Baptism – the Answer of a Good Conscience toward God

I hope, that you are all doing your daily Bible reading – at least 2 – 4 chapters every day, beside your devotionals (which, I have a hope, you do regularly), because today we are going through more than one verse at a time. And while you are reading 1 Peter 3 verses 18 through 22, keep your mind focused on the idea and the meaning of baptism

Yesterday, we were reading Galatians 5:17, that is about the constant “Conflict between the Spirit and the Flesh“. That passage, from Paul’s Epistle to the churches of Galatia, gives us a clear understanding that we are helpless in that struggle on our own. Therefore, we need a rescuer, a saviour.

  • I am a sinner
  • I deserve the wrath of God
  • I cannot save myself
  • I need a saviour

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16. Jesus Christ “has once suffered for [our] sins“, or maybe better wording would be “once for all died”. Jesus’ shed blood is a ransom price. In Matthew 20:28 Jesus said, that he came “to give his life a ransom for many“. While we live in the flesh and live according to the carnal desires, we are dead in the Spirit. But in order to live in the Spirit we have to “put to death” (figuratively) the flesh (note Romans 8:13). “For the wages of sin is death;” – Romans 6:23. In order to fulfil the requirement of atonement the wicked flesh must die. Obviously, we cannot fulfil that requirement, otherwise all humankind will perish. And definitely that is not what God wants for us. Thus, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, “being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit“. His body was in the tomb, but Jesus was alive in the Spirit. According to Matthew 16:18, Luke 4:18, Colossians 2:15 and Revelation 1:18, Jesus Christ “preached”, – that is “proclaimed”, His power over death and hell – “he went and preached into the spirits in prison“. Also, through His resurrection, Jesus Christ proclaimed His power over Satan and his demons.

  • I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God
  • I believe that He died on the cross for my sins
  • I believe that He rose from the dead, so I may live and be forgiven
  • I confess and repent of all my sins before You Lord

The fallen generation of mankind times of Noah was exceedingly wicked and resisted to repent. God’s call for remorse was not answered. Eventually, His long-suffering came to the end and the climax of it was imminent and fatal for many. God washed off all the wicked flesh from the face of the Earth. Only “few, that is, eight souls were saved by water“. Those who refuse to repent of their wickedness, those who refuse to turn 180 from their sins and direct their minds toward God have perished. Peter has drawn a parallel between the flood and ark of Noah and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The disobedient ones, one day will have to repay the blood of the Lamb what was shed as a ransom for many. They will drink from the cup of the wrath of God (note Revelation 14:10), which will be like the flood, massive and crucial. But those who accept the free gift of God, those who believe in Jesus Christ the Savior, those will not be condemned, but saved by the power of the blood, like Noah and his family were saved in the ark by water.

Scripture

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. — 1 Peter 3:18-22 KJV

Observation

The both, the ark of Noah and baptism, are “the like figures“. Just like the flood removed all the wicked flesh and brought new life out of the ark prepared by God, in the same manner the death and “the resurrection of Jesus Christ” buried the sins of a believer and gave him new life in the Spirit. Baptism itself, as a rite performed by full immersion of a person, won’t “[put] away of the filth of the flesh“. The one have to repent and believe in saving power of the blood of Jesus Christ, just like Noah being right with God and believed in saving power of the ark was saved. All the rest of humankind, except those eight souls, have drowned in their ignorance and self righteousness, literally and figuratively speaking. In order to be truly saved through baptism or flood, like in instance with Noah, “the answer of a good conscience toward God” is required.

Application

This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
  1. Do you realize that you are a sinner and have sinned against the Almighty? (“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” – Romans 3:23 KJV)
  2. Have you repented and confessed your sins before God?
  3. Have you been saved?
  4. Do you believe that you are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and not by our own efforts or works? (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  5. Did you confess publicly (in your local church of believers) that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior? Have you been baptized? (“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” – Acts 2:38 KJV)

If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not now!? Don’t wait until it is too late! Embrace God’s Grace, Mercy and Love now.

Accept Jesus Now!

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your grace and mercy. We thank You that you sent Your Son Jesus Christ to die on our behalf. We thank You Lord Jesus that You have suffered all what we deserve. We thank You Lord for the free gift of salvation. We thank You for the Holy Spirit what You have sent to be with us while You are on the right hand of the throne of God. We pray Lord God that people will have a good conscience toward You and will repent. We pray Lord God that You will have mercy on those who have a remorse of their deeds.

All these we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen

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