“Does Baptism ‘Save’?” (1 Peter 3:21)

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noahsarkDr. Scott Clark has a post that caught my attention because he explains the meaning of “baptism… now saves you” in 1 Peter 3:21. Here’s an excerpt:

The analogy of baptism and the flood helps explain why he says that baptismal waters themselves don’t make anything happen any more than the flood did. Humanity has two distinct relations to the waters. Either the flood waters/baptism waters are a judgment, i.e. they signal condemnation (for those who are not identified with Christ) or they signal salvation for those who are identified with Christ, who are in the ark. Contra Rome and the FV [Federal Vision], baptism doesn’t work ex opere (automatically)… Jesus went through the greatest flood/death/judgment and his resurrection signals that he was righteous and survived the ordeal. Baptism is a sign of our union with him… an outward identification with his flood-ordeal. The tomb didn’t save Jesus. He was delivered from the tomb. His righteousness saved him. His resurrection was a vindication of his righteousness. Jesus is the ark. He is the Savior. The flood waters aren’t the Savior.

I also have a couple of posts where I used 1 Peter 3:21: one about baptism, “What 1 Corinthians 10:2 means”; another one about Christ’s descent into hell, “‘Christ in hell is a little wormy spirit,’ and other heresies.”

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