By Clifton Angel
Sin is a person’s greatest problem.
Salvation is a person’s greatest need. “For the wages of sin
is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “God commendeth his love
toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died
for us” (Romans 5:8). Men crucified Him, God raised Him up!
Why? So that we might be saved. One of the messages of
Peter, according to 1 Peter 3:21, is the message of the
above title: “Baptism now saves you.” Peter uses the word
“now” in contrast to a previous time. When was that time?
“When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of
Noah” (1 Peter 3:20). What relation does baptism and our
salvation “now” have to do in relation to “the days of
Noah”? He says, “eight souls were saved by water,” and the
fact that “baptism doth also now save us” is “the like
figure” corresponding to the salvation of Noah, his wife,
his three sons, and their wives.
Perhaps, you are thinking: “The
water did not save Noah’s family! The ark did!” Consider
with me how the water saved those eight souls and how being
immersed in water “now” saves us. Noah and his family were
living in a world where “the wickedness of man was great in
the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his
heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Had Noah not
“found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8), he
would have remained in that world of unrighteousness until
God destroyed it. Rather, God had a plan of redemption for
Noah and his family. God designed the plan, communicated the
plan, and Noah and his family obeyed the plan.
God’s plan was to purge or cleanse
the earth of evil in the days of Noah. “Now,” God has
designed a plan, He has communicated the plan, and we are to
obey the plan if we desire to be cleansed from the evil of
this world. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins,
the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1
Peter 3:18). Baptism, immersion in water, is “not the
putting away of the filth of the flesh” (1 Peter 3:21).
Rather, it is the point at which you “wash away thy
sins” (Acts 22:16).
How important is baptism to you?
Peter says, “baptism now saves you.” Have you been immersed
in water in order to be cleansed from your sins? To God be
- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ
in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that
congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/