Mankind sinned greatly after that, and God brought a flood upon the earth to cleanse it from sin. Noah and his family were the only ones saved, and that by the faith of Noah. (Heb. 11:7)
Abraham was a man of like faith when God told him to sacrifice his only son by Sarah, Isaac. Abraham was not only willing to do this, but would have if not for an angel of God preventing it from happening. God made a promise unto Abraham that his seed would live forever. A promise that would not be fulfilled until the coming of the Lord. (Gal 3:16)
Moses was a man who the bible says was very meek, and yet God asked him to go back to Egypt which he had fled forty years earlier for killing an Egyptian. It was by faith that Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, and passed through the Red Sea as by dry land. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. (Acts 7:37)
The prophets of old foretold of a Savior who would rise up from among his people, and would write the law of God upon their hearts Jer. 31:34. During all these times God gave man different laws from which to follow; from the law He gave to Adam and Eve, the law which He established with Abraham, to the law of Moses which He etched in stone with his own finger, the 10 commandments.
When the time came for the prophesies of the Messiah to come to pass, Israel had lost the promise land several times over because of their disobedience and unbelief. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Israel was under the rule of the Roman empire. Long ago had God divorced Israel, (Jer. 3:8) yet they hypocritically claimed to be following what had long been taken away from them. The law of Moses which they had confused with their own traditions was still in effect, but no longer was Israel the wife of God.
When Jesus ministry began some 30 years later, Jesus, the bridegroom, was in search of a new bride. As was the law, Jesus first sought reconciliation between him and his divorced wife, Israel, but they would not. (Lk 13:34-35) However, Jesus was not seeking Israel back under the same law which she had broken, but under a new law which he was prepared to die for, and pay for with his own blood, the perfect law of liberty. (Heb 1:3; James 1:25) In all this the bridegroom turned to a new bride in the Gentiles of which it was written of by Moses that God would provoke Israel to jealousy with those who were not a people. (Deut 32:21; Rom 15:9-12)
Thousands of years before Jesus’ appearance upon the earth, prophets of God foretold of Jesus life and death upon the cross. They foretold of his appearance being marred so badly that he was not to be desired. (Isa 53:2) They wrote how his words were to reach out to the Gentiles, and that they would believe him. They wrote about his crucifixion long before the barbaric practice ever existed. They wrote what he would say upon that cross, and even to the extent of his burial and resurrection. (Ps 22)
Jesus required of his new bride what was once only found in a select few, whose names were remembered in the book of Hebrews, faith. (Heb 11:6) Jesus requires each of us to have that one faith. (Eph 4:5) It is not our personal faith, but The Faith of God. The faith the apostle Paul spoke of on this wise, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through The Faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (Col 2:12)
Jesus required all of his servants to be baptized. Going back to the time of Noah who were all baptized in the flood, (1 Pet. 3:21) to the Israelites who were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the Red Sea. (1 Cor 10:1-4). God who by his unspeakable gift and grace gave unto man what Abraham was once willing to give unto God, his only begotten son. God was offering his new bride what he never offered unto his first, salvation through the blood of the lamb, Jesus. Jesus willingly offered his own life for you and I, but not without us doing something on our part, obedience.
This obedience is not burdensome, but is definitely required for our salvation. (1 Jn 5:3) We all are promised eternal life if we but subject ourselves to the obedience to the gospel of Christ. What is in this gospel that we must do? On the day of Pentecost, Peter was asked that same question. (Acts 2:37) His answer then is mine to you today, repent and be baptized. In other conversions in the book of Acts we discover that other converts were required to Hear the Word, (Acts 18:8) Understand what they had heard, (Acts 8:30) Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, Confess this belief before men, (Acts 8:37) and then to turn from their old life of sin, (Repent) and to be Baptized with water (Acts 2:38). It later books of the bible we are made to understand that we can fall away, (Gal 5:4) so we must remain faithful to the gospel until death. (Rev 2:10; Rev. 3:11).
Therefore is revealed unto you the mystery of the gospel of Christ which was was hid from the beginning of time, yet now is revealed unto all those who will believe it and obey it. (Rom 16:25) Like Adam and Eve who were punished with death, we today might conquer spiritual death by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. 1:3) As in Adam all die, in Christ all are made alive. (1 Cor 15:22) For thus is revealed the love of God which gave his only begotten son (John 3:16), and that we through that mercy of grace might become obedient, being baptized unto his death. (Rom 6:3-4) Behold, God’s Plan of Salvation.