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1 Peter 3:21
21 The like figure [antitupos] whereunto [hos] even
baptism [baptisma] doth [sozo] also [kai] now [nun] save [sozo] us [hemas] (not [ou] the putting away [apothesis] of the filth [rhupos] of
the flesh [sarx], but [alla] the answer [eperotema] of a
good [agathos] conscience [suneidesis] toward [eis] God [theos],) by [dia] the resurrection
[anastasis] of Jesus [Iesous] Christ [Christos]: KJV-Interlinear
21 And corresponding to that,
baptism now saves you not the removal
of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,NASB
This is one of the most
confusing verses in the Bible, as most folks look at the baptism aspects rather
than the cause or purpose of the baptism.
The verse begins
clearly with the statement that this is a figure, a representation, a
symbolism, an anti-type of a type, an example or illustration of the real thing.
The real thing being salvation.
Remember that the Bible
is a long series of parables.Filled
with symbolisms and representations of real life experiences that teach
The baptism is an immersion
or the complete covering of a thing (your life) in such a manner as to wash
away, or wipe away, or identify with, a greater reality (salvation).
Christ s work on the
Cross is the actual work of salvation.When a person believes in Christ, the Holy Spirit regenerates within the
person, a human spirit, which is a vessel (the third vessel component of the
person), and into which eternal life is inserted.This makes the person trichotomous (body,
soul, and spirit).Unbelievers are body
and soul only or dichotomous.
Using the flood of
Noah, Peter illustrates the suffering Noah and his family endured when
surrounded by extreme evil.That was the
state of his world then, and is representative of the state of the current
world now, and always has been.
They were not delivered
by the water, not delivered by the ark, but delivered by means of their good
conscience, which means that they believed in God, His instructions, and were
obedient to His commands.And in this
case, they were to build an ark.
Without the ark, they
would have died in the water, along with everyone else.The water was the agent of judgment.The ark was not submerged in the water, but
road up and above the water.It was the
agent of deliverance.Neither Noah nor
any member of his family were made wet (from the judgment), but were kept dry
(in fellowship), within the confines of the ark (Gods protection).And their whole picture of this series of events,
points to their faith and trust and obedience in God.For without that, they would have nothing.
Baptism is a
washing.It is depicted as the washing
away of filth and dirt and stench off of the external body. But washing the
body in water is not salvation and it saves nothing.This is representative of the washing of the
soul in salvation.The Holy Spirit s
baptism is the actual and real baptism, which washes away the stench of sin, from
the persons soul.
In salvation, the
individual is washed and immediately placed in fellowship.But then we do not go to heaven immediately.We still have to live our life, and grow up
in our spiritual life.And as we are
still confined to our physical bodies, which are riddled with the sin nature,
we must cleanse regularly (confession), in order to maintain our spiritual
cleanliness (fellowship) throughout our daily life.
All of this we do in
obedience to Gods mandate for obtaining and keeping a relationship with Him.
The good conscience is
the maintained soul.Maintained with the
proper foods (Bible doctrine) and the proper care (confession).A proper diet (doctrine) and the proper
exercise (application of doctrine to ones daily life), make for proper and
healthy growth in ones spiritual life.
The rituals of life, do
not save.The daily shower, the weekly
or monthly sprinkle of water, do not save, or even contribute in any way to
ones spiritual life.
The only thing that
saves is faith in Christ. And in this, faith has only to be expressed one time
in ones life.Once you believe you
cannot undo, that belief.
The only thing that
promotes growth and health, is obedience to Gods commands.
The answer, eperotema,
(Gods answer), to faith (your good conscience response), is salvation.
The answer, eperotema,
(Gods answer), to obedience in your spiritual life (your good conscience
response), is spiritual growth to maturity.
The Holy Spirit is the
agent of both of these accomplishments.Jesus Christ, is the source of both of these accomplishments.
Table of Contents
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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