Friday, July 9, 2010
The Problem With Peter
1 Peter 3:20-22 ESV
because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
There are many promises attached with baptism.When one is baptized, it reminds us our sins are washed away, we are saved, we are in Christ, we have died with Christ, we are Christ's disciple. That list is not exhaustive. Baptism is a sacrament that Jesus instituted, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".
When theologies explain away verses such as this to say the passage doesn't mean baptism saves, they end up not knowing where to look for their assurance. Some, such as reformed theology and their step daughters, the Arminians, will place their faith in their faith. Looking within, they are assured by their faith. On days when doubts pursue us, faith in faith does not help us. Pentecostals and charismatics, tend to substitute speaking in tongues for the sacraments. When those gifts don't flow, the doubts creep in.
Father knows we are weak, so He helps us by giving us the visible sign of baptism to remind us to whom we belong. Peter tells us that baptism saves. Don't cry, "baptismal regeneration!" as if it is a nonbiblical thing. Peter tells us very plainly it saves.
Baptism does save, as scripture declares. We, too, are brought safely through water.