Question:

I plan to be baptized as soon as I feel that I have properly obeyed the prerequisite commands to baptism: Hear the gospel, believe the gospel, repent of past sins, confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and after being baptized remaining faithful until death. Which brings me to my questions, one regarding the scriptures, and the other about my personal situation.

The first question regards the attitude necessary for forgiveness. Can you please explain to me what it means in the Bible by saying that we must have godly sorrow?

And about my situation. I was born with spina bifida and am permanently wheelchair bound. How is the baptism of one like myself carried out?

Thank you for your help with these issues!


Answer:

The best answer to your question regarding godly sorrow is Paul's:

"Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:9-11).

Some people are sorry that they committed sinned because they don't like the consequences of their sins. The grief is really over the consequences, not the sin itself. As a result, they don't change their behavior, at least not in avoiding sin, but rather they try to be more clever in committing the sin so they won't get caught.

Godly sorrow is a grief over injuring God. It triggers a zealous desire to change one's behavior to being more pleasing to God. II Corinthians 7:11 is a detailed list of how someone with godly sorrow is affect by his sin.

In regards to your baptism, it depends on how big you are and what pool of water is available. I've know of some who are lifted by two or three men into the water. In some cases the congregation rented a lift, like they use for getting wheelchair bound people into a bath tube. I recall hearing one group went to nursing home that had a lift and tub to do the baptism. Some hospitals and physical therapy places have zero-depth entrance pools which could be used. In each of the cases the person is lowered to chest height into the water and the baptism is done by having the person lean back until they are fully under the water.