1 Peter 3:21-22



Rev. James Porter

In these final verses, Peter seeks to bring further encouragement to the suffering believers of his day. He mentions the ordinance of baptism and makes it clear that baptism in itself cannot wash away our sin. Note the words, “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh” (21). In using the phrase, “Baptism doth also now save us”, Peter is saying that baptism is but a figure, or symbol, of salvation. The evidence of this salvation is a good conscience toward God for he goes on to say, “… but the answer of a good conscience toward God”. This means true repentance from sin and true faith in the sacrifice of Christ alone for salvation. The proof that Christ’s work upon the cross satisfied the demands of God’s justice and is sufficient to save is seen in the fact that Christ rose from the dead. Peter speaks of this when he writes, “By the resurrection of Jesus Christ”.
Then, after this mention of Christ’s resurrection, Peter goes on to speak of His ascension into heaven. Read verse 21. The encouragement here for these tried and tested believers was that they too would one day enter into the glory of heaven. Their sufferings on earth would come to an end. The ascension of Christ has some very encouraging lessons for all God’s people.

The certainty of heaven

As Christ has gone into heaven, so every child of God will also one day be in heaven. Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3).

The rest of heaven

The Psalmist noted, ‘The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand” (Psalm 110:1). When a person sits down, they rest. Likewise, child of God, heaven is a place of eternal rest from all the trials, woes, sins and limitations of this earth.

The victory of heaven

The right hand of God is the place of authority reminding us of Christ’s power. The exercise of His kingship is triumphant over every other rule. Thus, in heaven, Christ is victorious over all His enemies. So we read, “angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him” (22). Christian, every foe that is against you will be vanquished by Christ who is King of kings and Lord of lords.

Daily devotions are from the book “Footprints of Faith” edited by Dr. Alan Cairns.
Copyright 2003 – All Rights Reserved.
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