It was a bright and sunny Saturday morning and the TLR Hamilton team had planned to go to the beach for a day of swimming and fellowship. God had other plans for the day though. Mike and April stopped off to talk to a man name ‘Mark’ who was interested in hearing more about God. He is friends with Rhonda who we prayed for the week before and cast demons out of. She told Mark what had happened to her and he wanted to know more.
At around lunchtime I got a phone call from Mike to ask if I wanted to do a baptism today. I said that I was at home looking after our 1 year old son and that Irene had gone out in the car so I couldn’t go anywhere until she came back so I invited them all over for lunch. They turned up around 1pm at the same time as Irene and then we all had a beautiful shared lunch.
During that time I was able to talk with Mark a bit more. I originally asked him, “why do you want to get baptised?” His answer at the time was something along the lines of, “I just want to try it out.” I wasn’t too impressed with that answer so I explained to him in more detail what repentance means. I used the analogy of his old life being represented by a house with a vegetable garden. Repentance means to burn that old house to the ground, dig up all the vegetables in the garden, salt the earth so that nothing ever grows there again and then to walk away from it and never look back.
I also gave him a Bible and took him to Romans 6. I shared with him that baptism is like a funeral for the old man. He then asked me what sin was and I was able to explain using another illustration. This one is about archers in the olden days who used to aim at a round target a long way away. Behind the targets they used to dig trenches where servants would be stationed who could bring the arrows back after the archer shot. If the archer missed the target completely the servant would stand up and yell “sin!” Meaning he missed the mark. The mark for us is how God wants us to live. Once Mark understood this he said, “Then everyone has sinned!” So I took him to Romans 3:23 which says exactly that. I then explained that the only way we can live a life that God wants us to is to look at his son Jesus. Before we can do that though, we need to put to death our old life through baptism and become born again and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
After I explained that to him we asked him again whether he wanted to be baptised. I explained to him that there is no turning back so he needed to be absolutely certain. He said that he wanted to so we all piled in to our cars and went down to the river.
It was absolutely packed with people when we got there because it was such a hot day. I loved it because there were so many witnesses! We then baptised Mark into Jesus. He said when it happened he felt a release in his spirit. We prayed for him to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit but nothing obvious happened at the time. We continue to believe that he will speak in tongues though.