The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 101 of 181
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awaiting judgment that Christ came and heralded His victory. Those to whom Peter
wrote who would prove overcomers could look forward to, for them, an appropriate glory
and justification for their victory over persecution and trial.
"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away
of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God), by the
resurrection of Jesus Christ" (3: 21).
Verse 21 presents difficulties inasmuch as we have the waters of the flood and the
mention of the word baptism. In the days of Peter there was a baptism in water which
was undergone by one who have turned from his previous way of life (repented=changed
his mind) wished to be identified with the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation. Christ
was baptized in water to complete the identification of His adherents with Himself.
There is no question of washing away sins but identification with Christ. Having cleared
the ground, we hope, of what is not connected with verse 21 let us put it in structure form
to see the parallels more clearly.
Waters of the flood. 8 (number of resurrection) souls left, and were saved
from corruption (by the fallen angels) in the world.
Saved from death by the ark (which was pitched
"kopher" inside and out) brought to a new start.
Water of (John's) baptism.
Repentance from dead works. (Putting
away the filth of the flesh).
The believer ransomed (Kopher) by Christ.
Christ's baptism of death  \
Imputed to the believer in Christ.
resurrection  }
Christ's righteousness
Thus presenting him before God
with a good conscience.
"Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and
powers being made subject to Him" (3: 22).
Here is one of those statements of fact revealed by the Holy Spirit to Peter. It was a
statement very necessary in those days. As we have previously noted during the Acts
period, but not afterwards, believers received various gifts of the Spirit such as
knowledge, prophecy and tongues. Satan, always ready to attack where truth might gain
ground, had sown false prophets.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because
many false prophets are gone out . . . . . every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is
come in the flesh is not of God" (I John 4: 1-3).
The statement by Peter effectively established the earthly advent and heavenly
environment of the Christ, a written authority to confront the heresies of false prophets.