In the past, these spirits were disobedient—when God patiently waited during the time of Noah. Noah built an ark in which a few (that is, eight) lives were rescued through water. Baptism is like that. It saves you now—not because it removes dirt from your body but because it is the mark of a good conscience toward God. Your salvation comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at God’s right side. Now that he has gone into heaven, he rules over all angels, authorities, and powers (1 Peter 3:20-22, Common English Bible).
“…whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life” (John 4:14, Common English Bible).
This is part 6 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.
Would someone please pass the water?
For me at least, it is difficult to imagine beginning a meal without a drink of water. At least as often as not, if water is not the drink of the meal, I will get at least a sip or two before I sit down to eat. I don’t think it is what the foodies on the Food Network would call a palate cleanser but perhaps that is what it serves for me. And, at least some of the time water is the drink of the meal.
Doctors and nutritionists tell us we need water every day. Some say we should have eight glasses. I don’t have many eight ounce glasses but that is what they mean. For me it is easier to keep up with the total ounces rather than total glasses. They also say if you drink caffeine you need more water. And, if you are overweight you also need more water.
Then, once you figure out how much water you need, if you can figure out how much you need, if you become deficient in your water intake, you become dehydrated. If you get dehydrated enough, you could end up with an IV stuck in your arm giving you water the hard way. If you become more dehydrated than that, you could die.
The spiritual life is a lot like that only there are two choices, spiritual hydration and spiritual dehydration. I don’t think there is something in between. And, unlike the water at our dinner table, water we keep picking up again and again, this water, Jesus tells us in John 4, will never leave us thirsty.
Regardless of one’s view on baptism and at what age a person should receive it, it is difficult to imagine living a spiritual life without first having come to the waters of baptism and having a drink of the living water. For we who believe and practice infant baptism that can begin very early in life. For those who practice believer’s baptism it comes at a time later. But regardless of when that may happen, we are brought to drink of the living water.
I love the passage from 1 Peter above. It reminds us that baptism isn’t just to wash off our sin, it does do that, but more than that it marks us as a child of God. That doesn’t mean our baptism is the source of our salvation. It is not. The lesson states clearly that our salvation comes from the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is all we need.
Still, I am thankful for water. Not because I need it to live, and I do. I am thankful for water because when I see it, I am reminded of its life-giving power, in this life and in my spiritual life. Seeing the water reminds me of the waters of baptism. It reminds me of the living water, given to me by the Risen Christ. At least every now and then, I need those reminders.
So once again, Pass the water.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Grace and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.