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                              "BAPTISM"

                    Baptism In The Teaching Of Peter

INTRODUCTION

1. In our first lesson we saw where Peter included baptism as part of
   his apostolic preaching...
   a. He commanded the people at Pentecost to be baptized - Ac 2:36-38
   b. He commanded the household of Cornelius to be baptized - Ac 10:
      47-48

2. From the accounts in Acts, we saw that for Peter baptism was...
   a. For the remission of sins - Ac 2:38
   b. An act that involved water - Ac 10:47

3. But one might properly ask:  was Peter teaching...
   a. That baptism was for the forgiveness of sins, and therefore
      necessary for salvation?
   b. That one is saved by baptism in water?

4. Fortunately, we do not have wonder, for in his first epistle Peter
   wrote...

   "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 3:21)

[As stated in the KJV, "...baptism doth also NOW save us"!  But while
teaching that baptism saves us, Peter is careful to explain in what 
way.  Let's take a closer look at the text to see what Peter is saying
about baptism...]

I. BAPTISM IS AN "ANTITYPE"

   A. DEFINING "ANTITYPE"...
      1. The Greek word is antitupon {an-teet'-oo-pon}, which means "a
         thing formed after some pattern; that which corresponds to a
         type"
      2. So you have two things that some how relate or correspond to
         each other; one is a type, the other is the antitype
      
   B. HOW BAPTISM IS AN ANTITYPE...
      1. In the text, the waters of the flood are the "type", and the
         waters of baptism are the "antitype" - 1Pe 3:20-21
      2. In his commentary, Albert Barnes says...
         a. "The meaning here is, that baptism corresponded to, or had
            a resemblance to, the water by which Noah was saved; or 
            that there was a use of water in the one case which 
            corresponded in some respects to the water that was used in
            the other; to wit, in effecting salvation." (Commentary on
            1st Peter)
         b. "The apostle does not say that it corresponded in all 
            respects; in respect, e.g., to quantity, or to the manner
            of the application, or to the efficacy; but there is a 
            sense in which water performs an important part in our 
            salvation, as it did in his." (ibid.)
      3. Thus Peter was comparing Noah's salvation with our own...
         a. Remember that Noah was saved by:
            1) Grace - Gen 6:8
            2) Faith - He 11:7
            3) Water - 1Pe 3:20
            -- Grace was God's part, faith was Noah's part; water was
               simply an element by which God carried out His plan to 
               save Noah
         b. So we are saved by:
            1) Grace - Ep 2:5
            2) Faith - Ep 2:8
            3) Water - 1Pe 3:21
            -- Grace is God's part, faith is our part; baptism is 
               simply an element by which God carries out His plan to
               save us through the blood of Christ

[Because baptism in water is somehow related to our salvation, Peter
could speak of it as an antitype that saves us, just as Noah and his
family were "saved through water"!

How can this be?  Aren't we saved by the blood of Jesus?  Of course!  
The answer can be seen as we continue to note what Peter taught 
concerning baptism...]

II. BAPTISM SAVES THROUGH THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

   A. SALVATION IN BAPTISM IS NOT FOUND IN THE "WATER"...
      1. As Peter makes clear when he says "not the removal of the 
         filth of the flesh"
      2. For indeed it is only through the blood of Jesus Christ one 
         can be saved
         a. We are justified through His blood - Ro 5:9
         b. We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of 
            sins - Ep 1:7
      3. To this Peter would definitely agree - 1Pe 1:18-19

   B. SALVATION IN BAPTISM IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF THE RESURRECTION OF
      CHRIST...
      1. If He had not been raised, we would still be in our sins
         a. As Paul declares in 1Co 15:17
         b. Without His resurrection, His death would have been 
            meaningless
      2. But because Jesus was raised from the dead...
         a. Those baptized into His death can rise to walk in newness 
            of life - Ro 6:4
         b. Those united together in the likeness of His death (i.e.,
            baptism) can share in the power of His resurrection 
            - Ro 6:5
      3. In other words, the same power of God that raised Jesus from
         the dead is what saves us in baptism so we can be "made alive"
         - cf. Col 2:12-13

[By God's saving grace and resurrecting power, then, baptism can indeed
save us!  Not because of any cleansing power in the water, but because
of what GOD is doing at that moment through the blood of Jesus and the
regeneration of the Holy Spirit (cf. Tit 3:4-5).

But notice finally, how Peter teaches that baptism saves because...]

III. BAPTISM IS AN APPEAL FOR A GOOD CONSCIENCE

   A. "THE ANSWER OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE" (NKJV)
      1. A difficult phrase, but it most likely means "an appeal to God
         for a clear conscience"
      2. This is supported by the following translations:
         a. "the craving for a conscience right with God" (Goodspeed)
         b. "the prayer for a clean conscience before God" (Moffat)
         c. "the request unto God for a good conscience" (Rotherham)
         d. "an appeal to God for a clear conscience" (RSV)
         e. "an appeal to God for a good conscience" (NASV)
      -- Thus one is baptized because they desire a clear conscience
         (i.e., to have their sins forgiven)

   B. THIS COINCIDES WITH THE EVIDENT PURPOSE OF BAPTISM...
      1. In apostolic preaching, baptized was commanded:
         a. "For the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
         b. To have one's sins "washed away" - cf. Ac 22:16
      2. In N.T. times people who realized they were sinners were 
         anxious to be baptized as soon as possible - cf. Ac 8:35-38
      3. Therefore one is baptized...
         a. To have a good conscience before God; indeed, to have their
            conscience "purged" by the blood of Christ - cf. He 9:14
         b. To have their sins washed away by blood of Jesus and so
            they can rise to a new life through the same power of God
            that raised Jesus from the dead!

CONCLUSION

1. Does baptism save us?
   a. Many say "Baptism does NOT save us!"
   b. But Peter clearly taught "...baptism doth also NOW save us" (KJV)

2. How does baptism save us?  According to Peter...
   a. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
   b. As an appeal for a good conscience!

3. This helps us to understand...
   a. Why he commanded it for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38
   b. Why he commanded it even for those who had in some sense received
      the Spirit - Ac 10:47-48

Yes, through the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead, working
in conjunction with our faith in the blood of Jesus, baptism does 
indeed save those who are making an appeal for a clear conscience!

Is baptism essential to salvation?  Let the preaching and teaching of
Christ's apostles provide the answer!  I believe that when we do, we
can see why one should takes Jesus' own words with no equivocation:

   "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does
   not believe will be condemned." - Mk 16:16

It is my prayer that if you have not yet properly responded to the Word
of the Lord, you will heed the same words given to Paul:

   "And now why are you waiting?  Arise and be baptized, and wash
   away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." - Ac 22:16

Have you made an appeal to God for a good conscience by being baptized
into Christ?
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