The Antitype That Saves

Vernon W. Kerns

During the time just before the flood, man’s thoughts and actions were evil continually. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) The Biblical account of the flood said that sin permeated every part of the earth. Then, the flood came. “The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered.” (Gen. 7:18-19). Only the ark contained living, air-breathing organisms; all other life was erased. With that life, sin was washed from the earth. 

When Noah stepped from the ark, he stepped onto a pristine, sinless earth. This clean earth came into being because of a washing of water. The clean earth came into being because of the death of the evil-doers.

In 1 Peter 3:20-21, we are told, “… who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us – baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (NKJV)

Baptism is an antitype of the flood that cleansed the earth long ago. Death was involved in the flood, in that all outside the ark died. Today, we are buried into death by baptism. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3)

In the flood, sin was erased; in baptism, sin is erased. “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16)

Because of the flood, the earth and its living things had a new beginning; baptism gives us a new beginning. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) How are all things made new? “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:9-12) God performs a circumcision of the flesh of sin in baptism. In baptism, one’s faith in the working of God is exercised. “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” (Col. 2:13)

Just as new life grew from the flood when Noah began repopulating the earth, after baptism, the Christian is a new creation, cleansed of sin. In baptism, we have died and our life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:3) One day, the world will be judged. In that day, Jesus will give eternal life to his faithful people. 

The question is, do you believe God that it will happen just as the Bible tells you? (Acts 27:25). –1440 Tanner Fork Road, Shock, WV 26638.

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