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BAPTISM QUESTION 17:
Does not 1 Peter 3:21, " The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us....., " teach clearly that we are saved by baptism?
If you are a strong believer in the fact that baptism saves you, you could misuse this verse to support your preconceived view that baptism saves. The problem is, the verse does not say that baptism saves. You will notice it states, "The like FIGURE whereunto even baptism doth now save us." The word "figure" means "the corresponding type, something or someone resembling another, its counterpart." To find that figure we have to go back to the previous verse. "...when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." 1 Peter 3:20. "Saved by water" is just a simile used to show that the water floated the ark to safety. Peter says the "like figure" to a believer is baptism. This is when you go down into the water of baptism and come up again. This represents a figure or a picture of the death, burial, and then the resurrection, of Christ and your identification with Him. The only thing is, there is no salvation in a type, a figure, or a picture. If you were to show me a photograph of yourself, and then ask me who it was, I would say it's you. But is it? Not really. It is only a picture of you on a piece of paper. The water that flooded the earth and brought judgment on every living creature was the very same water that floated the ark, and those in it, to safety. So the question is; Was it the water or the ark that saved Noah and his family? I think the answer is plain and simple. I am afraid that if Noah had not been in the ark, he too would have perished in the flood. This would also be true of all those who trust in baptism to wash away their sins. "...without the shedding of blood, there is no remission [forgiveness]." Hebrews 9:22.
Dear Reader, "Are you placing all of your trust in the blood, or are you placing all of your trust on the water to save you?"
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated September 23rd, 2013 by Sandra Felix