My Life Before Christ
I began coming to CASM in the late 90s. A coworker at the time invited me to church. I had told him I was saved, because someone had told me I needed Jesus in my heart and I was led through a prayer. But that person didn’t stay in my life, and nothing in my life or heart changed. I thought that I was okay with God. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 says I was blinded by Satan to seeing the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ. My coworker said I needed to attend church if I was a Christian. So, I became involved in ministries and I was baptized. I didn’t know that these things didn’t make me right with God. “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). It wasn’t that I was not getting sound truth; it was because, again, I was blinded to the truth. I sat year after year under sound doctrine, ignorant. Ephesians 4:18 says my understanding was darkened, and I was excluded from the life of God. I looked and acted like a Christian, but inside I had a Pharisee’s heart. I was a hypocrite and had a self righteousness that was pretty disgusting.
How Christ Saved Me
It was while I was serving in the Youth Ministry that we as the team leaders were going through Romans. I had started to question myself and examine myself to see if I really was in the faith; I was becoming aware that something was very wrong with me. The Word of God started speaking into my heart, reminding me of the verse that says “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). It was God who was showing me I hadn’t changed. As we approached Romans chapter 2, it was then that I noticed how this load of falsehood in me was a burden I could not bear. Jesus was calling to me in Matthew 11:28-30. He was preparing me for Romans 3:10-18. I came face to face with my sin and His holiness, justice, and wrath. He declared that there was no one righteous, no not even one. I was in trouble and convicted of my sinful heart immediately. I cried out in my heart to Jesus to save me. I couldn’t shout it out because I was in a room with my teammates although I don’t think they would have minded! The one thing I do know is that I was blind, but now I can see (John 9:25)!
His Life in Me Since
I am a new creature, renewed in the spirit of my mind. I am now a friend of God (Romans 8:1). My desire is to please this most gracious God that I have and to follow Jesus. I am most thankful to Him for not giving me over to my sins (Romans 1:24-25). This is a prayer that I ask for all those I know who don’t know the Lord. I am thankful for the conviction of sin and the conflict I have with it (Romans 7:14-25), because it makes me feel ALIVE to Christ. That is what a real Christian wrestles with. I love God, His Word, Jesus, and His people. This is the change in me. And my desire is to tell others that Jesus changes and saves lives.
“May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”—1 Peter 1:2b