© 2011 • Hillcrest Church of Christ
by Danny Boggs
First Peter 3:18 affirms the sole basis for our salvation: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit.” Our sin demands a death penalty, but Jesus Christ bore the punishment for us. In the cross of Christ, God’s righteous requirements were met by His own grace and mercy. Voluntarily, Jesus the righteous died for us (the unrighteous) that He might bring us to God.
Yet Jesus said that not everyone will be saved — not even everyone who calls Him “Lord.” Only people who do the will of His Father will enter heaven (Matthew 7:21). How do we start doing the will of God? We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God who can give us new life (John 20:31). We must repent of our sin — change our minds for the better (Acts 2:38). We must verbally admit that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9-10). And we must be baptized (immersed in water — Acts 8:38) for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38). When we submit to these demands, we start doing the will of God and are ushered into God’s favor.
Who saves us? 1 Peter 3:18 is unequivocal: it’s Jesus. When does He save us? 1 Peter 3:21 is just as clear: when we are baptized. “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.” Only when we have been baptized can we be sure that Jesus has saved us and given us reason to have a good conscience.
“Baptism now saves you.” Have you been baptized?