October 2002
Article 38


      The Scriptures provide a storehouse of information about Noah, about the wickedness of all mankind in his day, about God's judgment upon all the earth, and about the symbolic significance of that judgment. That symbolism covers the same symbolism as water baptism (1Pe 3:20-21) and circumcision (Col 2:11-12), and has its final application to the new birth when Christ returns.


      "This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God," Gen 6:9.
      How did Noah walk with God? Probably in the same way Enoch walked with God: by Jehovah often appearing to them and communing with them concerning a host of things He wanted them to know, and also a great many things they wanted to know about God and His last will and testament.
      How long did Noah walk with God? Obviously, a few hundreds of years longer than the 120 years announced in Gen 6:3,9, while God's patience was waiting on that generation, 1Pe 3:20. The Holy Spirit was still striving with that generation (Gen 6:3), and Noah was still faithfully preaching God's righteousness, 2Pe 2:5.
      God's righteousness is the fullness of God's divine nature, promised in the tree of life, and also promised in all His last will and testaments, Heb 9:13-20. Throughout his life, Noah was faithfully preaching the last will and testament, which was sanctified in the Garden of Eden by the blood of the animals that were sacrificed there, Gen 3:20-21. The bodies of those animals represented the body of Christ (Heb 9:13-28; 10:1-19), and their skins represented the righteousness of the bride of Christ (Mt 22:11-13; Rev 7:9-14; 19:7-8) which is the righteousness of God, Isa 54:17; Jer 23:5-6; 33:15-16; Mt 6:33; 2Co 5:21; Phi 3:9.God's "righteousness" and divine "life" are often referenced in the Scriptures and are generic of all of God's divine attributes.


      "Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'
      27 "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them," Gen 1:26-27.
      31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
      32 "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church,"
Eph 5:31-32; Gen 2:24.
      21 "That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
      22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
      23 "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me,"
Jn 17:21-23.
      God's purpose from the beginning has been to prepare a special people for Himself who will possess the full range of His divine attributes, except that the saints will not be infinite in any of God's attributes. God righteously permitted man to fall into sin that He might personally and immeasurably demonstrate His divine attributes of love, compassion, mercy, longsuffering, justice, wrath, etc., Rom 9:22-23.
      These divine attributes were to be and have been demonstrated by God, in the Person of His Son becoming a human through a virgin birth, living a sinless life, suffering God's wrath against the sins of the human race, dying the death required by sin, being buried, and then being born out of the grave into a divine human body. This divine human body is called "the new man" in the Scriptures, 2Co 5:16-17; Eph 2:10-16; 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10.
      We have put off the old man and put on the new man in the metaphor of the church being the deified body of Christ and the members of the church being the deified members of the deified body of Christ. This is a metaphor where "God is calling things which be not as though they were," Rom 4:17; 6:2-13. Our bodies were never really crucified, dead, buried, and raised out of the grave together with Christ into a divine human body. However, in the sense and capacity of the very commonly used figure of speech called a "metaphor," God counts this to be so, Rom 4:17; 6:2-23; 12:4-5; 1Co 6:15-17; 2Co 5:14-17,21; Eph 2:10-16; et al.
      In the Garden of Eden, Jehovah made a last will and testament with Adam and Eve to include the whole human race, Gen 3. In this last will and testament God stipulates that Adam and his descendants must live righteous lives of worship and obedience to God according to the testament. It is clear from the beginning that God has always had, down through the ages, a remnant of Adam's descendants who have been taught, have believed, and have sufficiently obeyed God according to the testament or covenant requirements.


      "You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female," Gen 7:2.
      Noah kept pace with the "righteous," and was evidently their leader for at least the last 120 years before the flood as their number dwindled to 8 souls. He was likewise evidently accustomed to worshiping God by offering "clean" animal sacrifices every Sabbath. After a year the flooding waters receded, and Noah with all the animals and fowl left the ark. Immediately Noah worshiped God by offering burnt offerings of "clean" animals and fowl, and God was well pleased.
      20 "Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
      21 "And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
      22 "‘While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease,'"
Gen 8:20-22.
      Obviously, the animals that Noah and others before him sacrificed were "clean" animals and fowl. This was true with Enoch and all the other faithful "sons of God" before and after the flood. They knew which ones were "clean" and which ones were not, and they also knew what these sacrifices signified.
      God had evidently already explained these things to Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and through parents and leaders He had chosen. God wanted them to know all about His covenants: it is clear that Cain knew the kind of sacrifice he should have offered, and God gave him an opportunity to correct his disobedience:
      7 "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, a sin offering is lying at the door. And his (Abel's) desire is for you, and you shall rule over him," Gen 4:7.


      "And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall crush your head, And you shall bruise His heel," Gen 3:15.
      Adam and Eve sinned, immediately saw their nakedness, were greatly ashamed, and hastily sought to cover their nakedness and hide it from God. But God did see: "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account," Heb 4:13.
      God immediately addressed their sin, pronouncing righteous and eternal judgment against Satan and man, Gen 3:15-19; Lk 16:19-31; Rev 20:10; 21:8. God also immediately demonstrated symbolically His last will and testament by promising Himself as the testament Redeemer by slaying clean animals and clothing Adam and Eve with their skins, Gen 3:21-24. God left the Garden of Eden there and put cherubim to guard it for a time – perhaps till Abel died. The promise of that life (the fullness of God's divine attributes) is still held out to us in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lamb of God, Gen 1:26-27; Jn 1:29,36; Rev 5:5-12; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 5:31-32; Col 2:9-10; Jn 17:21-23; 2Jn 9-11; 2Pe 1:4-10.
      The blood and death of the lambs slain in the Garden of Eden testified symbolically that the Seed of the woman would be the Lamb of God whom John the Baptist introduced to Israel (and to us through the written Word). The symbolism was accompanied by an obvious abundance of verbal instructions: God wants His covenant people to know His will – His last will and testaments.
      10 "And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"
      11 "He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to KNOW the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given,"
Mt 13:10-11.
      God has used shadowy types, symbols, ceremonies, parables, etc., to hide the mysteries of the unsearchable riches of Christ from the unfaithful of His covenant people and from those outside the covenants. But God reveals these mysteries to those within the covenants who diligently study, believe, and obey His Word.
      The new birth flows like a river throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. It was and is promised in the tree of life, and finds its fulfillment in the resurrection birth of Christ. The Seed of the woman had to conquer death, hell, and the grave, and thereby obtain the divine life of the tree of life in His human body.
      The tree of life was guarded until the Lamb of God (portrayed by the slain lambs in the Garden of Eden) came up out of hell and the grave in the tree of life kind of life in a divine body. This is symbolized by Adam and Eve being clothed with the skins of the lambs that were slain, the blood of which sanctified the testament with Adam and his descendants who overcome the covenant training, and gain (by grace through faith) that crown of divine life.


      "Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar," Gen 8:20.
      The "burnt offering" will be covered later with the other offerings of Lev 1 thru 7. We will deal with it briefly here to point out Noah's obvious understanding of its symbolic meaning. The burnt offering is noted for being a "free will" offering of worship and thanksgiving. It is not stated that Noah was commanded to offer this offering when he left the ark. Clearly, Noah had been frequently offering burnt offerings for most of the 600 years of his life. Here it was an offering of worship and thanksgiving for being saved through the terrible destruction of the flood.
      The burnt offering was an offering made by fire on an altar, and the whole animal or fowl was consumed entirely by the fire. This offering spoke of the Seed of the woman giving Himself entirely of His own free will to do the will of the Father in suffering the full punishment for the sins of all mankind. The emphasis here is found most strikingly in Heb 10:5-10.
      5 "Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a BODY You have prepared for Me.
      6 "‘In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.'
      7 "Then I said, 'Behold, I have come -- In the volume of the book it is written of Me -- To do Your will, O God.'"
      8 "Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them' (which are offered according to the law),
      9 "Then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.' He takes away the first that He may establish the second.
      10 "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,"
Heb 10:5-10.
      17 "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.
      18 "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father,"
Jn 10:17-18.
      The Seed of the woman came to do the "will" of the Father. It is written in the volume of a Book, the Bible, that He came to do the will of the Father and nothing but the will of the Father. He was wholly dedicated to doing the will of the Father every moment of every day.


      "But he shall wash its entrails and its legs with water. And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD," Lev 1:9,13,17; 2:2,3,9,10; et al.
      The word "fire," used figuratively signifies "Judgment," whether of punishment, as in hell (Lk 16:19-31) and the lake of fire (Rev 21:8), or of "testing" (tempering) in order to refine, Isa 48:10; 1Pe 1:7; 4:12. The flood came as a result of sin and the failure of mankind to present themselves as whole burnt offerings to God: a failure to conform to the austere discipline of the last will and testament.
      Enoch preached righteousness (Jud 14-15), Noah preached righteousness (2Pe 2:5), and so did "the sons of God" (Gen 6), until they all grew weary of God's covenant training and fell into the many snares of selfish, unrighteous living; except Noah and his family of 8 who remained faithful to God in the strait and narrow way, Gen 6; 7; 8; Mt 7:13-14.
      An "offering made by fire" is an act of holy worship from a sincere, believing, and humble heart. It is a whole hearted willingness to live according to God's righteous rules which govern God's "furnace of affliction," Isa 48:9-12. The fiery trials of Job, Joseph, Moses, and others were premier examples of offerings made by fire. Here is where God's austere last will and testament training produces the finest examples of godly men and women for God's eternal glory.


      "And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done,'" Gen 8:21.
      How very pleasant these burnt offerings were to Jehovah! Every burnt offering offered in the true spirit of faith and worship brought and brings this sweet fragrance to God, Lev 1; 2; 3; Rev 8:3-4; et al. As we present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Rom 12:1-2), we are performing the worship represented in the burnt offerings. Sacrificing a clean animal without spot or blemish represented the covenant people as one body with and in the body of Christ, offering themselves to God, or presenting themselves before God, in precise compliance with covenant (last will and testament) disciplinary training.
      The reason these burnt offerings were so pleasing to Jehovah is that they portrayed, in part, 1) the simple yet serene faith and spiritual understanding (step by step) that Noah and his family had toward Jehovah and His works as both God and Testator, 2) the perfect worship and joy all the firstborn sons will have when they are transformed into the divine image and likeness of God that exists only in the divine oneness, Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 5:31-32; Col 1:19; 2:9-10; 1Pe 1:4.


      "For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,
      14 "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
      15 "And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
      16 "For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
      17 "For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.
      18 "Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.
      19 "For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
      20 "Saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you,'"
Heb 9:13-20.
      God told Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, "for in the day you eat of it, you shall surely die," Gen 2:17; 3:3. Adam and Eve ate of it and were immediately in the first phase of this death: separation from God (the beginning of all the woes the world has experienced since that time), Gen 3:1-11. God immediately promised to redeem them in the person of Himself as the Seed of the woman, Gen 3:15.
      He demonstrated how He must live a sinless life as the Seed of the woman, then suffer in Himself divine wrath against the sins of Adam and all his descendants, die and be buried. However, before His human body began to "return to the dust" (Gen 3:19), he arose out of the grave in a tree of life promised divine body, represented in clothing Adam and Eve in the skins of the slain animals, Gen 3:21. The Testator promised to cover their nakedness by replacing it with His own divine righteousness, giving them the proper wedding garment, Isa 54:5,17; Rev 19:7-8; Mt 22:11-14; Eph 5:31-32; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23.
      Adam's mind, still near its pristine state, readily grasped God's instructions, with their prophetic significance, and called his wife's name Eve, which means "life." He said this not only because she would be the mother of all the living ones in a flesh body, but also in the hope that she would obtain that life of the tree of life. This divine life was still promised in this last will and testament that God was sanctifying with Adam and his faith descendants through the blood of the slain animals and clothing Adam and Eve with the animals' skins.
      Surely, we are terriblly naive to think this last will and testament was not keenly in Noah's mind as he exited the ark with his family and all the living creatures. The world that Noah and his family knew, with it immorality and violence, was overwhelmed and destroyed by divine justice. New life was symbolized, as we shall point out, but the last will and testament remains steadfast. Noah walked with God another 350 years, and saw his descendants, for the most part, unwilling to endure the discipline of the last will and testament.


      "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
      19 "By whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,"
1Pe 3:18-19.
      On the cross Christ told the repenting thief they would be together in Paradise that same day they died, Lk 23:43. Another scripture says that Christ would spend three days and nights in the heart of the earth, Mt 12:40. Again, the Scriptures say that when Christ died His Spirit descended down into the lower parts of the earth, Eph 4:9. A fourth scripture says that Christ preached to the spirits in prison who were disobedient in the days before the flood, 1Pe 3:19. The Scriptures also state that Christ led captivity captive when He ascended out of the lower parts of the earth, Ps 68:17-18; Eph 4:8-10.
      Paul wrote that Paradise is now in the third heaven, 2Co 12:1-4. The point here is to show that the spirits of the saints of the Old Testament were held in captivity until Christ arose out of the grave. They are still in captivity, and still in Paradise until Christ, as the testament Testator, returns; at which time all saints will receive the full "image" and "likeness" of God (Gen 1:26-27), "all the fullness of God," (His divine nature, 2Pe 1:4), and the divine "oneness" in the new birth, Phi 3:7-14,21; Heb 11:39-40; 1Pe 1:3-5; Rev 6:9-11.
      The "spirits in prison" in 1Pe 3:19 were "disobedient." They failed to endure the discipline of the last will and testament, and will not be allowed to eat of the fruit of the tree of life. That tree has been guarded by the cherubim (Gen 3:22-24), and will continue to be until the Testator returns and transforms the bodies and spirits of the faithful testament people into the life of the tree of life. This life is the fullness of God's divine nature. Each faithful saint will receive the full range of divine attributes, according to their by grace through faith works, Ecc 12:13-14; Mt 12:36-37; 2Co 5:10-11; Rev 22:12.


      "Who formerly were disobedient, when 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.
      21 "There is also an antitype which now saves us – baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"
1Pe 3:20-21.
      Scriptural water baptism is a like figure or antitype to the waters of the flood in Noah's day. It has a saving efficacy toward the new birth resurrection and transformation when Christ returns, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; Heb 1:5-6; 5:5; 1Co 15:44-54; et al. By His resurrection, Jehovah begat us again to a "living hope," 1Pe 1:3-9; 1Jn 3:2-3; Rom 8:23-25; 1Co 15:1-2. These verses and a Bible full of others reveal that we must overcome the required last will and testament training in order to qualify for bridal relationship with Jehovah, Isa 54:5 (1-13); Gal 4:19 thru 5:5; 2Jn 9; 1Jn 2:23-25; 5:11 (6-13); 2Pe 1:3-11; et al.
      The efficacy of baptism is in God through His Spirit and His Word. When God's Word is preached, taught, heard, read, believed, and obeyed, the Spirit makes the Word efficacious: the Spirit produces the desired effect. God sent John the Baptist to preach repentance, baptize those who repented, and tell them to look for the soon coming of the Messiah, Mt 3:1-17.
      Jehovah in a human body soon came, 1) was baptized by John (Mt 3:13-16), 2) received the Spirit as prophesied (Isa 42:1; 61:1-3; Mt 3:13-17), 3) overcame the first major testing by Satan where Adam failed (Mt 4:1-11; Gen 2:1-7), 4) and began to organize and build up a New Covenant people called His church, Jn 1:29-51; 2:1-2,11; Lk 6:12-16; Mt 16:13-18; 18:15-18.
      Observe that the beginning of Jehovah's earthly personal ministry was when He was baptized by John the Baptist. Without this baptism He would not have received the Holy Spirit which was necessary for His ordination as High Priest of the New Covenant (the new and revised last will and testament). Christ was a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, but ordained after the pattern of Aaron's ordination, Ex 29; Lev 8.
      The ordination required 1) putting off the old garments, 2) the whole body washing, 3) putting on the new and special high priest's garments, 4) the anointing of oil representing the receiving of the Holy Spirit to perform His personal ministry, 5) the slaying of the animal sacrifice representing Christ's death on the cross, 6) the second anointing of Aaron with the oil represented Christ receiving the Holy Spirit in the resurrection birth His human body into a divine state of being, 7) the anointing of the sons of Aaron represented giving of the Holy Spirit to the disciples of Christ (the church) after Christ's human body was raised into a glorified or deified body, Jn 7:39.
      The disciples (church) of Christ could not receive the New Covenant indwelling of the Holy Spirit until their bodies were counted as being adopted or born again, Jn 7:39; Gal 4:4-6. That receiving of the Holy Spirit was based upon the bodies of the covenant people being counted (reckoned, credited) as being born again, and is called "the firstfruit of the Spirit," Rom 8:23. The real adoption or new birth will take place when all the faithful covenant people of all ages are glorified (born) into the heavenly, spirit body of 1 Cor 15:44-54.
      Water baptism is therefore a like figure or antitype of the flood of Noah's day. Both were and are types of a new beginning, a new world, a new life. Noah and his family were saved by an ark that was built over long years by faith obedience. All the faithful covenant people are being saved by being joined into the body of Christ, and by remaining joined to Christ as the branches remain productive in the vine, Jn 15:1-6; Gal 5:1-5; 1 Co 15:1-2; Rom 11;11-22; 2Pe 1:3-11; 3:14-17.
      From Adam until Christ, this Gospel salvation was symbolized by the bodies of animals being offered on altars and burned by fire, Heb 10:5-10. In the Garden of Eden this method of worship had its beginning by clean animals being slain and Adam and Eve being clothed in the skins of the sacrifices. The bodies of those animals represented the body of Christ, as is otherwise seen throughout the Bible, Heb 10:5-10.
      When Noah and his family offered those animals in burnt offerings, they portrayed the Seed of the woman being judged and dying for all Adam's race. The clean animals represented the sinless body of the Seed of the woman. The burnt offerings represented the full willingness of Jehovah the Son, as the testament Testator Redeemer, offering Himself to fulfill the Father's purpose, and bringing the firstborn sons to God, including all their possessions. The complete burning of the bodies of the animals in "burnt offerings" represented God's complete satisfaction with all aspects of the sacrifice of the Seed of the woman, Isa 53:10-12.


      "By whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,
      20 "Who formerly were disobedient, when 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.
      21 "There is also an antitype which now saves us -- baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"
1Pe 3:19-21.
      God used a universal flood of water to destroy everything on dry land, and saved Noah, his family, and all that was in the ark. The water both destroyed and saved. Noah was probably not the first or only one to build a boat, but those who were in the ark were the only ones saved through the flood.
      It is true that Noah and those in the ark were saved by water. We can also say that Noah and those in the ark were saved by being in the ark. We may better say that Noah and everything in the ark were saved because Noah and his family firmly and very perseveringly believed and obeyed by grace through faith day by day and year after year.
      We could say that Balaam was saved by his donkey. The fact is God saved Balaam by using a donkey, even to talk kindly and patiently with Balaam. God saved Noah and all in the ark by using the ark to float on the waters, and by using the flood waters to lift the ark up above the waters to float on the waters.


      "(As it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations') in the presence of Him whom he believed – even God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did," Rom 4:17.
      God is constantly calling things which be not as though they were, as stated in the above verse. In the Bible God is constantly calling the church the body of Christ, and the members of the church the members of the body of Christ, Rom 12:4-5; 1Co 6:15-17; 10:15-17; 11:18-29; 12:12-27; Eph 1:22-23; 5:22-32; Col 1:18,24. The church is not really the body of Christ, and the members of the church are not really the members of the body of Christ, but God is using a metaphor to describe the relationship between Christ and the church.
      Christ is called the Lamb of God, but Christ is not a lamb, Jn 1:29,36. God's covenant people are called sheep, but they are not sheep, Jn 10. They are also called living stones, 1Pe 2:5. False prophets are called wolves in sheep's clothing, Mt 7:15. Metaphors are used very commonly in normal life, as they are in the Bible.


      "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!
      16 "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For ‘the two,' He says, ‘shall become one flesh.'
      17 "But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him,"
1Co 6:15-17.
      The members of the church in Corinth are called the members of Christ, meaning the members of the body of Christ, see also, 1Co 10:16-17; 12:12-27. This is a metaphor. The human, physical body of Christ that we commemorate in the Lord's Supper is the "body" in mind. The fruit of the vine represents the blood that was shed from this body. The bread of the Lord's Supper represents the physical body of Christ that is now a glorified, divine, heavenly body, 1Co 15:44-50.
      When the Lord instituted the Lord's Supper, He blessed the bread, broke it, and gave to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body," Mt 26:26. This is the Lord's body that was crucified and died on the cross that we are commemorating. In the metaphor, the members of the church are the members of this glorified, heavenly, divine body of Christ.
      In the metaphor, God uses water baptism to join us to the body of Christ. We must not try to explain away the explicit language of Rom 6:2-6 and context. Metaphorically, the believer is baptized into the body of Christ, and thereby becomes joined to the body of Christ as a member of Christ's glorified body.
      Jesus called His disciples His church and His "body" when He instituted the Lord's Supper before He was crucified, Mt 16:13-19; 18:15-18; 26:26-28. The church being His body and the members of the church being the members of His body, they were all metaphorically crucified together with and in Him as the members of His body, they all died together with and in Him as the members of His body, and they were all buried together with and in Him as the members of His body. Furthermore, they were all raised together with and in Him as the members of His body, and were all thereby metaphorically born again together with and in Him as the members of His body.