“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, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.” (1 Peter 3:21-22)
From Genesis to Revelation the Word of God supplies us with answers to questions posed in this sin-darkened world.
The Apostle Peter’s reference to the great flood in the days of Noah in the third chapter of his first epistle calls to mind one such question; namely, was there really a worldwide flood as described in the book of Genesis, or is this only a fictional story intended to teach a lesson?
As Peter connects the Noahic flood waters with water Baptism, yet another question is raised by some. Does water Baptism do anything for us spiritually, or does Baptism merely symbolize or picture blessings of God?
Since all of God’s Word is true, and its divine revelations are stated in clear and unmistakable terms, an answer to these questions is unequivocally given by Peter. He reveals that there was most certainly a worldwide flood in Noah’s day and that God does actually impart to us wonderful spiritual and eternal blessings through water Baptism.
Peter testifies that the flood waters, which saved Noah and his family by buoying up the ark in which they were floating, serve as a type that prefigured our being saved through water Baptism. The apostle makes known that Baptism isn’t performed to wash away dirt on our body, but rather to wash away all our sins so that we can have a conscience free from blame and a soul unhurt by sin, and be eternally saved.
Baptism gives us these priceless blessings because it connects us with Christ’s sin-atoning death and His triumphant resurrection (Romans 6:3-5). As the Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts (Titus 3:4-7) through the Sacrament of Baptism, we receive the benefits of Christ’s redemptive death, and His victorious resurrection from the dead assures us of our bodies being raised from our graves in glory and translated into heaven.
Peter’s reference to heaven in the section under study in this article brings to mind still another question raised by those living in the darkness of unbelief; and that is, does heaven really exist or is it simply a pipe dream of wishful thinkers? Just as the apostle revealed that there was really a worldwide flood that took place in ancient times and that Baptism truly saves us, so also he testifies that heaven is a real world that lies beyond our temporal earthly existence. Peter makes known that the risen Lord Jesus didn’t remain bodily on this earth, but rather ascended into heaven.
Just as Jesus ascended into heaven to assume His rightful place of power and authority over everyone and everything, sitting at the right hand of God the Father, so also on the last day of this temporal world we will be lifted up from this earth and ascend into heaven to reign with Jesus throughout all eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 2 Timothy 2:10-12).
How truly wonderful it is to have God’s divine revelations recorded for us in Holy Scripture, for His Word clearly gives answer to questions of great importance! May the Lord in His rich grace and mercy ever enable us to cling by faith to His blessed truths that give us peace, joy, and hope in Christ Jesus.