‚ÄčBAPTIZM PRESENTED BY STEVEN SCHILLER

The Antitype In Which God Saves Us (3:21-22)

INTRODUCTION

1. In the midst of a section in which he is discussing Christ's

suffering and why we need to prepare for suffering, Peter has some

revealing comments on the subject of baptism - 1Pe 3:21-22

a. First, he refers to baptism as an "antitype" ("the like figure",

KJV)

b. Then he makes the striking comment that baptism "saves us"

c. He describes baptism as "the answer of a good conscience"

d. But he also says that baptism saves us "through the resurrection

of Jesus Christ"

2. Any one of these four points is likely to perplex those who read

this passage...

a. Some may wonder what an "antitype" is

b. Others may take issue with the idea that baptism has anything to

do with salvation

c. Many question what is meant by the phrase, "the answer of a good

conscience"

d. And how does the resurrection of Christ have anything to do with

salvation, when it was His death that provided the forgiveness of

sins?

[In this lesson, I hope to share some thoughts which may help us

appreciate more fully how baptism is indeed "The Antitype In Which God

Saves Us".

Beginning with...]

I. BAPTISM AS AN "ANTITYPE"

A. DEFINING "ANTITYPE"...

1. The Greek word is antitupon {an-teet'-oo-pon}, which means "a

thing formed after some pattern; that which corresponds to a

type"

2. So you have two things that some how relate or correspond to

each other; one is a type, the other is the antitype

B. HOW BAPTISM IS AN ANTITYPE...

1. In our text, the waters of the flood are the "type", and the

waters of baptism are the "antitype" - 1Pe 3:20-21

2. In his commentary, Barnes says...

a. "The meaning here is, that baptism corresponded to, or had

a resemblance to, the water by which Noah was saved; or

that there was a use of water in the one case which

corresponded in some respects to the water that was used in

the other; to wit, in effecting salvation." (Commentary on

1st Peter)

b. "The apostle does not say that it corresponded in all

respects; in respect, e.g., to quantity, or to the manner

of the application, or to the efficacy; but there is a

sense in which water performs an important part in our

salvation, as it did in his." (ibid.)

[An important part in our salvation? Baptism? This may sound foreign

to many people today, but the Bible and many Bible scholars over the

history of the church have stressed this very point...]

II. BAPTISM AND SALVATION

A. THE BIBLICAL WITNESS...

1. There are several statements of Jesus that emphasize the

necessity of baptism for salvation - Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:

15-16; Jn 3:3-5

2. The record of apostolic preaching as found in the Book of Acts

continue this thought - Ac 2:38; 22:16

3. In his epistles, Paul often wrote of the purpose of baptism,

and the role it played in salvation - Ro 6:3-6; Ga 3:26-27;

Col 2:11-13; Tit 3:4-5

4. And in our text, we have Peter's own words, which coincide

with what he preached on that first Pentecost following the

resurrection of Christ - 1Pe 3:21; cf. Ac 2:38

B. THE TESTIMONY OF SOME BIBLE SCHOLARS...

1. Augustine (A.D. 354-430)

a. Referring to the efficacy of baptism, he wrote that "the

salvation of man is effected in baptism"; also, that a

person "is baptized for the express purpose of being with

Christ." (as quoted by Jack W. Cottrell in Baptism And The

Remission of Sins, College Press, 1990, p. 30)

b. In regards to the necessity of baptism, he refers to the

"apostolic tradition, by which the Churches of Christ

maintain it to be an inherent principle, that without

baptism...it is impossible for any man to attain to

salvation and everlasting life." (ibid., p. 30)

2. Thomas Aquinas (A.D. 1225-1274)

a. "...Men are bound to that without which they cannot obtain

salvation. Now it is manifest that no one can obtain

salvation but through Christ..."

b. "But for this end is baptism conferred on a man, that being

regenerated thereby, he may be incorporated in Christ."

c. "Consequently it is manifest that all are bound to be

baptized: and that without Baptism there is no salvation

for men." (ibid., p. 31)

3. Martin Luther

a. In answer to the question, "What gifts or benefits does

Baptism bestow?", Luther replied in his Small Catechism,

"It effects forgiveness of sins."

b. He also wrote concerning the sinner: "Through Baptism he

is bathed in the blood of Christ and is cleansed from

sins."

c. Again, he wrote: "To put it most simply, the power,

effect, benefit, fruit, and purpose of Baptism is to save."

d. In response to those who would call this a kind of

works-salvation, he said "Yes, it is true that our works

are of no use for salvation. Baptism, however, is not our

work but God's." (ibid., p. 32-34)

[Indeed, until the "reformed theology" of Ulrich Zwingli and John

Calvin came along, the general consensus of religious scholars was in

harmony with the Bible: that baptism does indeed save us!

But how can that be? The answer can be seen when we consider...

III. BAPTISM AND THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

A. SALVATION IN BAPTISM IS NOT FOUND IN THE "WATER"...

1. As Peter makes clear when he says "not the removal of the

filth of the flesh"

2. For indeed it is only through the blood of Jesus Christ we can

be saved - Ro 5:8

B. SALVATION IN BAPTISM IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF THE RESURRECTION OF

CHRIST...

1. If He had not been raised, we would still be in our sins - cf.

1Co 15:17

2. But because Jesus was raised from the dead, we who are united

together in the likeness of His death (i.e., baptism) can

share in the power of His resurrection as we also rise to walk

in newness of life - cf. Ro 6:3-5; Col 2:12-13

3. In other words, it is the same power of God that raised Jesus

from the dead which saves us in baptism so we can be "made

alive" - cf. Ep 1:19-20; 2:4-6

[By God's saving grace and resurrecting power, then, baptism can indeed

save us! Not because of any cleansing power in the water, but because

of what God is doing at that moment.

But notice finally, what is said about...]

IV. BAPTISM AND THE APPEAL FOR A GOOD CONSCIENCE

A. "THE ANSWER OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE" (NKJV)

1. This is a difficult phrase, but I believe it most likely means

"an appeal to God for a clear conscience"

2. This understanding is supported by the following translations:

a. "...the craving for a conscience right with God"

(Goodspeed)

b. "...the prayer for a clean conscience before God" (Moffat)

c. "...the request unto God for a good conscience" (Rotherham)

d. "...an appeal to God for a clear conscience" (RSV)

e. "...an appeal to God for a good conscience" (NASV)

B. THIS COINCIDES WITH THE PURPOSE OF BAPTISM...

1. Baptism was "for the remission of sins", to have one's sins

"washed away" (by the blood of Christ, of course) - cf. Ac

2:38; 22:16

2. Therefore, people in N.T. times who realized they were sinners

were anxious to be baptized as soon as possible - cf. Ac 8:

35-38

3. To have a good conscience before God (indeed, to a have our

conscience "purged" by the blood of Christ - cf. He 9:14),

one is baptized so their sins can be washed away and they can

rise to a new life through the same power of God that raised

Jesus from the dead!

CONCLUSION

1. It is a tragedy that so many people today downplay the importance of

baptism

2. But if we will only allow the Bible to say what it does about

baptism, we will see that it is indeed "The Antitype In Which God

Saves Us"!

3. And like Martin Luther, we will view baptism as "excellent,

glorious, and exalted," as "a most precious thing," as "an infinite,

divine treasure." (ibid., p. 34)

Verse 21 of our text describes that Christ has now gone into heaven

and that all things have been made subject to Him. Have you subjected

to His authority by obeying His command to be baptized? - cf. Mt 28:

18-20

Have you made that appeal for a good conscience before God?