Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Get Into The Ark!

By faith Noah ... constructed an ark for the saving of his household.
Hebrews 11:7
So here was a temporal salvation in an ark, which was a figure of our spiritual deliverance by Christ. There is a great deal of similitude between Christ and the ark. The ark was the only means of salvation, and so is Jesus Christ: Acts 4. 12, 'Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.' If they had builded towers, and gone up to the tops of mountains, though they were of a giant-like stature, they could not escape the flood that overwhelmed them. So all other things are but vain confidences; though you are strict and severe in life, and practise many duties, yet out of Christ they signify nothing. So again, all without the ark perished in the waters. Many saw the ark; but unless they entered into it, they were not safe. So, though you hear of Christ, and are of this opinion that there is a Christ, yet unless you be in Christ it will not avail you anything; there is salvation in no other, and you must be in him before you can have any benefit by him. Therefore say as the apostle, 'Oh that I might be found in him,' Philippians 3.9; that I may not only know Christ outwardly, but that there might be a real union between him and me. And look, as all that were gathered into the ark, so all tht shall be saved shall be added and gathered to the church: Acts 2.47, 'The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.' Those that were out of the ark, though many of them had large possessions and a great deal of money, yet that would not avail them. So 'riches profit not in the day of wrath,' Proverbs 11.4. When God comes to take us away in judgment, our estates which we idolise will be our greatest burden, and sit heavy upon our consciences; they will be a trouble and no profit to us. Again, those that were once in the ark were sure and safe, and could not miscarry. So there is a sure salvation in Christ; once in Christ, and salvation for ever; all the floods of calamity can never overwhelm them, they will be your safety, and not your ruin. The flood mounted the ark higher, and made it safe from rocks. There is a notable expression of the apostle, 1 Peter 3.20, 'They were saved by water,' the water that drowned others saved them, by hoisting up of the ark from the hills and mountains; so all those conditions of life which to the wicked are a snare, shall be to you a blessing. When floods arise, this will be a great advantage; afflictions and outward blessings are all faithful administrations.

Again, as Noah was buried alive in the ark for a good while, then had a joyful deliverance; so we are 'buried with Christ in baptism,' Romans 6.4, mortified with affliction; and we should live as if we were dead to the pomps of the world, and then the end will be glorious as it was to Noah. He came out and enjoyed the whole world; so shall we when we are delivered from the prison of the body; when our souls go forth as Noah out of the ark, we shall reign and triumph with Christ for evermore. Oh then, get into the ark, get an interest in Christ. Noah prepared the ark himself; but the Lord hath prepared an ark for us; all things are ready, there [lacks] nothing but our faith. The ark is built to our hands, and Christ is a complete saviour, fit to shelter us and save us. Oh, let us enter into this ark!

--Thomas Manton, Works of Thomas Manton, Volume 14, p. 204-205.

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