“The like figure whereunto, euen Baptisme, doth also now saue vs, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answere of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Iesus Christ.”
1611 King James Version (KJV)
3:21 The antitype whereof - The thing typified by the ark, even baptism, now saveth us - That is, through the water of baptism we are saved from the sin which overwhelms the world as a flood: not, indeed, the bare outward sign, but the inward grace; a divine consciousness that both our persons and our actions are accepted through him who died and rose again for us.
1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us. Literally, "the antitype now saves us, Baptism". Says Alford, ``Water saved them, bearing up the ark; it saves us, becoming to us baptism.'' As they entered the Ark, we are "baptized into Christ", the Savior. See Ga 3:27. Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh. Not as a Jewish ceremonial washing, which was only a purification of the flesh, but it is the answer of a good conscience. "The interrogation of a good conscience" (Revised Version). "Inquiry" would be still better. The soul seeking the forgiveness of sins "inquires" What shall I do to remove the sense of unforgiven sins and make my conscience void of offense? The answer is "Repent and be baptized", etc. See Ac 2:38. He who obeys the word of the Lord has the "inquiry" answered in baptism. By the resurrection. Baptism would be meaningless and vain were it not for the resurrection of Christ. It points directly to the burial and resurrection of the Lord. See Ro 6:1-6