“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).
Baptism is an important ritual, marking the moment when somebody becomes a Christian. But the physical act of baptism in itself does not save. It is the outward sign of our inward faith that appeals to God for forgiveness of sins. Baptism and faith are closely connected.
When Jesus commanded his disciples to go out into the world to spread the Gospel, He promised, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
The reason why baptism and faith can save is “the resurrection of Jesus Christ”. Not the water of baptism does cleanse our hearts, but the atoning death of Jesus. He died in our place and rose again to break the power of sin and death. Because of his sacrifice, we can now have “full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).
Being baptized means being united with Christ, dying to sin, and being raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
Have you been baptized?