(1 Peter 3:20) "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."

Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives, were the eight souls that were saved by water. This incident is used by Peter as an illustration of people being saved by water in the gospel dispensation. In the next verse he says, "baptism doth also now save us."

Water is only one aspect of our salvation even as it was only one aspect of Noah's salvation. Noah was the recipient of God's grace so it might be said that Noah was saved by grace,. "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." (Genesis 6:8) He was saved by faith. (Hebrews 11:7) He was saved by his diligent efforts in building the ark. (ibid.) And he was saved by the water.

What part did the water play in Noah's salvation? The water destroyed the world of wickedness that surrounded him and transported him into a new world --- a new beginning. Noah's salvation by water prefigured our salvation by water --- baptism. God's grace has made provision for our salvation; by faith we receive the good news, the gospel; we submit to God's commandment to be baptized for the remission of our sins and when we complete our obedience in baptism we are separated from the world of sin and transported into the "kingdom of God's dear son." (Colossians 1:13) We have been born of "the water and the spirit," (John 3:5) "new creatures in Christ Jesus," (2 Corinthians 5:17) we have a new beginning. Let us make the most of it!

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