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1 Peter 3 - water baptism does not save us

v21

The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Some people cut part of the first part out of this verse and get the whole meaning of the passage turned around. They say, ...baptism doth also now save us... (by which they mean the physical act of baptism, with water.) However, that completely disregards the rest of the verse and the context of the verses around it.

If you look at the whole passage, it is clear that it is not water baptism that saves us. I believe it means that baptism is a figure, or a picture of salvation, just like Noah's flood was. The next part of v21 says, ...not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.... In other words, there is a spiritual baptism that in in our hearts, when we come to Jesus by faith and receive His salvation through His sacrifice for us on the cross, and His resurrection afterwards. It is not the physical washing of the water that somehow washes away our sins.

Physical baptism is an outward figure of an inward salvation.

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