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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2003

The Water of Life

Considering that water is such a necessity for life to exist on Earth, it should not be surprising to learn that the Bible placesgreat importance on be-ing a godly person by comparing certain spiritual things to water. The writer of the first Psalm said that the tree plant-ed by streams of water (a tree that is healthy and strong) is like the person who spends a lot of time studying the Word of God. This person’s spiritual strength is compared to that of a flourishing tree. When speaking to the Samaritanwoman at Jacob’s well (in John 4), Jesus contrasted the water from the well (thatgives temporary relief to the thirsty) with the water of life that flows from Jesus. This spiritual water is able to transform the mind of a sinful person into a person who does good works and eventually receives everlasting life in heaven. Of the 77 times the word water is found in the New Testament, manytimes it is connected with a spiritual truth.

One spiritual truth that is directly connected with the word water (at least 17 times in the New Testament) is something known as baptism (or immersion). There are different kinds of “baptisms” mentioned in the New Testament. But there is one baptism associated with water that a person who wants to become a Christian must understand. In Acts8:26-40 (among other passages), we read about water baptism. After Philip taught a man from Ethiopia about Jesus (vs. 35), the Bible indicates that the man asked, “See, here is water.What hinders me from being baptized?” (vs. 36). After ob-serving this man’s faith in God, Philip went down into thewater with the him and baptized (immersed) him (vs. 38). According to 1 Peter 3:21, this baptism is not for the purpose of becoming physically clean by re-movingdirt from the flesh; rather, it serves a spiritual purpose.The Bible says it is “for the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38) “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). In order to become a Christian, a person must be baptized.

Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome (who already had been baptized), “We were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christwas raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). The amazing physical properties of water do not give baptism meaning; it is Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and His desire for us to be baptized (Matthew 28:19-20) that make the waters of baptism of eternal importance.

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