genesis 6:14; Colossians 3:3; I Corinthians 1:30;
Romans 8:1; Genesis 7:16; I Peter 1:5; John 3:36; 10:28.

7.   Seventh, the Ark shows the invitation God gives to come in to
Christ, Genesis 7:1; Matthew 11:28.