A black, six-foot-wide livestock watering tub just fits in my 6 x 10-foot trailer. It comfortably holds 20 inches of water which is more than enough to completely submerge a person. This is what I have been using to baptize the prisoners in the prison ministry. We had two people who wanted to be baptized in the church. We announced we would go to the house and have a baptism immediately after church. As we were having “meet and greet”, a teenage girl came up to me and said she wanted to be saved. With tears running down her cheeks, Barbara led her to faith in Jesus Christ and giving her life to Jesus. We have a large yard, so I went ahead of the group and directed the cars in getting parked in the yard. We all congregated under our pavilion where the baptismal tub was parked, and rejoiced in three precious people entering a life of commitment to and walking with Jesus.
When I was about twelve years old, I was hearing the preaching at church and walked down the aisle, said yes to all the questions, was pronounced to be saved, and got baptized. I was a good kid, but about two years later in the privacy of my bedroom while saying my nightly prayers, I began to realize I did not have a real connection with God. I argued within myself that I was saved because I had walked the aisle, gotten baptized, and was a good person. The inward struggle brought me to a time of tears of desperation, sobbing into my pillow so I would not disturb my parents sleeping in the next bedroom. Then, I came to realize: Jesus Christ died for me. What he did for me is what makes me right with God. I had peace. I quit crying. Then, I realized I could commit ankle deep, knee deep, loin deep, or it was a river that could not be passed over (Ezekiel 47). I prayed, “Lord, let me dive in and swim on your grace!” I made a total commitment of my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, to follow him, trusting in his finished work for me as my salvation. I have erred along the way, but he always draws me back to himself, washing me clean from my sin by the power of his blood that he shed for me. Years later, with a clear understanding of the meaning of water baptism, I was baptized again. Now, when the good news of what Jesus has done for us is preached, believed, and received, just like in the book of Acts, obedience and commitment is shown by being immersed in water. This shows our old life is washed away and we are raised into new life in Christ, committed to following him. That’s how we roll. Believe, turn from our way, receive Jesus’ work as our salvation, be baptized. Commit our life to him. Walk with him in peace.