Baptism…saves you—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. – 1 Peter 3:21
“Want a tough stain out?” That’s how the old commercial began. It ended by claiming a product that could get the job done. There are lots of sprays, foams, and cleaners that companies promise are the answer to our coffee, wine, and pet stain problems. But can any of those products deliver? If there actually was a stain remover guaranteed to deliver results as promised and was free…would you be interested?
God has one for you. He has provided a special “product” that has his faithful promise and almighty power behind it, and it is completely free. It’s not for coffee, wine, or pet stains, but for something far worse. It’s for guilt!
Guilt is what is left behind when we sin, and like an ugly stain it sticks in our hearts and minds. We want to get rid of it, but how? We can’t shout it out, even though guilt can make us angry and do lots of shouting. We can’t scrub it out, even if we try our hardest to clean up the messes we have made. So, what can get the tough stain of guilt out?
Baptism in a word that means to wash with water. God’s word together with water makes baptism a cleanser that God promises will bring results: “…not the removal of dirt…but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.” A guilty conscience comes from sin, and sin makes us unacceptable before our holy, sinless God. Baptism takes away our guilt because in baptism God connects us to Jesus and his work of salvation. In baptism God gives us the great gift of forgiveness through Jesus. His death was the payment for sin, and his resurrection is the guarantee that the stain of our sin has been removed. By our baptism God frees us from guilt. We are saved from the consequences of sin—death and damnation!
Think about your house with every single stain removed from your carpet and couch, and from your shirt and blouse. Even the toughest stains are eliminated. Baptism is a blessing of God that is much greater! Baptism is God’s amazing life-saving “product” to take out the stain of sin’s guilt from your heart. Jesus guarantees it.