The Church Is The Ark

  • extra Ecclesiam nulla salus “outside the Church [there is] no salvation”
  • If you are not in the Church you are not saved- there is no salvation except Church Salvation
  • The Church has failed.
  • I think those of us who are in these non-denom streams have failed the Church as a whole.
  • The books, songs, conferences and sermons- no church.
  • I blame the para church orgs, televangelists, boomers and attractional attender churches
  • Family hist, saved at 15. I got a Bible. I read it. youth pastor pulled me to Church –But I was never taught to love the Church. never taught importance of ecclesiology.
  • I was taught- Jesus is everything. Faith is paramount. Bible, worship, no sin, evangelize, grow
  • I was taught that it was Jesus plus nothing. By grace so no man can boast. No works. No church
  • Church attendance was almost apologetic conformance. Membership was confining and legalistic. Church was a place where individuals were built up for personal relationship w JC
  • We were free from the bondage of the constraints of ‘organized religion’ and ‘denominationalism’.
  • We weren’t taught creeds and doctrines, church history. Pastors promoted- we left also
  • Our Liturgy was the liturgy of no liturgy. No walls. No connections. ‘being led to a new church’ and ‘being the church’ and ‘having 2 or 3 gathered in his name’. Just follow Jesus, Man
  • In my youth of the 90s I was being led by those who were saved in the 60s. Anti-establishment types probably. Guys who preached in hula shirts and sat on stools and wore flip flops
  • They failed me. They led me astray. They taught me repentance and forgiveness, they just didn’t teach me To love Christ’s church (Meeting guy talking about Jesus- he said he loved the church we thought he was lost) never taught body, the marriage, the Ark. (fball holes soph)
  • extra Ecclesiam nulla salus meaning “outside the Church [there is] no salvation” Saint Cyprian of Carthage a Christian bishop of the 3rd century is known as the one who coined the phrase
  • The phrase is used as shorthand for the doctrine that the Church is necessary for salvation.
  • What I am not saying
  • Before I go any further- let me establish a few things- 1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Eph 2:8 It is by grace you have been saved and this is not of yourselves Jn 14:6 I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the father except through me.
  • Schawartz-  Studying the convictions of Cyprian and John Wesley he concluded- the church is not the arbiter of salvation, but that community which is saved. (you cannot be saved outside)
  • Salvation doesn’t belong to the Church- Salvation is the Church. The Church is THE ark
  • Jesus is the object of our faith- not the Church. Jesus is the means of salvation, but the ordinary expression of Christians throughout the ages has been- In and through the church. Ordinary. For 100s it was NORMAL to be in the church. In the Ark. Basketball- never on team
  • Gallup 1940s-76% member of a church Held for 6 decades. Last 3 down 38% to 47% NORMAL
  • The savior is Jesus- not the Church- but the church brings us to Jesus who is the savior, and the church is the object of Christ’s salvation work throughout the world. The Church is THE Ark
  • The true history is that for more years than not- no one thought that you could have salvation outside the church. Being in the church was ordinary. Membership was normal.
  • The Church is the means of- The instrument of Grace, not the mediator of that Grace

2 cor 5:17 he has reconciled us to himself and has given US the ministry of reconciliation.

3. How the Bible Describes the church-

  • She is The Israel of God (Gal 6:16), The King’s Daughter (Psalm 45:13), The Lamb’s wife (Rev 19:7, 21:9), The Lot of God’s Inheritance (Deut 32:9), His Inheritance ( Psalm 28:9), Mount Zion (Psa 2:6), The Mountain of the Lord’s House (Isa 2:2), A Holy Mountain (Zech 8:3), A Holy Hill (Psalm 15:1), City of the Living God (Heb 12:22), The New Jerusalem (Rev 21:2) The Heavenly of Jerusalem (Gal 4:26, Heb 12:22) God’s Building (1 Cor 3:19), God’s Husbandry (1 Cor 3:9), God’s Heritage (Joel 3:2, 1 peter 5:3), The Habitation of God (Eph 2:22),), A Holy City (Rev 21:2), The Fold of Christ (Jn 10:16), The House of God (1 tim 3:15, Heb 10:21), The House of the God of Jacob (Isaiah 2:3) The House of Christ (Heb 3:6), The Household of God (Eph 2:19),) The Sanctuary of God (Psalm 114:2), A Spiritual House (1 Peter 2:5), A Vineyard (Jeremiah 12:10, Matt 21:41) The branch of God’s planting (Isa 60:21) The Golden Candlestick (Rev 1:20), She is the assembly of the saints (psalm 89:7), Assembly of the upright (Psalm 111:1), The Congregation of Saints (Psalm 149:1), The Family in Heaven and Earth (Eph 3:15), The Flock of God (1 Peter 5:2), The Body of Christ (Eph 1:22-23), The Bride of Christ (Rev 21:9), The Church of God (Act 20:28), The Church of the Living God (1 Tim 3:15), The Temple of God (1 Cor 3:16-17), The Temple of the Living God (2 Cor 6:16), The Church of the First Born (Heb 12:23), The Pillar and Ground of the Truth (1 tim 3:15) Registered in Heaven- He 12:23 The Church is the Ark of Salvation (1 Peter 3:20)- There is no SALVATION OUTSIDE OF THIS CHURCH- THIS CALLED OUT EKKLESSIA- THE ARK
  • Does that sound like an institution that ‘Christ redeemed with his own blood’, that the very ‘gates of Hell would not prevail against’ that should be ostracized, minimized or chastised? Or should she be loved, revered, honored, esteemed and the center of our salvation experience?
  • Should the Church not be the central expression, mission, and focus of our Christian walk?


  • There’s a reason that the theologians before us called her THE ARK from which there is no other salvation. That is Why we, as the church should preach there is no salvation outside the church, that the Church is THE ARK of Salvation! The Ark is the Ekklessia, the Called out Church of GOD
  • Saint Irenaeus (died A.D. 202): “[The Church] is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. (Against Heresies, Book III) Saint Cyprian (died A.D. 258): “He who has turned his back on the Church of Christ shall not come to the rewards of Christ; he is an alien, a worldling, an enemy. You cannot have God for your Father if you have not the Church for your mother.
  • These saints went so far as to describe the Church of God as the Ark of Salvation in the same was that the Ark of the Flood was the means of Salvation. One vehicle of salvation.
  • The Ark did not save Noah. God saved Noah through the Ark that he built on obedience.
  • God’s saving grace had Noah build the Ark, to prepare for the flood- The waters rose and condemned all who were outside its walls. Noah built what God designed. He was faithful to build what others thought pointless. Trusting that God himself would save Noah and his family
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas (died A.D. 1274): “There is no entering into salvation outside the Church, just as in the time of the deluge there was none outside the ark, which denotes the Church.” (Summa Theologiae)St. Bede the Venerable (died A.D. 735): “Just as all within the ark were saved and all outside of it were carried away when the flood came, so when all who are pre-ordained to eternal life have entered the Church, the end of the world will come and all will perish who are found outside.” (Hexaemeron)Saint Peter Canisius (died A.D. 1597): “Outside of this communion – as outside of the ark of Noah – there is absolutely no salvation for mortals: not for Jews or pagans who never received the faith of the Church, nor for heretics who, having received it, corrupted it; neither for the excommunicated or those who for any other serious cause deserve to be put away and separated from the body of the Church” (Catechismi Latini et Germanici)
  • I’m not going to take any more latitude than the scriptures allow, but I’d like to indulge this idea of the Church as the Ark of Salvation. The container for those who want to avoid the flood
  • There is a flood coming- there will be a final call for those who are in Christ to be rescued
  • Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
  • For Noah, the Ark saved them from the waters- For us, we are saved in the waters of baptism
  • 1 peter 3:20-21 READ
  • Now Baptism- What is baptism? It’s a symbol. It’s an outward expression of an inward confession- Its publicly displays what has happened internally. (Can be dunk w no conv)
  • It displays to a lost and dying world that we have died and lost ourselves in Christ
  • Visible confession of an invisible transformation (poss, get wet with no believe)
  • We now, are symbolically saved through water, the same way Noah was literally saved through water. Noah was literally saved in the Ark we are the literally saved in the Church. The church is the gathered Family of God safe from the judgment and the destruction of the wicked.
  • assume that you know the story of Noah in the broadest strokes possible- 2 by 2- into the boat, flood, 40 days, only Noah and his family lived.
  • Notice the parallels of Noah’s Ark and Christ’s Church-
  • Noah was a faithful servant- Gen 6:9 Jesus was a faithful servant- phil 2:8 God told noah to build one boat- Jesus told Peter to build one church. There was only one boat. There is only one church. Col 1:18. Eph 4:4. Noah used one base material for the ark- gopher wood gen 6:14 God uses one base material to build his church- living stones. 1 peter 2:5. The ark only had one window for light gen 6:16 the church only has one light- Jesus Christ- John 8:12 The ark only had one door- Gen 6:16 there is only one door to the church John 10:9 ‘I am the door if anyone enters by me he will be saved.  John 14:6 no one comes to the father except through me. Those in the ark were one family. Those who are in the church are one family. Eph 3:15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, Wood and water. Ark was wood and water- We have the Cross and Baptism,The door on the side. Noah entered through the side- we enter the church through the pierced side of Christ where blood and water flowed (People not helping noah expecting to get on the boat- people saying they go to a church etc)
  • One ark, one Church.- There was only one ark, not a fleet. There is only one church.
  • God closed the ark.- God closed the door for noah- God will close the church when JC returns
  • You want to be on the ark- You want to be in the church- There is no salvation outside her

5. Old Testament Church

  • The OT Church was Israel- It had leaders, membership, rites, doctrine, confessions, worship, buildings and beliefs. SEPARATE It was still the ark- The saved ekklesia- the called out ones (abe)
  • OT symbol of membership- circumcision- Instituted by God with Abraham Gen 17
  • God called Abraham, away from his people to become a special people to God himself
  • A separation from those nations around the world, called out- Greek word- ekklesia
  • And the Symbol of this membership was circumcision- but just like the NT- there was a visible means to determine membership in the OT church, but there needed to be an Invisible transformation as well- Deut 30:6 I will Circumcise their hearts
  • The visible membership was not enough to please God- there had to be an invisible transformation of the heart to be considered part of the Church of Israel. Like NT Church
  • Romans 9:6 Not all who are Israel were Israel (I was on the football team but I hated it)
  • Because the Visible had to coincide with with invisible. Symbol, Heart, Ekklesia, Ark
  • If you weren’t in Israel, you were not saved, If you are not in the Church you are not saved

6. Determining salvation within the church.

  • But how do we determine that salvation?
  • This idea of there is no salvation outside of the church hinges on the idea of the visible v invisible- There must be an invisible membership to actually BE in the visible Church
  • There is no salvation outside the visible church but you cannot be saved without being part of the invisible church. The church of transformation. The church of the new birth, new creation born again, adopted as sons of God invisible. Just like in the OT, in the NT only God can determine membership in the invisible church, but be assured, there is no salvation outside of this church. You must be converted into the invisible, ordinarily committed to the visible.
  • This has been the ordinary progression for many years- Being on the Ark was ORDINARY
  • There was a visible ark with and invisible conviction to trust God. There is a Visible Church filled with those who have an invisible conviction- a real salvation invisible. In the Ark Visible
  • The Visible Church has those that are not of the invisible Church- Only those in the invisible will make it, you can be in the visible, but not the invisible. there are tares with the wheat. Ham was on the Ark. There are wolves among the sheep- But no salvation outside THE church
  • Salvation was found in the ark.1 Peter 3:20- then once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. Salvation is found in the church. Ephesians 5:23  For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
  • The bulk of those on the Ark had this invisible transformation- A belief in God that was credited to them as righteousness that desired to honor God- Except one- Ham, who was cursed
  • A visible commitment to the ark without the invisible conviction for righteousness by faith
  • And just like the ark with Ham, or Israel with Circumcision, or the NT Church with baptism, there are those who are in the Ark who are not part of the invisible Church, only the Visible
  • Jankiewicz- Ultimately, Luther affirmed the necessity of the visible church for salvation. In His wisdom, Luther believed, God had decreed the church to be the means of grace, without which no one could be saved. As a result, while a person could be in the church and unsaved, the option of not being in the church was not open to those who were predestined for salvation
  • Being a member of the invisible church of God is absolutely necessary for salvation– it is ordinary to be a member of the visible church. Its ordinary. It is normal (Thief on cross)
  • Visible v invisible. Circumcision of the heart v circumcision of the flesh. External v internal
  • Baptism is the point that you enter into the church where salvation is found. COMMITTED
  • Col 2:11-12 Buried with him baptism- But like OT- Circum v circum of the HEART

There is no football outside the team- no salvation outside the church. (wear jersey-no love)

7. The NT Church

  • Christ chose to call his people to himself through the church. To place the members in body
  • Scripture belongs to the Church. It was written to the church, by the church and through the Church. We hold the keys to the kingdom- We bind and loose in Jesus name- We discipline.
  • Jesus said To Go and make disciples. He said that those who rejected his words would not be saved. The scriptures say to the church that he has given US the ministry of reconciliation.
  • Christ committed the ministry of the word to the church– not to individuals. To the CHURCH
  • Preaching has always been the primary means of salvation, and preaching belongs to the Church. At the Altar, in the front, received into the family of God into THE CHURCH-THE ARK
  • Acts 2:47 says- And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
  • Jesus wanted ONE CHURCH John 10:16 and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
  • Ames- Membership in the church visible was necessary for salvation because preaching, which was both the primary means of salvation and the primary mark of the church was attached to the church inseparably.
  • The Holy Spirit uses churches to gather Christians together for the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. Sanctification is the Holy Spirit’s work of making us holy AS A CHURCH
  • When the Holy Spirit creates faith in us, he renews in us the image of God so that through his power we produce good works In the CHURCH- There is no salvation outside of Her!
  • How does the Holy Spirit sanctify the believer without the work of the Church? How does the individual walk out the scriptures and be conformed to the image of Christ without the Church?
  • How does a born again believer walk out the demands of scripture pointed towards them?
  • Jesus said if we love him we will keep his commandments? How do we do that individually without the church? How do we walk out the collective Scriptures of the Holy Writ?
  • How do you love one another as he has loved us if you’re alone? Bear one anothers burdens and fulfill the law of Christ? Forgive one another as Christ forgave us? How do we take the Lord’s supper as communion with God and the saints? Keep the unity of the bond of peace? How do we exhort one another daily, and not forsake the gathering? How do we recognize elders and deacons, pastors and prophets, and esteem them highly for their work? How can we follow their faith and their work and not be burden to them? What are we baptized into? And what are we being called out From? To whom are we accountable?
  •  How? Without the Church you CANT. You just simply Can’t. Outside the Church no Salvation
  • (Jurgens, p. 214).If someone of that people wishes to be saved, let him come into this house, so that he may be able to obtain his salvation…. Let no one, then, be persuaded otherwise, nor let anyone deceive himself: outside this house, that is, outside the Church, no one is saved. For if anyone go outside, he shall be guilty of his own death William Perkins- “the church upon the earth is ‘the suburbs of the city of God and the gate of heaven; and therefore entrance must be made into heaven in and by the church” 1601Henreich bullinger- “for in the church only is true faith, and without the church of God is neither any truth, nor yet salvation” Francis Turretin – The church is the primary work of the Trinity, the object of Christ’s mediation and the subject of the application of his benefits Ames- Those who have opportunity to join the visible church and persistently neglect it ‘can scarcely be counted as true believers”

8. all those found out side the ark lost their lives.

  • All those outside the ark died, all those outside the church will perish as well-
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9  when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,  8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
  • Are you committed to the church? Even if you don’t like this one- find one and commit
  • She is the ark of Salvation. She is the visible body of Christ. Maintain her! SHE IS YOU
  • Ephesians 5:27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
  • Those outside the church have heard the hammering for years-
  • They mocked Noah. They chided him and laughed at his belief that the Lord would use an Ark
  • They are doing the same to us today! We must build her- we must defend her- Preach her
  • Those who deny the need for the church are the fornicators who refuse to get married, spiritual fornicators who want the benefit of the body, with no commitment. They will scarcely be saved
  • Let us not be found in dereliction of duty. Let us uphold the truth that outside of the Church there is no salvation. That those who willfully choose to ignore the pleas of scripture to be found in her, are lost without her. Not part of the body of Christ, not one of his members!
  • Yes, it may be possible to enter into heaven without the church- perhaps if you’re a thief on a cross next to the savior in his final hour. You may make the cut, but its not ordinary
  • But church membership is ordinary for the saved. Its ordinary for the saint. It’s ordinary for those who love Jesus, his word, his people and his church.
  • Those who are in Christ always love the church because whether they can describe it or not- they know that salvation is the Church- The ekklesia- the called out ark of God and they want to be found in her When Jesus returns! There is no salvation outside the Church.

•            Scriptures about Church

            Matthew 16:18 I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 18:17 tell it to the church.  Acts 2:47 the Lord added to the church daily

•            Acts 5:11 So great fear came upon all the church  Acts 11:22 to the ears of the church

•            Acts 11:26 they assembled with the church and taught a great many people.  Acts 12:5 prayer was offered to God for him by the church. Acts 14:23 they had appointed elders in every church

•            Acts 14:27 Now when they had come and gathered the church together, Acts 15:3 So, being sent on their way by the church Acts 15:4  they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders Acts 15:22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church Acts 15:41 strengthening the churches. Acts 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily. Acts 18:22 greeted the church   Acts 20:28 shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Romans 16:1 who is a servant of the church

•            Romans 16:16 The churches of Christ greet you. 1 Cor 4:1 I teach everywhere in every church.

•            7:17 so I ordain in all the churches. 10:32 Give no offense  to the church of God,  11:18 when you come together as a churc 12:28 And God has appointed these in the church 14:4 he who prophesies edifies the church. 14:12 let it be for the edification of the church  14:23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place  16:1 I have given orders to the churches 16:19 The churches of Asia greet you. 2 Cor 8:23 they are messengers of the churches 8:24 before the churches 11:28 my deep concern for all the churches. Ephesians 1:22 to be head over all things to the church,  3:10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

•            Ephesians 5:23 Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

•            Ephesians 5:24 the church is subject to Christ

•            Ephesians 5:25 Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her

•            Ephesians 5:27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church

•            Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

•            Colossians 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church

•            Colossians 1:24 for the sake of His body, which is the church,

•            1 Thessalonians 2:14  became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus.  1 Timothy 3:5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 1 Timothy 5:16 and do not let the church be burdened

•            Hebrews 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven James 5:14  Let him call for the elders of the church

•            3 John 1:6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. 3 John 1:9  I wrote to the church, 3 John 1:10 putting them out of the church.

•            Revelation 1:4 to the seven churches which are in Asia:

•            Revelation 1:20 The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. Revelation 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  Revelation 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

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