Skip to main content

1 Peter 3:21: 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,

1 Peter 3:21
[21] 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, (ESV)
Peter has just spoken of the spirits who were imprisoned for their great evil during the time of Noah. The ark saved only eight people in all, even though Noah faithfully warned mankind for 120 years of the coming judgment. This ark rescued Noah and his family from God's wrath that was poured out on the earth in the form of a great flood.

Baptism corresponds to this picture of being rescued from the wrath of God. It is different than you may assume, however. The word, baptism, is not speaking of the same kind of baptism that we celebrate as a washing away of sin, and being raised to new life in Jesus Christ. In fact, Peter says in this verse, "not as a removal of dirt from the body."

The baptism that Peter is describing is an immersion into Christ Jesus, as an ark of safety in the midst of God's wrath. We are able to navigate through the waters that would have destroyed us, because we are securely in the ark of safety. This is only possible because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through his victory over death and sin, Jesus secured our victory. 

It is helpful to always see the Gospel in all of Scripture. We know that the account of Noah is a valid historical account. We now see, through these words in 1 Peter, that Noah's account is recorded to show us how we are brought to eternal safety through the wonderful work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. He is our spiritual ark of safety.

Are you trying to navigate the waters of God's judgment on your own? You will drown and perish eternally. The ark is open. Christ continues to call out for "whosoever will." Trust in him for eternal safety.