Learning from George Muller
Recently I was reading the biography of George Muller of Bristol and many things hit me with force. But there was one incident in his life that affected me in ways I could never explain. When this happened, he was already a missionary in England, and a pastor of the church.
In his own words:
About the beginning of April I went to preach at Sidmouth [a small town near Teignmouth]. While I was staying there, three sisters in the Lord had, in my presence, a conversation about baptism, one of whom had been baptized after she had believed. When they had conversed a little on the subject, I was asked to give my opinion concerning it. My reply was, ‘I do not think that I need to be baptized again.” I was then asked by the sister who had been baptized, “But have you been baptized?” I answered, “Yes, when I was a child.” She then replied, “Have you ever read the Scriptures, and prayed with reference to this subject?” I answered, “No.” “Then,” she said, “I entreat you, never to speak any more about it till you have done so.” It pleased the Lord to show me the importance of this remark; for whilst at that very time I was exhorting every one to receive nothing which could not be proved by the Word of God, I had repeatedly spoken against believers’ baptism, without having ever earnestly examined the Scriptures, or prayed concerning it; and now I determined, if God would help me, to examine that subject also, and if infant baptism were found to be scriptural, I would earnestly defend it; and if believers’ baptism were right, I would as strenuously defend that, and be baptized.
I saw from the Scriptures that believers ONLY are the proper subjects for baptism, and that immersion is the only true Scriptural mode, in which it ought to be attended to. The passage which particularly convinced me of the former, is Acts 8:36-38, and of the latter, Rom. 6:3-5. Sometime after, I was baptized.
Isn’t this amazing? A pastor and preacher is first of all confronted by a lady and he takes it with all the humility. I wonder what would happen if that lady in the Lord tries the same thing with today’s preachers. I am sure the next Sunday, the sermon would be about the judgment that is waiting for those who question their pastors.
And when she gives him a suggestion, the pastor takes it up without any question. I mean, I have been bombarded with so many doctrines by so many people. Every time, I asked them for a Biblical verse to support what they have told me, they recoiled so severely and I was called, wait, I am still being called so many names… all because I asked them for a Bible verse. However, I have also learned over the last few years, that if I say something about God, it must have a Biblical support behind it.
Most importantly, it stunned me that George Muller obeyed the revelation given to him by being baptized again. How humble he was and how much courage he must have had to get baptized again, especially when you are already a preacher. I pray that the Lord gives me such humility to accept His Word when He reveals it to me, obedience so that I do not oppose His revealed Word and above all, I have the courage to oppose the prevalent view if it is against the Word of God. Amen.