Thursday, April 16, 2009

Testify

I recently visited a family new to our church. In the course of our conversation I asked them about their faith. It's interesting to hear people’s stories of how they became Christians. The husband told me what many people say, I was raised in the church. But he quickly admits that he really did not know the Lord. He knew the religious duties and expectations of the church, but he had no relationship with Christ.

Then one day, many years ago, he had an encounter with God. He was cleaning his basement and found some old vinyl records (this is how people listened to recorded music before CD's and iPods). One of the records he played spoke of how his sin led Jesus to the Cross and that Christ loved him enough to die in his place. This is the language of substitutionary atonement: Christ died for me. He said he was convicted by the Spirit and in his basement, he got on his knees, confessed Christ as his Savior and Lord. By this time he was weeping like a baby.

I came away from his house impressed that after so many years the blush of first love was still on him. He spoke of Christ as if he just met him! Personal testimonies are a powerful tool for sharing Christ with others.

Here is mine: Christ changed my life back in 1977. Early one Sunday morning I heard the song being played in my house, The Savior is waiting to enter your heart. I felt convicted by God about the condition of my life and my sins. I also felt drawn to Christ’s love and mercy. The song went on, there’s nothing in this world to keep you apart, what is your answer to him. That Sunday morning, in my bedroom, I knew that I was a sinner; I knew that Christ died to forgive me of my sinful ways, and I asked Christ to forgive me of my sin and lead me as Lord and Savior. That morning, I was born again by the Spirit of God.

Conversion is not about the drama of coming to Christ. A dramatic story of conversion from bank robbery, and a life of addiction are not required. Every testimony should have a clear statement about how sin alienates from God; and how Christ remedied the separation from God through his death and resurrection. Then talk about the difference knowing Christ as Savior and Lord makes in your life today.

I want to give you a chance to share your testimony of how you came to faith in Jesus Christ and what knowing him today means for you. Use the comment line and simply share the following question: How did you become a Christian? What difference does Christ make?