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A Minister's Tradition

Many years ago, I heard this story. I really do not know if it really happened or if it's just a story that was used to illustrate the truth. But either way, there was an old minister who loved God and faithfully served his congregation and community. He and his wife had two sons. He also had an old dog that he'd loved since it was a pup. Faithfully following the practices of his religious denomination and having never been confronted by the need to follow biblical declarations concerning water baptism, he only sprinkled water upon Believers.

The Sons' Persuasion

His sons grew into fine young men with more interest in what the Bible actually says than in following religious practices. After seeing a river baptism where converts to the Christian faith were completely immersed in water, they were convinced and also got immersed. They tried on several occasions to point the biblical passages and examples out to their father, but he was so rooted in his denominational method that he wouldn't see the importance of baptism by immersion.

An Unexpected Loss

It came to pass that the preacher's beloved old dog died. Heartbroken, he asked his sons to bury old Shep. As they were doing what Dad asked, they fell on an idea that may help them convince him to be immersed and teach his congregation to do the same. They knew he'd be visiting his dog's grave later that evening and so, they simply laid old Shep down on top of the ground and threw a couple of hands full of dirt upon him.

A Symbolic Gesture

Later that evening, the heartbroken old minister went to visit Shep's grave and discovered what his sons had done. This angered him greatly and also hurt him deeply that they'd leave old Shep lying on top of the ground this way. So, with tears in his eyes, he got a shovel and buried this beloved companion. Afterward, he went straight to his sons, saying, "boys I told you to bury Shep and you did nothing but throw a handful of dirt on his body and leave him on top of the ground". They replied very respectfully like this: "Dad, we did that to illustrate to you that the only proper way to bury people in Believer's baptism according to the plain statements of the word of God in Romans 6:1-11 is by completely immersing and enclosing them in water. We knew you were going to his grave and we intended to bury him after you saw him lying there".

Conclusion and Invitation

After a few days of thinking about what his sons had said and after deciding to accept the plain statements in the word of God, the old preacher got immersed and taught his congregation the proper way of biblical baptism (Matthew 3:6,13-17, Acts 8:35-40, 16:13-15). Dear friends, there really is only one biblical method of Believer's baptism. It is by complete immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Ghost after one has personally believed and confessed Christ as Savior (Matthew 28:18-20). If you have not been baptized properly you really have no excuse not to be. I personally would not want to die knowing I'd willfully refused to confess Jesus as the one and only Savior by being immersed in water. I hope that you'll allow me to help you in this matter.

Pastor Bill Rains