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Vol.  9  No. 12 December 2007  Page 10
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Mike BensonThere Must Be Water

ByMike Benson

    Weather seems to be the predominate theme in our news lately. Parts of our nation have been floundering under a veritable deluge of rain, while simultaneously a great portion of the US has been sweltering under an oppressive heat wave.

    Because of the extreme heat and lack of water where I live, I have neglected to mow the grass in my yard for several weeks. My motivation for such disregard has been fueled by a concern that after cutting an already parched lawn, in combination with the scorching temperatures, my yard would soon die.

    Recently, I was walking around my house surveying the damage that the heat and lack of moisture had wreaked on my flowers and lawn. As I turned one corner of my house, I noticed that the grass nearest the air conditioner was green, lush and healthy (in contrast to the rest of my yard, which was yellow, dry and withered). The difference between the two was striking. As it turns out, the water dripping from the AC had sustained a small two-foot section of grass, while the remainder of the yard minus the same moisture was virtually barren.

    As I stood there studying the phenomenon, a simple and yet profound thought occurred to me: “Where there is water, there is life.” This is not only true in the physical realm, but it is also true in the spiritual realm as well. Just as the grass in my yard must have water in order to live, a penitent believer must come in contact with the water of baptism in order to be saved. The Bible teaches:

“…He who believes and is baptized [water] will be saved [life]…” (Mark 16:16).

“…Repent, and let every one of you be baptized [water] in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins [life]…” (Acts 2:38).

. “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized [water], and wash away your sins [life]...” (Acts 22:16).

. “There is also an antitype which now saves [life] us, namely baptized [water]...” (1 Peter 3:21).

“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized [water] into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life [life]” (Romans 6:3-4).

    Often, my denominational friends will read such statements and incorrectly accuse me of teaching “water salvation.” Their assertions are simply without merit. The Scriptures neither teach nor do I affirm that it is water that saves. Certainly, water plays a role in salvation, just as it did in the saving of Noah and his family during the Flood (Genesis 7; 1 Peter 3:20-21), and as it did in the saving of the Israelites during their crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14), but it does not save. Instead, the water of baptism is the last act before salvation. It is the borderline to the kingdom of God. It is the last step before entrance into Christ. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

    Before one is baptized, he is out of Christ. After one is baptized, he is in Christ. Faith in God moves one to be baptized. This is not water salvation. The water in baptism has no power to cleanse from sin. The blood of Jesus is the only power to remove sin (Revelation 1:5). Baptism is the time that the blood of Jesus washes away our sins. Baptism is the place God has appointed where we are saved. It is the point at which we are cleansed of our sins. It is when faith saves. There is no inherent good or evil in the water of baptism. God used the water of baptism to test our faith. It is merely an instrument and not a power in itself.

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