Christiansburg
Church of the Brethren 
  

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Devotional 

May 2020  

"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, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 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. 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, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him."

1 Peter 3: 18-22 (NKJV) 


There is a debate over baptism - does baptism save us?  One person might say, "I've been baptized so I'm saved" while another person might say, "I'm saved so I don't need to be baptized".  Perhaps, the pendulum should stop somewhere in the middle. You see, the Bible teaches it is by God's grace we are saved through Jesus Christ - so Jesus saves us.  So, why is baptism so important? 


We turn to the apostle Peter who reminds us of two points to help us better understand the importance of baptism.  First, Peter's referral to the flood in Noah's time.  At first, it's a confusing analogy but, let me ask you - did the flood save Noah? No, the flood didn't save Noah - his faith in the Ark did, as matter of fact, the flood killed the rest of the inhabitants of earth.  Noah and his family were saved because he had the ark.  Our Ark is Jesus Christ therefore, baptism is to be coupled with faith in Jesus Christ. 


Secondly, Peter mentions removal of filth and a good conscience toward God which is important in reminding us to seek a clean slate and relationship with God through Christ, trusting God to forgive our sins and give us a clean conscience.  So, we are to have faith in Jesus Christ (ark) and be baptized (going in the ark) which renders baptism an outward sign of an inner conviction which says, "I'm saved and my baptism seals my salvation".  Remember what the Lord did once Noah was inside?  The Lord shut them in (Genesis 7: 16) which means the Lord covered them, sealing them inside His divine protection. 


In conclusion, don't make baptism something it's not, but don't prevent it from being what God intended it to be.  Baptism is a picture of God sealing our salvation through faith in Jesus Christ coupled with our following Christ's example and being baptized. 


Love, 
Pastor Paul