“Baptism Now Saves You”

Baptism Now Saves YouText: 1 Peter 3:21

Some passages in the Bible are controversial and people have intense disagreements as to their meaning. This passage is not so much controversial as it is ignored. The meaning is straightforward, but people simply don’t want to accept it.

What Is Baptism?

  • Different definitions of the English word baptize – immerse, pour, sprinkle
  • Greek word (baptizo) – to dip, immerse, submerge (Thayer)
  • Different baptisms mentioned in the Bible – baptism of fire (Matthew 3:11), Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5), John (Acts 18:25), Jesus (Matthew 28:19; Galatians 3:27); the one we are concerned with is the baptism of Christ (Ephesians 4:5; Acts 19:1-5)
  • What is involved in baptism (Acts 8:35-39) – water (cf. John 3:23; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12), a believer (Mark 16:15; Acts 2:37-41), a baptizer (Acts 2:38; 22:16)

How Does Baptism Parallel Noah’s Salvation?

  • Saved through water (1 Peter 3:20) – baptized in water (Acts 8:36; John 3:5)
  • Saved through faithful obedience (Hebrews 11:7) – we believe and obey (Hebrews 11:6; 5:9)
  • Saved by grace (Genesis 6:8) – baptism doesn’t “earn” us salvation (Luke 17:10; Ephesians 2:8); the saving work in baptism is done by God (Colossians 2:11-12)
  • Saved only in the specified place of safety (Genesis 7:21-23) – baptism puts us into Christ (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27); salvation is only in Christ (Acts 4:12)

Does Baptism Alone Save Us?

  • The fact that “baptism now saves you” does not mean baptism alone saves us – we are not saved by anything alone
  • Salvation is attributed to many things – grace (Ephesians 2:8), faith (Hebrews 11:6), blood of Christ (Romans 5:9), hope (Romans 8:24), etc.; baptism is just one necessary part of this

Why Does Baptism Save Us?

  • Not because there is something special in the water, there is some miraculous ability possessed by the baptizer, or it is the perfect means invented by man by which God will owe us salvation
  • Baptism saves because Jesus said so (Mark 16:16)
  • Baptism saves because the apostles said so (Acts 2:38)
  • Baptism saves because it is where we contact the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:2-3, 22-23)
  • Baptism saves because it is where we become united with the death of Christ (Romans 6:3-5)
  • Baptism saves because it is when God removes our sin (Colossians 2:11-13; Acts 22:16)
  • Baptism saves because it is the entrance into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13) – where salvation is found (Ephesians 5:23)


  • Salvation is a matter of chief importance – the word of God is not unclear about how to be saved
  • Man has confused the matter – we need to listen to what the Scriptures teach

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