Sunday, October 24, 2010


For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
1 Peter 3:18-22

Now as we enter into this we must affirm that it was God who saved Noah and His family, but He did so through water as Peter says. As such it would be accurate for Noah to say He was saved by God or by the flood as long as it was understood that it was God who saved Him by the flood.

The same thing is true of Baptism. If we say we are saved by Baptism we never mean that we are saved by baptism apart from God’s saving work. And yet we can say with Peter that we are saved by Baptism through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Note in both Noah’s salvation and in our salvation it is God who is doing all the saving. In both the OT type and the NT anti-type (fulfillment) the emphasis is on God who is doing the work of saving His people.

Now the reason I spend time to point that out is to articulate again the Reformed and Biblical understanding that Baptism is not about our pledges to God. Baptism, as we see in this passage, is about God’s work of delivering His people.

Most of your Christian friends will not agree with this. Most of your Christian friends will insist that Baptism is about your making a commitment to Christ. That is a unworthy view of Baptism. Baptism is instead about what God is doing, promising and has done and not about what the Baptized person is doing or promising.

Read the entire post by Pastor Bret entitled Peter and Baptism


  1. Thanks Heather. I had jotted down a note in my Study journal that says; "baptism-why water?" The 1 Peter verse made that very clear. I find I need to go back to basics so often. I take so much for granted.
    Thanks again,

  2. I found it very helpful too which is why I posted it here. And the "basics" as you call them, are so full of meaning you can never tire from digging deeper and finding connections. At least that's how I find my understanding goes. Thank you for letting me know that it was beneficial to you.

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