[Testimony for baptism] B.C.— Before Christ
I rejected God from having ‘too big’ a place in my life, too preoccupied with school, family, friends, sports, myself, to give Him more than a haphazard sideways glance. Although since the age of seven I had been told every week at church about Jesus, how He loved me and died for me, “becoming a Christian” was something I did solely so that I wouldn’t go to hell.
My misunderstanding of the gospel was so skewed I worked to prove to God and others of my goodness, seeking to establish my own righteousness. I went to church, organized the youth group trips, headed the youth worship team, and always knew the answer in Sunday school, adding to the resume I intended to present to God. I called myself a Christian, yet thought that my religion, my system of good works, saved me.
And I would have continued in my sin, boasting in myself and my filthy garments rather than the cross, seeking the things of the world instead of the things of God, unless God had saved my life.
A.D — Anno Domini
January 5th, 2008 — I was browsing YouTube when I ran into a sermon called ‘The Shocking Youth Message’ by Paul Washer on Matthew 7:13-29. In one hour, God ripped every shred of my false hope away.
For the first time in my life, I was afraid of God, afraid because I had insulted Him beyond belief by misrepresenting His name. My sin was real to me, real because I realized that God saw everything I had done, and was very, very righteously angry. The things I was doing with my girlfriend were unspeakable. The thoughts I was thinking about my friends were worthy only of damnation. I sat in my chair guilty of a myriad of trespasses, and God pressed on my heart that above all else, I needed a merciful Savior.
That night I spent the most productive hours of my life crying, pleading with a holy God to have mercy on an ill-deserving, rebellious, religious sinner like me, and repenting as if my life depended on it, because frankly, it did.
I don’t remember much after that. But I do know this. That night, I died to myself. And, He caused me to be born again. God brought me peace through His incredible grace. Jesus’ death for my sins and resurrection for my salvation seemed almost unbelievable. I hate God, and He dies for me? That Jesus willing took the nails, the whip, the spit, the ridicule, the beatings, the crown of thorns, the cup of God’s wrath, still is unfathomable. Yet all that is within me proclaims, “It is true!”
And now, I’m here. Almost three years young in the faith, looking forward to a lifetime of walking with Jesus. God continues to reveal my sinfulness, causing me to hate my flesh, and continues to reveal Himself, causing me to love His cross more. I love the God who saves me everyday ever more. My earnest expectation and hope is that Jesus Christ be exalted in all that I am. Amen.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 1:3-9
Worship. Love. Rejoice.