What is Baptism?

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1 Peter 3:21

What is baptism all about?

Is it all about what we do for God? That we are making a pledge to God? That we promise to be faithful to him and to his word for the rest of our lives? Or is it rather, about something else?

Something I’ve been talking about recently in my devotions has been how Christianity is so different from every other religion. That it’s not about what we do for God, but it’s entirely about what God does for us. The same is true in Baptism.

In 1st Peter chapter 3 verse 21 it says this:

Baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. —1 Peter 3:21

Peter makes plain that baptism does something. It saves you.

But how? He also mentions in that same verse that it’s a pledge of a clear conscience towards God. Could this pledge possibly be our promise or our pledge to God, to be faithful to him? If that were so, then that would mean that we are doing something in salvation.

We trust what the Bible says though, that we are saved not by what we do, but what God has done for us. By His grace. So this pledge can’t possibly be something we make to God, but rather something God makes to us. His assurance, his promise to us, of the forgiveness of sins.

What a precious treasure baptism is. Something God gives to us to reassure us that we have the forgiveness of sins. And where there is the forgiveness of sins there is also life and salvation. Amen.

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