Like the ark saves the eight people from the drowning of the world, so baptism with water saves us “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The water of baptism does not wash us of physical dirt, says Peter, but is “the pledge of a good conscience toward God.”
Jesus promises us a “good conscience toward God” — and this is not a condition which we produce under our own power. Rather, this peace with God is His gift to us in conjunction with the gift of His Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit comes to us once Jesus is resurrected from the grave. As Jesus goes to sit “at God’s right hand with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him,” the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us, God’s own children. (1 Peter 3: 22)
Our baptism is a statement — through the washing of water, Jesus promises we are saved. We are become new creations, created in Him for God the Father. We are bought at a price; and are worth more than we can imagine to God. After all, we cost Him His Son’s human life. We cost His Son His Father’s presence.
As we emerge from the waters of baptism, we declare to all — ‘I belong to the Lord. My conscience is clean.’