"SUBMISSION OR SUBMERSION?"
The Bible teaches that the New Testament church is to have two ordinances - baptism and the Lord's Supper. For bapism to be scriptural it must have four requirements: a proper candidate (saved person), a proper method (immersion), a proper motive (to identify with the Lord's death, burial and resurrection and His church) and a proper authority (a local church).
As with every area of the ministry sometimes things happen that though they may not be funny at the time, later we can laugh at them.
Many years ago while pastoring a young man moved into the area. I visited him and after sharing the Word of God he trusted Christ as his Saviour. Before I left his home I explained to him that the next thing he should do is follow the Lord in baptism. As he was newly saved he wanted to do whatever was right for the glory of God. Now this fellow had never been in a baptist church and had never even seen a baptismal service performed. He asked me over and over "What do I do?" I patiently tried to explain each step.
On Saturday night I had walked over to the church from the parsonage and before I began to study andprepare for the next morning, I turned on the baptistry heater. Soon I became engrossed in my sermon study and after some time left my office and walked back to the house, Forgetting the heater I had turned on when I arrived.
When I returned to the office before church the next morning I could hear "blip.blip". It dawned on me the heater was still on!! I rushed to turn it off noting that the water was almost boiling!! I pondered what to do and decided by the end of the service it would cool off enough to use.
The end of the service arrived and as the congregation sang the new convert and I hurried to the dressing room. He was a nervous wreck! He began to ask me over and over "What do I do?" After he had asked me several times I told him (rather impatiently) to "Just do what I do." We dressed, I put on my waders and he his baptismal clothes. I proceeded to walk down the steps into the baptismal pool. The new convert was right behind me.
When I stepped into the water it was scalding hot! I ran through the water quickly, yelling "Ouch,ouch,ouch" the entire way and then quickly exited up the steps on the other side. I turned to tell the candidate not to come into the water but it was too late. He hit the water, quickly passed to the other side stating "Ouch,ouch,ouch) the entire way and up the stairs on the opposite side. Before I could say a word or apologize, he looked at me and said "I do not know what I was so nervous about. This baptismal thing was not so hard after all." Of course, the congregation was laughing at what they had just witnessed.
I am gad I can say the next Sunday this young man followed the Lord in baptism and served the Lord in the church as long as I was there.It really is true that a merry heart is like medicine!!