"Going Down to the River"

Going down to the river…

The soul of man confronted with God’s perfection needs cleansing, healing, restoration… new birth. From the day Adam and Eve ate the apple, man was convicted of sin when God was present, His word spoken thru prophets, or later reading words of truth…

The entrance of God’s word brings light… light reveals truth… truth is that we are all guilty…

Going down to the river, countless souls were compelled to be washed clean of sin by baptism…

Think of the conviction of God’s Holy Spirit throughout generations… revealing individual selfish deeds of man woman and child graciously forgiving covering those sins in the blood of Christ…

“I must go to the river to die and be born again” cried the heart of man convicted of his guilt.  "I will go under the water and die the symbolic death I deserve and be raised to a new life that I do not deserve”… accepting by faith God’s mercy…

John the Baptist first… countless others followed… sinners turned into saints… cleansed by faith clinging to what little or much they knew of God’s word and promise of salvation through our great Savior…

The seed goes into the ground and dies yet springs forth with new life bearing many more seed…. This is a great mystery that paints a picture of God’s eternal life…

Think of the hearts of those that preceded us in baptism… two thousand years ago… generation after generation convicted by the same Holy Spirit always present…

Countless souls found salvation in Jesus… separating themselves from the world’s convention, going down to the river, boldly declaring their faith before witnesses.

Humble servants of God stood waist deep in flowing rivers, lakes, seas, and pools. Yearning souls came forth turning from the world to find new life in Christ… to be immersed in the water and raised anew to the glory of God.

Baptism is a symbolic act demonstrating an individual’s choice to have spirit rule over the flesh.

God’s longsuffering Spirit has always been with us… poured out to all the world when Jesus returned to heaven…the Holy Spirit…

Speaking language of the heart, God’s love touched souls across the world compelling man woman and child to come down to the river…

For hundreds of years man has wrestled the struggle against God’s Holy Spirit.  Those that finally surrendered came down to the river… The educated, the simple, the worldly wise, all that surrendered came down to the river…

Slaves, masters, rich and poor, all that met and received our Savior came down to the river… deep past, recent history, present life… imagine the believing parent in humble dirt floor cabin teaching child the words of life and the resulting conversion…

Simple wood frame country churches in the deep South where then slaves found freedom by the hearing of God’s words of grace….  Urban neighborhood churches where God’s words are proclaimed… missionary workers prepare in study go forth to different lands to preach the good news.

All that receive the message of God’s unconditional love are forever changed, transformed by the new birth from above… they all go down to the river…

Young black man, Timothy, in 1854 heard the preacher proclaim God’s love for him and was convicted of his sin and need for God.  He was transformed from sinner to saint when he went down to the river…

Civil war soldier, Michael surrendered to our great God in 1879… he followed hoards of others to seek baptism in the river and was forever changed.  He bore children who were later saved and baptized.

Farmer Louis from Missouri in 1875 heard of God’s grace and was convicted of his sin and went down to the river…

Businessman, Cleaver Mica, read God’s word and was drawn down to the river in 1893 where he was saved and converted to Christ.

Throughout history of the world, God’s holy Spirit has been present and patiently long suffering struggling against the will of mankind to lead those that would receive Him to salvation in Christ.


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