“and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (I Peter 3:21 NIV)”
In my previous post I mentioned how the verse above proves that people are not saved by being physically baptized, but rather they are saved when their hearts are changed. This verse clearly shows that physical baptism is an outward evidence of an inward change. Those who do not have “a clear conscience toward God” are not true Christians, no matter when, where, or how they have been baptized.
The power to save ourselves does not come from ourselves. It is the sacrifice of Christ that saves us. This sacrifice becomes effective for us when we believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God, and repent of our sins. Afterwards we are submersed in water and raised up out of it again. This is done to demonstrate our belief that God has the power to raise us from the dead both bodily and spiritually.
Christ’s resurrection is proof to us that God can and will keep His promise to raise us from the dead also. We are saved just as much by Christ’s resurrection as His death, since His resurrection is the act whereby God officially accepted His sacrifice. Therefore, all true Christians must believe that Jesus rose from the dead:
“If you declarewith your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9 NIV)