Baptism - A Symbol of Salvation

Living Hope  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  45:46
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Good morning, church. Today we are continuing our series on the first letter of Peter, the apostle who witnessed the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have seen how Peter encourages us to live as strangers in this world, to endure suffering for doing good, and to follow the example of Christ who suffered for us.
Our passage today is 1 Peter 3:20-22, which is part of a larger section where previously, Peter talks about the relationship between Christ and the church. He then uses the analogy of marriage to show how Christ loves the church as his bride, and how the church should submit to Christ as her husband. He also uses the analogy of Noah and the ark to show how Christ saves the church from the judgment of God, and how the church should respond with faith and obedience.
I will be reading from the NKJV you follow along with me in your copy of God’s Word.
1 Peter 3:20–22 NKJV
20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 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, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
In this passage, Peter is writing to Christians who are suffering persecution and hostility for their faith. He encourages them to endure hardship with patience and gentleness, following the example of Christ who suffered for us.
He also reminds them of the great salvation that they have received through faith in Christ, and how that salvation is symbolized by baptism.
Peter uses an interesting illustration here.
He compares baptism to the flood in Noah's time.
He says that just as Noah and his family were saved through water, so we are saved through baptism.
But what does he mean by that?
Is he saying that baptism itself saves us?
Is he teaching baptismal regeneration, the idea that water washes away our sins and gives us new life? No, he is not.
In fact, he makes it clear in verse 21 that baptism is not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.
In other words, baptism does not cleanse us from sin or regenerate us spiritually. Dont put your faith and trust in the water but put your faith and truth in the blood.
Only the blood of Christ can do that.
Baptism is a response to what God has already done in our hearts by his grace.
It is a public declaration of our faith and allegiance to Christ.
It is a testimony of our repentance and obedience to God.
But how does baptism relate to the flood?
Well, Peter says that baptism is an antitype of the flood. An antitype is something that corresponds to or fulfills a type or a pattern in the Old Testament.
A type is a person, event, or institution that foreshadows or prefigures something greater in the New Testament. For example, Adam is a type of Christ (Romans 5:14), the lamb sacrificed at Passover is a type of Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7), and the tabernacle is a type of Christ (Hebrews 9:8-9).
So what does the flood represent or foreshadow?
It represents God's judgment on sin and his salvation for his people.
The flood was a global catastrophe that destroyed all living things on earth except those who were in the ark (Genesis 6:17).
The ark was a place of refuge and safety for Noah and his family who believed God's warning and obeyed his command (Genesis 6:22).
The ark was also a symbol of God's grace and mercy for those who trusted him (Genesis 6:8).
The flood shows us two things:

First, it shows us how serious sin is in God's sight and how he will judge it with righteous wrath (Romans 6:23)

Romans 6:23 “23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Second, it shows us how gracious God is in providing a way of escape for those who repent and believe in him (John 3:16)

John 3:16 “16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Now, baptism corresponds to or fulfills the type of the flood in several ways: -

Baptism represents our identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4)

Romans 6:3–4 NKJV
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Just as Noah and his family went through the waters of judgment and came out alive on the other side (Genesis 8:15-16
Genesis 8:15–16 NKJV
15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.
so we go through the waters of baptism and come out as new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17
2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
We die to our old self and rise to new life in him (Colossians 3:1-3
Colossians 3:1–3 NKJV
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Baptism represents our separation from the world and our union with Christ and his church (1 Corinthians 12:13)

1 Corinthians 12:13 NKJV
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
Just as Noah and his family were separated from the wicked world and joined together in the ark (Genesis 7:1
Genesis 7:1 NKJV
1 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.
so we are separated from the sinful world and joined together with Christ and his body, the church (Ephesians 5:25-27
Ephesians 5:25–27 NKJV
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Baptism represents our testimony to the world and our commitment to God (Acts 2:41)

Acts 2:41 NKJV
41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Just as Noah and his family witnessed to their generation by building the ark and entering it by faith (Hebrews 11:7
Hebrews 11:7 NKJV
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
so we witness to our generation by being baptized and living for Christ (Matthew 5:16
Matthew 5:16 NKJV
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
We show that we belong to him and that we are ready to follow him wherever he leads us (Luke 9:23
Luke 9:23 NKJV
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
So you see, church, baptism is not just a ritual or a tradition. It is a powerful symbol of our salvation in Christ.
It is a reminder of what he has done for us on the cross and in the tomb.
It is a sign of what he is doing in us by his Spirit. It is a pledge of what he will do for us when he comes again. But let me ask you this: have you been baptized?
Have you obeyed the Lord's command to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19)?
Have you publicly declared your faith and allegiance to Christ?
Have you joined his church and his mission? If not, why not? What is holding you back? Don't delay. Don't disobey.
Don't miss this opportunity to express your love and gratitude to God for saving you.
Don't miss this opportunity to share your testimony and your hope with others.
Don't miss this opportunity to experience the joy and the blessing of obedience.
If you are here today and you have never been baptized, I urge you to come forward and talk to me or one of our deacons.
We would love to help you take this step of faith and obedience.
We would love to celebrate with you as you follow the Lord in baptism. And if you are here today and you have been baptized, I urge you to remember your baptism.
Remember what it means.
Remember what it signifies.
Remember what it calls you to do.
Remember that you are a new creation in Christ.
Remember that you are a member of his body, the church.
Remember that you are a witness to his grace and glory.
And let us all pray that God would use our baptism as a means of grace and growth in our lives.
Let us pray that he would use it as a tool of evangelism and discipleship in our world. Let us pray that he would use it as a testimony of his power and love in our generation.
Let us pray.
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