21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him. 1 Peter 3:21-22
How many times have you heard after someone’s conviction in court, that the decision will be appealed? In God’s courtroom, in the matter of one’s conscience, only one legal strategy will work; to appeal on the basis of Christ’s resurrection.
The question when claiming to possess a good conscience is this, “Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus?” Nothing else will meet God’s stringent requirements. Nothing else will actively cleanse one’s heart. By the way. we’re not on trial in the court of public opinion.
Baptism is our testimony that this faith transaction has occurred. It’s done in a public court for all to witness. Going forward, once saved, as Peter learned, “full immersion” is not necessary, just a washing of the feet, perhaps. John 13:10
At the risk of mixing metaphors, we’ve got a “hot-shot” lawyer to get us off, Jesus, who argues not only the letter of the law, but is the law. He waltzes past all authority, angels and powers at the highest level to assume his place at the right hand of God.
Not only can we obtain a good conscience from him, but the confidence in knowing that we’ll always win our case on appeal. Hand’s down.