My Water Baptism Experience
I always remember the gentle tap of Associate Pastor Peter Ong’s hand on my shoulder 12 years ago during an altar call in evening service. He gently asked if I had taken water baptism and when I replied that I had not, he prayed that I would do so soon.
At the time, I did not consider water baptism a necessary step into Christianity. To me, having said the sinner’s prayer, being saved, and accepted as a child of God was good enough. With my shallow understanding of scripture, water baptism just seemed an unnecessary ritual.
Perceiving that God was directing me to be baptised in water through Pastor Peter, I sought confirmation from the Bible. The scriptures I read were clear on the need for water baptism:
But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptise him. After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”…Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit…”
Guided by the Word, I signed up for water baptism in March 2012, together with my wife. Not expecting anything, we were merely obeying the Word as beloved children of God, just like Jesus.
I never expected it to be a turning point in my walk with Christ. Water baptism seemed to awaken the Spirit in me; I felt like a new creation! I felt the Holy Spirit moving me and inspiring me to spend time reading the Bible and to also pray.
On one occasion, my wife was suffering one of her usual periodic stomach aches. She lay in bed for almost the whole day hoping that the pain would subside on its own, but it did not. When evening came, a small voice said, “Pray for her in the name of Jesus”, and I obeyed. As I wasn’t good at “big prayers,” I simply prayed, “Jesus, heal my wife of the stomach ache.” Half an hour later, the pain was gone and not only could she stand up, she went into the kitchen to prepare dinner. Since then, she never experienced that type of pain any more – God had miraculously healed her, completely. Hallelujah!
The Holy Spirit also led me to join a Life Group (LG) near my house and to enrol for a short course in the Bible College of Malaysia. I was already 66 years old, an age many consider to be too old to learn, but with God, all things are possible. By God’s grace, two years later, I was appointed as an LG leader. God truly has a plan for each one of His children.
When I took the step of faith in water baptism, I did not expect all these blessed developments – I just wanted to abide in Christ. I know that all this progress made in my spiritual life is not through any of my own efforts, but wholly Christ in me, for it is not by might, not by authority, but by the Spirit of God.