The Expository Files


In the Days of Noah

1 Peter 3:20,21

Speaking of God’s judgment of the world during the time of the great flood, the Scriptures say, “…who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 3:20,21).

Several points ought to be noticed:

First, God is patient. The world was extremely corrupt in Noah’s day, and yet God “kept waiting.” But judgment did finally come. Likewise, God’s patience today does not mean that the final judgment will never happen. He has spoken and said it is coming.

Second, Noah spent years preaching, calling upon the people to repent. After all that, only eight people ended up boarding the ark. Would you call that a success? The world doesn’t, but I am sure that the world changed its mind when the flood began. Success belonged to the eight who obeyed God.

Finally, the Bible says in this very passage that “baptism saves us.” It explains that the power is not in the act itself, nor in the water, but in our trust being placed in God’s power as we are assured by the resurrection of Christ. It is appropriate to say “baptism now saves us” because that is what the Scriptures, the word of God, says.

By Jon W. Quinn
The Front Page
From Expository Files 12.10; October 2005