Baptism From I Peter 3:21
Today, God through His Son has also provided a means whereby we may avail ourselves of His salvation, and where we may meet the blood of Christ. He has provided it in His mercy, kindness, and love, but we must accept what He has provided. And though we may be accused of “water salvation,” the Holy Spirit has said, “baptism now saves you.” How could something be unessential (“optional”) that God has said ‘‘saves” you? Consider some parallels with regard to other passages where something or someone is said to “save:”
1) “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13, cf. 10:22).
2) “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
3) “. so that they may not believe and be saved” (Luke 8:12).
4) “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him” (John 3: 17).
5) “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9).
6) ‘‘ ‘AND IT SHALL BE, THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED’ “ (Acts 2:21).
7) “ . . And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
8) “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
9) “and he [Peter] shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household” (Acts 11: 14).
10) “But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus . .“ (Acts 15:11).
11) “and they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:3 1).
12) “Much more than, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him” (Rom. 5:9. See also v. 10).
13) “For in hope we have been saved . . .“ (Rom. 8:24).
14) “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Rom. 10:9).
15) “For ‘WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED’ “ (Rom. 10:13).
16) “For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18).
17) ‘‘[the gospel] by which you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain” (I Cor. 15:2).
18)”[God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph. 2:5).
19) “For by grace you have been saved through faith . .‘’ (Eph. 2:8).
20) ‘‘. for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (II Thess. 2:10).
Most interpreters would agree that whatever element or action is specified in the above passages as necessary for being ‘‘saved” should not be omitted from the teaching of salvation. To omit any item that “saves” us would be to leave out hope, belief, grace, the blood of Jesus, confessing Christ, and Jesus Himself! When therefore the Scriptures also tell us baptism “now saves you, ” one is hard pressed to shrug it off as ‘‘nonessential” to salvation.*
* Bible Study Textbook Series: First and Second Peter, by Bruce Oberst, Joplin: College Press, 1988, Page 182-184.