I've been thinking about the story of Noah's ark recently and it struck me that on the surface, the passage seems to suggest that being a good person is the key to salvation. There is that crucial part of the story where it says:
"Noah found favour in the eyes of the LORD... Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time"
So salvation is only for good people? Read on...
"Then the LORD said to Noah, "Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time."
Hang on a minute, when did his household come into this? Noah was declared by God the be the only righteous person out of a wicked generation, so why are his family suddenly allowed salvation as well? The answer is simple: they are *in* Noah. By being part of his household, they are saved by his righteousness, not their own. Sound familiar? Noah is like Jesus, a righteous man who brings salvation for us.
So the message of Genesis 6-7 is not 'if you're righteous like Noah, then you'll be saved', it’s 'look to the righteous one – salvation is found in him!'. The distinction is crucial. Now go and tell your non-christian friends.