When I met my husband and we married, the subject of baptism was one we had to agree to disagree on. He was raised Baptist and was convinced that baptism by immersion was the only true baptism. I, on the other hand, had the example of Catholicism (baptism by pouring) on my father’s side and Lutheran and Methodist (pouring or sprinkling) on my mother’s side.
A year and a half ago, my family left the Methodist Church we had been members of for thirty-plus years. Several months earlier my husband’s uncle had passed away. After his service, I remarked that I’d like to go hear the minister preach sometime. That first Sunday after we left the church, we got up not knowing where we would worship that day. Hubby suggested we go hear that pastor, Rev. William Swink at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.
From the moment we entered the church, we were made welcome by people with a genuine love of others. I entered the service feeling like a dried up old sponge. As we left the church, I felt as though I had been soaked in a bucket of water, full to overflowing, revived again by being in the living presence of the Holy Spirit.
Over the year and a half we visited and became a part of the church, I had been praying about joining the church. Years ago I had said I would never join a Baptist church because they wouldn’t recognize my baptism. I struggled with the notion I would have to be re-baptized. I couldn’t discount what God had done in my life that day long, long ago. I talked to people who might give me insight to help in my decision making. Nothing helped. The turmoil was still there in my spirit.
Then about a month ago I heard a radio sermon on baptism by a well known preacher. I felt a crack in my resolve. How could I have been buried with Him by baptism into death if I was sprinkled? His text, from Romans 6:3-5, spoke to me:
3 “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Romans 6:3-5 ESV
A few mornings later, after He had given me time to ponder and process this information, I felt God ask me, “Could your ideas about baptism be flawed?” When I responded, “Of course they could be,” a peace flooded over me. I knew what I needed to do. The next Sunday, we joined the church and, on Sunday, November 18, 2012, I was baptized by immersion. It was another great, joy-filled day on my journey to eternity.
In 1960, I was obedient in baptism by the truth that was available to me at that time. In 2012, I was obedient in baptism by the new truth God allowed me to see as I matured in the faith. I am so thankful for a God who doesn’t think I am too old to learn new scriptural truths.
May you experience peace and joy on your journey-