Today I read Romans 6 which talks about baptism and being a new person after we have been baptized. I remember quite clearly that I used a scripture in this chapter, verse 4 to be exact, as a missionary once to help someone get baptized. My companion and I were teaching the missionary discussions to a man who was quite interested in what we were teaching but didn't understand why he needed to be baptized again. He asked us if we could show him in the Bible where it says we have to be baptized by immersion, then he would be baptized.
I instantly thought of this scripture which says we are buried with him by baptism into death. I asked him if it made sense to liken baptism to a burial if it wasn't us going down into the water and being immersed. He said that no it didn't make sense at all and must mean what I said it did and right then and there decided to be baptized. Now, I take no credit at all for that beyond memorizing that scripture's location and what it was about. It was all the Spirit who reminded me of it and helped confirm the truth of its words to the man who was eventually baptized.
I have often wondered, as I am today because of the content of the rest of the chapter, why people don't change their behaviors and lives after baptism. They feel the Spirit testifying that what we are teaching them is true and yet they don't make any changes to their lives. What is really incomprehensible to me is the fact that they don't make any changes and they don't feel compelled to either. I remember my father telling me about his conversion story and how after he was baptized he realized that all his old friends that he used to hang out with and drink alcohol with were no longer conducive to the kind of life he was now choosing to lead. So he made new friends. I assume that most people don't like change and so they resist changing their old habits and still go to their old hang outs and visit with the same friends as before. Now, I can certainly understand that it is hard to get rid of old friends, however most new converts are not strong enough to resist old habits. So if they don't make a change right away and stick to it, they will eventually fall. I have seen it lots of times.
When the Spirit testifies to us that something is true, we should make a change to our habits and strive to follow this new path with all of our heart. I mean if we found a map that we knew would take us to a pile of gold if we just followed its directions no matter what, we would all do it. Well, the scriptures and the Spirit are our map and guide to something of infinite more worth than mere money, eternal life. All that God hath. If we will but give up the vices of this world, our favorite sins, we can become like He is and we will be able to experience happiness beyond our current comprehension. Isn't that worth whatever sacrifices we might have to make in this life? It certainly is to me. Until tomorrow.