Summary: The ministry of Noah, the ministry of Jesus.
Reading: 1 Peter chapter 3 verses 18-22
• The sarcastic teacher said to his class full of students:
• "If there are any idiots in the room, will they please stand up".
• After a long silence, one student rose to his feet.
• The teacher then asked him:
• "Now then mister, why do you consider yourself an idiot?"
• The student responded,
• "Actually I don’t, but I hate to see you standing up there all by yourself."
• Tonight we are not going back to school;
• But we are going to learn some important lessons.
• Tonight our topic is ‘Learning From Noah’.
(1). The ministry of Noah
The Bible holds Noah in very high regard:
• i.e. In the book of Ezekiel chapter 14 verses 19-20;
• He gets a name check alongside Daniel and Job, two great men of the Old Testament.
• i.e. There are of course many references to the Flood in both the Psalms & the Prophets.
• i.e. Jesus himself referred to Noah (Matthew chapter 24 verses 37-39);
• i.e. He is named with the heroes of faith in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 7.
• i.e. And the apostle Peter mentions him in both his New Testament letters (2 Peter 2:5 & 3:6).
Question: What can we learn from Peter’s letter and the ministry of Noah?
Answer: Four things spring to mind:
(a). Noah warned the people (2 Peter 2:5).
• In 2 Peter chapter 2 verse 5;
• Noah is described as a “preacher of righteousness.”
• The Bible does not tell is what he preached but Jewish tradition does;
Quote: Pirke R. Eliezer, quotes Noah’s words according to Jewish tradition:
“Be ye turned from your evil ways and works, lest the waters of the flood come upon you, and cut off all the seed of the children of men.”
• Although this tradition is not inspired like the text of the Bible,
• This extra biblical source may have an important truth for us to note and to heed!
• This tradition shows Noah preaching both a warning and a means of salvation.
• So the first lesson we learn is that;
• Noah warned other people that judgement was coming!
• Likewise the first lesson to learn – the challenge for each of us:
• Is to share the message of God with the people.
• Challenge is: Christian who are you going to share the gospel with this week?
“For God so loved the world, not just a few,
The wise and great, the noble and the true,
Or those of favoured class or rank or hue.
God loved the world. Do you?”
(B). Noah was and is an object lesson (20-21).
(1). NOAH AND SALVATION.
• i.e. We are told the ark contained only one door – one way into safety and salvation.
• A Picture of Jesus Christ – the one way to knowing peace with God.
• i.e. It was God and not Noah;
• Who decided when the time was right to close the door and bring on the judgement.
• i.e. Noah and his family were saved by faith
• Because they believed God and entered into the ark of safety.
(2). NOAH AND BAPTISM,
• Peter saw in the Flood a picture (a type) of the Christian’s experience of baptism.
• The ark of course was baptised, immersed in water.
• This immersion, this baptism, this flood is a type,
• A pictures death, burial, and resurrection.
• The waters buried the earth in judgment,
• But they also lifted Noah and his family up to safety.
• Notice that when Peter wrote that Noah and his family were "saved by water,"
• He was careful to explain that this illustration does not imply salvation by baptism.
• Baptism is a "symbol” or is a “figure" of that which does save us,
• Namely, "the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (verse 21).
Although baptism does not save a persons soul:
• Peter reminds us that it does save us from one thing: ‘a bad conscience.’
• Peter had already told his readers that a good conscience was important.
• In verse 16 Peter told his readers;
• That to be a successful witness you need a "clear conscience";
• In other words all of us need to keep short accounts with God;
• When we fail or fall we need to quickly confess it and with his help repent of it;
• In this way we can know his washing, his cleansing, his forgiveness.
• We become clean vessels ready for the masters use!
(2). The ministry of Christ
In our types of Churches:
• We tend not to use prayer books and set prayers;
• Preferring to be spontaneous and make up our own prayers.