Questions for Littles: Who suffered for sins (v18)? How many times? Who was just, and who was unjust? Why did He suffer? What happened to Him in the flesh? By Whom was He made alive? To whom had He previously preached (v19)? In what days had He preached (v20)? What was being prepared at that time? How many were saved? Through what? What is the antitype to the salvation of the ark (v21)? How does baptism not save us? What part of us does it make good by enabling it to give an answer to God? Through whose resurrection does Baptism do this for us? Where has He gone now (v22)? At whose right hand is He? Who is subject to Him?In the sermon this week, we made reference to the parallel passage in 1Peter 3:18-22. There, to suffering believers who need comfort and assurance, Peter points to the resurrected High Priest, who offered Himself once for all for sins, and sat down at the right hand of God.
Just as in our Hebrews passage, Peter talks about the cleansing of the conscience before God. That is, of course, the most necessary assurance and comfort that we all need.
Sometimes, we get short-sighted and think that what I really need is assurance and comfort about my current situation. But the greatest assurance and comfort that I need is that God’s justice and wrath have been satisfied concerning my sin.
And we have this, because the resurrected Christ has both poured out His Spirit upon us and commanded that the waters of baptism also be poured out upon us.
How were Noah and his family sure that God was saving them? They had the ark. Now, it certainly would have been foolish of them to put their hope in the ark! No, the ark was just one part of the means that God was using to save them.
So now, we have the real mccoy to which the ark pointed forward: union with Jesus Christ, as He announces to us in our baptisms. It would be ridiculous for us to trust in our baptism, when that baptism is directing us to trust only in Christ, who has given that baptism to us!
How do we know that He has finished atoning for sin? He was resurrected! How do we know that He has the authority to rule and overrule all things for our good? Even in His human nature, He sits upon the throne, at God’s right hand.
Angels, authorities, and powers are worshiping subjects at the feet of a Man in heaven. How much more, then, shall we trust in and worship Him!
In what current situation do you need to respond to your baptism for comfort and assurance? How often do you contemplate your baptism?Suggested Songs: ARP24 “The Earth and the Riches” or HB368 “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”