Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Flood Is A Type Of Christian Baptism

Many apologies to the three people who still read my blog for not posting in a while. I am teaching a new class this year and have been quite consumed by the work. One of the things I taught my sophomores earlier this year is that the flood of Noah is a type of Christian baptism, based on St. Peter's acclamation in 1 Peter 3:17-22:

"For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God's will, than for doing wrong. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him."

We can see this by observing the parallels between the flood and baptism. Before the flood, there was sin in the world. The flood then washes away the sin. Noah is saved through the flood, yet the potential to sin remains in the world.

For baptism, we are born in Original Sin. Baptism washes away Original Sin. We are then saved through the waters of baptism, yet we still have the potential to sin.

After I taught this to my class, I was thinking about it some more and came up with another parallel. After the flood, God promises Noah that he will never destroy the world by a flood again. So the flood is a one time event. This corresponds to baptism which is done once for the forgiveness of sins.