Saturday, April 22, 2017

Does Baptism Save Us?

1 Peter 3:21
And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We are looking at the diffferent uses of the word "resurrection" in the bible. As we are now post Easter, we are understanding how the resurrection is used in other senses in the bible. 

In this context, Peter reminds the believers about the story of Noah, and how Noah and his family were saved out of the water by God's grace. Then, Peter uses this imagery and says that water is also a symbol of baptism that now saves you.  Water now being a symbol of cleansing and re-birth.  

So the question one might have as they read this verse is, "Does Baptism save us"? And the answer is yes and no.  It is no, because Jesus is the only one who can save us by his death and resurrection and our trust in Him.  But Baptism is a sign of that death and resurrection and therefore is a sign of salvation.  See Romans 6:4 for Paul's image of baptism.    

So Baptism saves us in the sense of how Peter ends this verse, "by the resurrection of Christ."  Like Noah is saved from the flood by the water, we are saved from sin by Jesus' death and resurrection, which is publically proclaimed when we are baptized in Jesus' name. 

Make sense?  I hope so!  Baptism is a constant reminder of death of our old life and rising to new life. We are drowned to our old life way of life, and raised to new life in the power of the Holy Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead.  If you are baptized, thank God for it. If you are not, pray about getting baptized as Jesus commanded us to do. 

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