This isn’t supposed to be the complete story of my life, but rather the story of my new life in Jesus Christ. My story is really His story of redemption.
From an early age I was around the Gospel. I was taught the Bible in Sunday School, in the preaching services, and at the Christian school I attended. I was able to see real Christian living in the lives of my grandmother, and later my own parents. I knew that people need to be “saved” in order to have their sins washed away and go to heaven. But it took a while for me to realize what that meant for me personally.
As far as kids go, I was a pretty good one. I was generally obedient, did well in school, and learned to interact and be friendly to others. But there were problems, as with any child. Sometimes my attitude was wrong in the things I did. Often my little brother and I would fight. And even at a young age, pride began to enthrone itself inside my wicked little heart. What some could not see from a distance was that this “good kid” was not really very good at all.
I was, in reality, a sinner. I had never robbed a bank, or done drugs, or committed adultery (I was just a kid!). And yet, I had offended the holiness of God. That is how holy and perfect of a standard God holds: that even the most innocent and good among us can never measure up. The Bible says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” In man’s eyes, I might have only sinned just a little tiny bit. But in God’s eyes, the degree of sin doesn’t matter. One sin would still cause us to fall far, far short of His holy standard. I wasn’t a sinner because once upon a time I did something wrong. It’s actually the other way around. I sin because I was born a sinner. Sin is like a disease that has infected the entire human race.
Psalm 58:3 says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” and in Psalm 51:5 David writes, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” That’s not speaking of the sin of David’s mother, but of the original sin nature that existed within David even before he was born. That same nature is in every one of us.
At the tender age of eight, I was already an offending rebel who had taken sides against the God of the universe. I didn’t consciously decide that, but it’s exactly what my sin had made me. All the “innocence” and “goodness” within me – even as a child – was not enough to save me. But my sin was already bad enough to condemn me. The Bible teaches us that what we call good and righteous as sinners is simply unacceptable to our holy God.
Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” I didn’t choose to be born in sin, and neither did you, but we are still required to come to Christ to be saved. I suppose it would be like young children who had been brought aboard the Titanic by their parents. They may not have bought the ticket, but they needed a lifeboat just as much to survive.
Sin is the iceberg that is sinking our lives. There is no way to avoid the consequences of it. The only way to live, is to get on the lifeboat – to be saved from eternal death in Jesus Christ. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
There is no way to purchase or earn your way onto this lifeboat. Since we have no goodness within ourselves capable of being pleasing to God, we simply cannot earn our own salvation. You cannot defy the laws of physics and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. We’d like to think we could, but if you’ve ever tried, it is impossible. The only one who can help us out of our sin is one who has never been tainted by it.
Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Over 2,000 years ago, God came to this earth and became a man. He was born of a virgin, thereby avoiding the sin nature of man. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life. He never once had a wicked deed, word or thought. Hebrews 4:10 tells us that Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
His sinlessness made Him the only one who could pay the price for our sin. He sacrificed Himself on the Cross of Calvary and died for our sin. He died in our place so that we could go free. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Three days later Jesus Christ rose from the grave, and then ascended back to heaven. He is alive today, and wants to give us eternal life, because He alone has paid the price and conquered death for us.
I’ll never forget the day when it all “clicked” in my mind – when I realized that I was a sinner, and that Jesus had died for me! It was a summer day – July 11, in 1993. The pastor had been preaching, and I felt something I’d never felt this strongly before. All I knew was I felt horrible, and I knew that I needed to be saved. Know I understand that this battle inside of me was the conviction of the Holy Spirit working in my heart, drawing me to salvation.
I went forward during the invitation, and was led into a counseling room with a godly man who knew the Scriptures. With all my religious education I could quote back to him every verse he was reading. But for the first time, I realized that these verses were for me!
John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…”
Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
That morning I did call upon the Lord. I bowed my head in prayer, admitted to God that I was a sinner, and put my faith in Jesus Christ to take away my sins. I asked Him to forgive me and save me, and He did! There was no weird wind that rushed through the room, or a sign in the sky. But in my heart I knew the deal had taken place. He had removed my sin, and replaced it with His Spirit and His life.
Friend, I tell you this story because whether you have been told or not, you are in the same condition I was before salvation. Until you are “born again,” you are still lost and dead in your sins. You might think of yourself as a good person, and not needing to be saved, but the Bible tells us God’s perspective in Romans 3:12, “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
You must come to the same awareness that you are lost in your sins, and because of your sin, you deserve to spend eternity in Hell – where all sin belongs.
But realize that God loves you, as He loves every man, woman and child upon the earth. Romans 5:8 says that God proves or “commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The Lord Jesus suffered and died on the Cross to pay your penalty and take your place.
You can never earn your way to heaven by your own good works. The Bible calls eternal life “the gift of God.” It is purely of His grace, and not of anything we can do. Neither baptism, nor communion, nor any other human act can help to save us. All human efforts must be forsaken, so that you can place all of your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Repent of your sin that has so offended God and will destroy your soul. Then in faith believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and confess that belief in a short, simple prayer, calling upon His name, and He has promised to forgive your sin, and give you eternal life.
If you would like to learn more about how you can be saved, or if you have recently trusted Christ, and would like some help in how you can continue in your faith, please contact me! I would love to be a help to you in any way I can.