Daily Devotional: Psalms 51:7-12
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
1 Peter 3:20b-22
In it [the ark built by Noah] only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand-with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
Saul of Tarsus was told to “Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” Peter tells us that it is not the physical water or physical washing that takes away our sin. When we are baptized into Jesus Christ, we have our sins forgiven because it is a demonstration of faith, proven by obedience. It was Jesus who told his disciples to go and preach his name to all the world and those who believed and were baptized would be saved while those who disbelieved would be condemned. Baptism is necessary because it is a command of God.
Paul explains that in baptism we are buried with Christ and then just as he was raised to live forever, we are raised from the water to become a new person and live a new life. Our sins are forgiven when we put on Christ and we put on Christ when we are baptized into him. The value of baptism is our obedient faith.
The Bible says that we are saved by grace. We are saved by faith. We are saved by calling on the name of the Lord. We are saved by hope. We are saved by baptism. We are saved by repentance. We are saved by obedience. We are saved by the blood of Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross for our sins. These do not contradict each other but all work together and compliment each other in God’s plan for our salvation. When forgiven we can have a clear conscience with joy and peace.
Heavenly Father I am so thankful for your love, for your mercy and for your grace shown to me in the sacrifice of Jesus. Thank you for revealing your will to me and all of mankind in the Bible. Give me wisdom as I study and learn more about you and living for you. Be with our nation and with our leaders that we may live in peace and quietly serve you. Give rest, peace and safety to those who seek to serve you in places where they are persecuted and where there is constant strife and even war. Give them your strength to overcome. I pray in Jesus name.