Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ [....]
How can baptism save you? Isn't it a work? I thought we were saved by faith alone?
Baptism is a work of God, not a work of man. Let me ask you: When the Israelites would sacrifice a lamb for their sin on the altar of God, was it their act of sacrifice that forgave sins, or God?
When Naaman dipped himself in the Jordan 7 times, did he heal himself of Leprosy, or did God heal him?
Was Noah spiritually saved on the ark, or was he physically, literally, actually saved?
The Lord works through physical means to apply salvation to us. Baptism is the means He has chosen. The Lord Himself said somewhere, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved."
Baptism: Heaven Uber
Think of it like this: Your friend Josh invites you over to his house and says, "Come over to my house."
You say, "But Josh, I have no way of getting to your house! It's too far to walk and I can't pay the price of a car - it is too expensive for me!"
(I speak in this manner to drive the point home)
So Josh says to you, "Open your phone and use Uber to get to my house."
So you open your phone and use the Uber app to ask for a ride to Josh's house.
Sometime later the car shows up. The driver says, "I'm here to take you to Josh's house."
You say to him, "No, I'm not going to Josh's house in a car. I'm using Uber to get there."
The Driver says, "Uber orders the car, the car takes you."
You respond, "No! Josh told me to use Uber, not to take a car."
The Driver says, "But the car and the app go together! The app orders the car, the car then completes the journey you requested on the app! You cannot have one without the other, and you can't use one without the other!"
But you are obstinate. You say, "I will not be getting in that car, because I was not told to take a car, I was told to use Uber!"
You're doing the same thing when you deny baptism!
"We're saved by faith!" You cry!
Yes! We are! But faith is delivered to us in Baptism, and Baptism gives our faith something to cling to! Baptism is the car, faith is the app, they go hand in hand. You must accept your baptism with faith, and your baptism gives you the faith to accept it.
"Lord, give what you command, and command what you will." ~ St. Augustine.
So baptism saves you. Peter said it, Paul said it, Jesus said it. Now believe it.