(1 Peter 3:20-22)
“A few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.”
Through what can we become righteous?
Through the grace of God
God already knew us even before we were born on this earth. He knew that we would be born sinners and saved all of us believers through His baptism, which took away all the sins of the world. He saved all believers and made them His people.
All this is the result of God’s grace as it is said in Psalms 8:4, “What is man that He is mindful of us?” The redeemed who are saved from all sins are the recipients of His special love. They are His children.
What were we, who believed only in His blood and the Spirit, before we became God’s children, before we became the righteous and were saved and granted the right to call Him Father? We were sinners, mere sinners who were born to live in this world for about 70 years, or 80 years if healthy.
Before we were washed of our sins, and before we had the faith in the gospel of the baptism of Jesus and His blood, we were unrighteous people who were sure to perish.
The Apostle Paul said that it was owing to His grace that he was what he was. Likewise, it is absolutely due to His grace that we are what we are now. We thank Him for His grace. The Creator came down to this world and saved us, making us His children, His people. We thank Him for the grace of the salvation of the water and the Spirit.
What is the reason that He allows us to be His children, the righteous ones? Is it because we are beautiful to look at? Is it because we are so worthy? Or is it because we are so good? Let us think about it and give thanks where it is due.
The reason is that God created us to make us His people and to let us live in the Kingdom of Heaven with Him. God made us His people to allow us to eternally live with Him. That is the only reason why God blessed us with eternal life. He didn’t make us His people because we are better looking, more worthy, or live more virtuously than any other of His creations. The only reason is that He loves us.
“There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism” (1 Peter 3:21). “A few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water” (1 Peter 3:20).
Only a few, one in a city and two in a family have been saved. Then, are we any better than others? Not at all. We are not all that special, but we have been saved anyway through our faith in the water and the Spirit.
It is a miracle amongst miracles that we have been saved, and it is an unconditional gift and blessing from God that we can call Him our Father, our Lord. We can never deny this. How could we call Him our Father or our Lord if we were still sinners?
When we think about the fact that we have been saved, we know that God has loved us unconditionally. Can we not thank Him? We would have been born and died after living desperate lives, ending up in hell, if it had not been for His love and blessings. We thank God again and again for His blessings and the love that made us worthy to be His children in His eyes.
The Precious Salvation Given to Us through the Baptism of Jesus
Why did the people at the time of Noah perish?
Because they didn’t believe in the water (the baptism of Jesus).
“There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism.” It is written in 1 Peter that only eight souls were saved through water. How many people would there have been in Noah’s time? We have no way of knowing how many there were, but let’s suppose that there were about a million. Only 8 people in Noah’s family out of a million were saved.
The ratio would be about the same today. They say that there are more than 6 billion people on the earth right now. How many people have been washed of their sins among those who believe in Jesus today? If we were to take a look at only one city, there would be very few of them.
In my city, which consists of about 250,000 people, how many are redeemed from their sins? Perhaps 200? Then, what would the ratio be? It would mean that less than one out of a thousand has received the blessing of redemption.
It is estimated that there are about 12 million Christians in Korea, including Catholics. Out of these, how many among them have been born again of water and the Spirit? We should keep in mind that there were only 8 saved out of the earth’s entire population in Noah’s time. We should know and believe that Jesus washed away the sins of all those who believe in His baptism, through which He took away all sins.
There aren’t many who believe that Jesus redeemed all of us with His baptism and His blood on the Cross. Look at the famous picture of ‘The Resurrection of Jesus.’ How many resurrected people are shown there? You can see them coming down from the castle of Jerusalem toward the figure of Jesus, who has His arms open wide for them. Guess how many among them are theologians or ministers.
Today, there are plenty of theologians in the world, but we find so few who know and believe in the baptism of Jesus as the pivotal truth of redemption. Some theologians say that the reason Jesus was baptized was because He was humble, and some say that He was baptized to become more like us, the human beings.
But it is written in the Bible that all the Apostles, including Peter and John, testified to Jesus’ baptism as the transferal of our sins to Him, and we believe it too.
The Apostles testify in the Scriptures that our sins were passed onto Jesus with His baptism. It is such an amazing testimony to the grace of God that we can be delivered just by believing in it.
There’s No ‘Maybe’ about the Baptism of Redemption
Who receives God’s boundless love?
The person who believes in the baptism of Jesus and His blood
People are apt to believe that just believing in Jesus will save them. All denominations are convinced of salvation in their beliefs, and many people think that the baptism of Jesus is merely a dogma of a Christian community. But it is not true. Among the thousands of books that I’ve read, I have not been able to find any book about salvation that specifies the relationship between the redemption in the baptism and blood of Jesus and God’s salvation.
Only 8 were saved at the time of Noah. I don’t know how many are saved today, but probably not many. Those who are saved are the ones who believe in the baptism and the blood of Jesus. While visiting many churches, I recognize again and again that there are so few who preach the gospel of the baptism of Jesus, which is the gospel of truth.
If we don’t believe in the redemption of the baptism and the blood of Jesus, we are still sinners and not saved, no matter how faithfully we attend church. We may faithfully attend church all our lives, but if we still have sin in our hearts, we are still sinners.
If we have attended church for 50 years, but still have sin in our hearts, our faith of 50 years is nothing but a falsehood. It is far better to have only one day of true faith. Among those who believe in Jesus, only those who correctly believe in the meaning of the baptism of Jesus and His blood shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
True faith is to believe in the fact that the Son of God descended to this world and was baptized to take away all the sins of the world. It is this faith that leads us to the Kingdom of Heaven. We should also believe that Jesus bled on the Cross for you and me. We should also know this in order to thank and glorify Him.
What are we? We are the children of men and women who were saved with Jesus’ baptism and blood. How can we not thank Him? Jesus was baptized in the Jordan when He was 30 years old in order to save us. By this, He took away all our sins and received judgment for us on the Cross.
When we think about it, we cannot but humbly thank Him. We should know that everything Jesus did in this world was for our salvation. First, He came down to this world. He was baptized, crucified on the Cross, resurrected from the dead on the third day, and now sits at the right hand of God.
The redemption of God is for each and every one of us without exception. The salvation of Jesus is all for you and me. We praise God for His love and His blessings.
We know a gospel song that goes like this. “♫There’s a beautiful story. ♫Among so many people in the world, I am the one who has His love and salvation. ♫O how amazing His love is! ♫His love for me, His love for me. There’s a beautiful story. ♫Among so many people in the world, we are the ones who are saved, who became His people. We are wearing His love. ♫O the love of God, the grace of God. ♫ O how amazing His love is! His love for me.♫”
Jesus came down to save you and me, and the redemption of His baptism is also for us. The gospel is not just some fairy tale; it is the truth that lifts us out of our lives of drudgery into the beautiful Kingdom of God. You should keep in mind that the faith is the relationship between God and yourself.
He came down to this world in order to save us. He was baptized and received the judgment of the Cross to wash away our sins.
What a blessing it is when the faithful can call God their Father! How can we believe in Jesus as our Savior and be saved from sin with our faiths? It is possible because of His boundless love for us. We have been saved because of Him, who loved us first.
Jesus Washed Away all Our Sins Once and for All
Are we saved once and for all or gradually?
Once and for all
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus Christ was baptized for our redemption and died once on the Cross in order to save you and me, the unjust.
He died once on this earth in order to avert us from God’s judgment. So that we may enter the Kingdom of Heaven and live forever before God, He came down to this world in the flesh and completely washed away all our sins all at once with His baptism, His death on the Cross, and His resurrection.
Do you believe that Jesus Christ saved us completely with His baptism and blood? If you do not believe in the gospel of His baptism and blood, you cannot be saved. Because we are so weak, we cannot be born again if we do not believe that Jesus completely washed away all our sins once and for all with His baptism and blood.
He was baptized to take away all our sins and was judged on the Cross for us. Jesus washed away all the sins of sinners once and for all with the redemption of His baptism and blood.
It would be impossible for us as human beings to be redeemed if we had to repent every time we sinned, to be good and benevolent all the time, and to offer many things to the church as well.
Therefore, the belief in the baptism of Jesus and the blood on the Cross is a must for our salvation. We must believe in the water and the blood. Simply doing good works has nothing to do with the remission of our sins.
It wouldn’t do any good for your salvation to buy expensive suits for the poor or to serve delicious food for pastors. Jesus saves only those who believe in His baptism and blood. If we believe that God saved us through Jesus with His baptism and His blood once and for all, we will be saved.
Some may think that even though God said thus in the Bible, they have to give it further thought. This is up to them, but we should believe in His word as it is written.
In Hebrews 10:1-10, it is written that He saved us all at once. It is true that God saved those who believed in the baptism and the blood of Jesus all at once. We should also believe it thus. “♫He died once, saved us all at once. O brothers, believe and be redeemed. Put your burdens down under the baptism of Jesus.♫” Jesus saved us from all impiousness and sins once and for all by being baptized once and bleeding once.
“The just for the unjust” (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus is God without sin, and He has never sinned. He came down to us in the flesh to save people from their sins. He was baptized and took away all our sins. He saved us from sin and injustice.
All the sins of people from their birth to death were passed onto Jesus when He was baptized, and all were saved from the judgment when He bled and died on the Cross. He was baptized for sinners and died vicariously in their place.
This is the redemption of His baptism. Jesus saved all of us, who were sinners, once and for all. How weak each of us is! Jesus redeemed all of our sins from our births to our deaths and offered Himself for the judgment on the Cross. We who believe in Jesus should believe that He saved us once and for all with His baptism and blood.
We are weak, but Jesus is not. We are not faithful, but Jesus is. God saved us once and for all. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God gave us His only begotten Son. He had His Son baptized in order to pass all the sins of the world onto Him, so that He might receive the judgment for all human beings.
What an amazing salvation this is! What an amazing love this is! We thank God for His love and salvation. God saves those who believe in the water and the blood of Jesus: the baptism and the bloodshed of Jesus, and the fact that Jesus is the Son of God.
Those who believe in Jesus can be saved by believing in the truth of the baptism and the blood of Jesus and have everlasting lives as the righteous. We must all believe it.
Who saved us? Was it God who saved us, or was it one of His creations that saved us? It was Jesus, who is God, who saved us. We were saved because we believed in the redemption of God, and this is the salvation of redemption.
Jesus Is the Lord of Salvation
What’s the meaning of ‘Christ’?
The Priest, the King, and the Prophet
Jesus Christ is God. Jesus means the Savior, and Christ means ‘one who is anointed.’ As Samuel anointed Saul in the Old Testament, kings were anointed, priests were anointed and for a prophet to minister his mission, he had to be anointed.
Jesus came to this world and was anointed for three duties: that of the Priest, the King, and the Prophet. As the heavenly Priest, He was baptized to take away the sins of all human beings.
Obeying the will of His Father, He presented Himself as the sin offering before the Father. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus saved those of us who believe in Him by taking away all our sins through His baptism and by being crucified.
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). Jesus bled on the Cross after His baptism; thus, offering His life before God as the wages for our sins so that we believers might be saved.
He was resurrected on the third day after He died on the Cross and preached the gospel to the spirits shut away in jail. Those who are not yet redeemed are like spiritual prisoners in the jail of sin, and to them, Jesus preaches the gospel of truth, the gospel of the water and the blood. God has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit to save us. Anyone who believes in it can be born again.
The Baptism and the Blood of Jesus Saves Sinners
How can we have a good conscience before God?
By having faith in the baptism and the blood of Jesus
Jesus Christ is our Savior, and it is testified in 1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God).” The water of the baptism of Jesus is a must for the salvation of sinners.
Jesus washed away the sins of all sinners by taking these sins upon Himself through His baptism. Do you believe in the baptism of Jesus? Do you believe that our hearts are washed clean of all sins through His baptism? Our hearts are washed clean of all sins, but our flesh still sins.
To be ‘born again’ does not mean that a person will not sin again. We, the born-again, also commit sins, but our hearts stay clean of sin because of our faiths in His baptism. Thus, the above passage states, “Not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God” (1 Peter 3:21).
Since Jesus washed away my sins, and since God accepted judgment for me, how can I not believe in Him? Knowing that Jesus, who is God, saved me through His baptism and blood, how can I not believe in Him? We were saved before God and now our consciences are clean. We can no longer say before God that Jesus didn’t completely wash away our sins, just as we cannot say that God doesn’t love us.
Our consciences become far more sensitive to sin after being born again and they tell us whenever we do wrong. If our consciences are bothered even a little, we cannot be completely free of sin unless we remind ourselves of the power of Jesus’ baptism. It is the only way we can have good consciences.
When our consciences bother us, it means that something is wrong. The water of Jesus’ baptism cleans away all the dirt of sin. Jesus took away all our sins with His baptism and washed us clean, even to our consciences. When we really believe this, our consciences can truly be cleansed. How can our consciences be cleansed? By believing in the baptism and the blood of Jesus. Everyone has an evil and dirty conscience from birth, but if we believe that all our sins were passed onto Jesus, we can blot out that stain.
This is the faith of the born-again. It is not autohypnosis, something that you consciously admit. Is your conscience clean? Is it clean because you have lived a good life, or is it clean because all your sins were passed onto Jesus and you believe in Him? It is only through this faith that you can obtain a clean conscience.
There are words with life and words without life. How can the consciences of all people be cleansed? The only way that we can be righteous and have clean consciences is to believe in the complete redemption of Jesus.
When believing in His baptism sanctifies us, it does not mean that the filth of the flesh has been removed, but that our consciences are clean toward God. For that, He came, was baptized, died on the Cross and was resurrected from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God.
When the time comes, He will come to this world again. “To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). We believe that He will come to take us, who eagerly wait for Him, and are sinless by believing in His baptism and blood.
A Clinical Experiment of Faith
Can we be saved without the baptism of Jesus?
We conducted a clinical and unplanned experiment at our Daejeon Church.
Rev. Park of Daejeon Church told a couple that there was no sin in the world without mentioning the meaning of Jesus’ baptism. The husband used to sleep during the sermons when he had attended other churches because all the pastors preached the gospel while omitting the redemption through the baptism of Jesus, thus forcing him to repent everyday.
But here in our Daejeon Church, he listened to the sermon with both eyes wide open because he was told that all his sins were passed onto Jesus. It made it easy for his wife to persuade him to come to church with her.
One day, he was sitting in church and heard Romans 8:1. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Then, he immediately thought, ‘Ah, if one believes in Jesus, one is without sin. Since I believe in Jesus, I am also without sin.’
So he phoned his brother-in-law and many of his friends one by one and said, “Do you have sin in your heart? Then your faith is not correct.” At this, Rev. Park was at a loss. The husband didn’t know about the baptism of Jesus but he insisted that he was now without sin.
Then, the couple started having problems. The wife used to be more religious, but she still had sin in her heart while her husband said that he was without sin. The husband went to church only a few times, but he said that he was already without sin. The wife was sure that both of them still had sin in their hearts. They started arguing about it. The husband insisted that he was without sin because ‘There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.’ And the wife argued that she still had sin in her heart.
Then one day, his wife was so piqued about it that she decided to go and ask Rev. Park what he meant when he said that all sins were passed onto Jesus.
So one day, after the evening worship service, she sent her husband home and stayed behind to ask Rev. Park a question. She said, “I know you are trying to tell us something, but I am sure there is one important part hidden. Please tell me what it is.” Then, Rev. Park told her about being born again of water and the Spirit.
She realized at once why it was written in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” She believed at once and was saved. She realized at last that all our sins were passed onto Jesus through His baptism so that those who are in Christ would not be condemned.
She started to understand the written Word. She finally found out that the key to redemption was the baptism of Jesus and that we could become righteous through the redemption of His baptism.
In fact, her husband did not go home but was waiting for her outside. He listened to her testimony that her sins were all cleansed, and asked exultantly, “Well, are you redeemed now?”
But after listening to what his pastor told his wife, he became confused. He had never heard about the gospel of Jesus’ baptism before. He was sure that he no longer had sin in his heart even without the baptism of Jesus. So at home, they argued again.
This time, the position was reversed. The wife pressed the husband whether he had sin in his heart or not. She asked him how he could be without sin when he did not believe in the baptism of Jesus. She urged him to look closely into his conscience. Then, he realized while examining his conscience that he still had sin in his heart.
So, he went to Rev. Park and confessed that he had sin in his heart. He asked, “When they put their hands on the head of the scapegoat, was it before they killed it, or after they killed it?” He had never heard of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, so he was terribly confused.
That was the point of this spiritual experiment. Jesus had to be baptized to have all the sins of the world passed on to Him. Only then could He have died on the Cross because the wages of sin is death.
“Did they lay their hands on the head of the offering before, or after it was killed?” He asked this because he was confused about the laying on of hands and the baptism of Jesus. So Rev. Park explained the redemption of the baptism of Jesus in detail to him.
On that day, the husband heard for the first time the gospel of the water and the Spirit and was redeemed. He heard the gospel only once and was delivered.
That was the experiment on the omitting of Jesus’ baptism. We may say that we have no sin, but we surely still have sin in our consciences without the baptism of Jesus. People usually say that Jesus cleansed all sin by dying on the Cross, but only those who believe in the baptism and the blood of Jesus can say that they actually have no sin before God.
Rev. Park proved with this couple that we cannot be completely redeemed of our sins without the redemption through faith in the baptism of Jesus.
The Antitype of Salvation: the Baptism of Jesus
What’s the antitype of salvation?
The baptism of Jesus
“There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism.” Jesus came down to our world to wash away all our sins and to make our consciences as white as snow. We are cleansed of all sins because Jesus took them all upon Himself through His baptism. He saved us with His baptism and blood. Therefore, all creations should kneel before Him.
Believing in Jesus saves us. We become God’s children and go to Heaven by believing in Jesus. We become righteous by believing in Jesus. We are the royal priesthood. We can call God our Father. We live in this world, but we are kings.
Do you truly believe that God saved those of us who believe in the redemption of the water and the Spirit? Our redemption can never be complete without the baptism of Jesus. The faith that God and Jesus admit to be true is the belief in the gospel of His baptism, His Cross, and the Spirit, which saved us completely. This is the only true faith.
Our sins were washed away when Jesus took them away with His baptism and all our sins were paid off when He bled on the Cross. Christ Jesus saved us with the water and the Spirit. Yes! We believe!