Water is an amazing thing. Without water, every creature would die within a few days. Without water, crops will wither and die. Without water, all the fish of the ocean, seas, lakes, and ponds would die within a day. Point being, we all need water to survive on planet earth.
Even after we die and are changed from flesh to spirit, water is important. It was the rich man in hell who cried out for just a drop of water to cool his tongue. No, water could not put out the flames, but it could have given a moment of relief to his unbearable pain from the flames of hell.
The bible describes in three instances where water was the difference between life and death. Let us look at all three.
Water Saved Noah
Noah was a preacher of righteousness, a man just and upright (1 Pet 2:5 f; Gen 6:9). God looked down upon earth and saw that it was very wicked and full of violence, and it repented Him that he had made man (Gen 6:6). Therefore, God commanded Noah his servant to build an ark. God planned to destroy every living creature upon planet earth by water, except all that were aboard that ark (Gen 6:17). God commanded Noah the exact dimensions on how to build the ark and even told him what kind of wood to use (Gen 6:14-16). Noah built the ark, and took all the animals which God commanded him to take into the ark along with his immediate family (Gen 6:18-20). Then the rain began to fall for the very first time and in a short period, all died upon the earth except Noah and his family, and the animals which were taken into the ark. Thus, Noah was saved by water by his obedience to God’s commandment!
Water Saved Israel
Israel was in captivity to the Egyptians for 430 years. They literally were slaves to a nation which worshiped idols. Eventually, Moses was born, raised by Pharaoh’s daughter and lived in luxury. At the age of 40 Moses saw one his fellow kindred being abused and defended him, killing the Egyptian (Ex 2:11,12). Moses fled for his life and dwelt in a place called Median where he dwelt for 40 years (Ex 2:15). At the advanced age of 80 God called upon Moses in the burning bush (Ex 3:2). God commanded him to go back to Egypt and deliver his people, which Moses did with his brother Aaron. God plagued Egypt with 10 plagues (blood, frogs, lice flies, death of cattle, boils, hail, locust, darkness and eventually death of the firstborn). Then Pharaoh freed Israel, only to change his mind, and chased after Israel with his entire army. God protected Israel with a cloud and lead them to the Red Sea. God commanded Moses to raise his rod, and thus caused the waters to part, allowing Israel to walk upon dry land through the sea. The Egyptian army also followed through the sea, but God commanded Moses to lower his rod, drowning the entire Egyptian army. Thus, Israel was saved by water by their obedience to God.
Water Saves Us Today
Before Jesus began his ministry he was baptized by John the baptist (Jn 3:13-16). When Jesus began his ministry he said to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (Jn 3:5). To the woman at Jacob’s well Jesus said, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life (Jn 4:13,14)”. After Jesus resurrection from the dead Jesus commanded his apostles, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples (Christians) of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mt 28:18-20). John records Jesus’ commandment this way: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15-16).
The apostle Peter said to those on the day of Pentecost who had asked of the apostles, “Men and brethren what shall we do”? Peter answer them by saying, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). That gift was eternal life (Rom 6:23). Also notice the words of the apostle Peter who made the perfect analogy between Noah and baptism. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure where unto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 3:18-21).
As Noah was saved by water, as Israel was saved by water, even so we today are saved by water. As Christ suffered death on the cross, was buried, and was raised from the dead, even so, all confessed believers of Jesus Christ who repent of their sins are buried with Christ by baptism and raised to walk in new newness of life (Rom 10:9,10 ff; Acts 17:30; Rom 6:3,4). Then every Christian must take up their cross, suffer for the cause of Christ unto the end (Lk 14:27 ff; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Pet 4:16). All who endure such trials shall receive a crown of life (Jam 1:12). Thus, it is by the obedience to the gospel of Christ that man is saved by water today!