This month we worked on how to share our personal testimonies of salvation in such a way that someone who heard it could know how to be saved.
I love hearing how God worked in someone to bring them to salvation. But so often when I ask how they came to know the Lord, their answers are so generic that I learn little about God's mighty work in their life.
Some all to come responses are:
"I grew up in a christian home and have always gone to church."
"I went forward during the invitation and got saved."
"I prayed a prayer when I was little. "
"I was saved and baptized as a child. But when I was a teenage I walked away from God. Later after I had children I knew I needed to come back to God."
While most of these responses are not WRONG.... they are lacking. There is no mention of a SAVIOR. No metion of sin or Christ's death or his Ressurrection. Our testimonies lack the Good News of the Gospel!
I love what Paul says in I Corinthians 15. 1-4
- Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved...: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures
THIS Is the GOSPEL...anything else falls so far short.
I shared my testimony with the ladies, one a short, generic version, and one version that shares my true testimony of how God brought me, a rebellious sinner, into His family.
Christen, how did you become a Christian?
I prayed with my parents and was baptized one year later. I always wanted to be a missionary and today I am serving the Lord in Brazil.
God honoring Version:
One night when I was a little girl, I was praying with my mom before bed. I remember praying that God would give me courage to go forward at church the next morning to be saved. Although I was young, I felt the guilt of my sin...every lie, the many fights I had with my brother and sister. The way I manipulated things and regularly disobeyed my parents. I knew that the Bible said that all liars would find their place in Hell and I knew that was my final destination.
When I finished praying I remember my mom calling me to the living room to talk with her and my dad.
Our conversation went something like this...
-Christen, You don't have to be in church to be saved from your sins. God is here with us right here, right now.
-I know mom...
-Why do you think you need to be saved?
-I shared with her the weight of my sin.
They shared with me that I was right. I was a sinner and one day I would stand before God and give an account for my life. (found in Hebrews 9.27)
-The Bible teaches us that all have sinned and are separated from God. There is no one who is righteous, no one seeks after God. (found in Romans 3)
-It is really important for you to believe this for this is the reason you need a Savior.
They told me that even though I was a sinner, God loved me so much that he sent His only son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. He who had never sinned took my place on the cross and payed the penalty for my sins. (Found in John 3.16)
Then they reminded me that Jesus didn't stay dead. Three days later he arose and today he is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. (Found in Mark 16.19)
That day God convinced me of my great sin but also of His great grace of love to me through what Jesus had done on that cross. In that moment I believed that Jesus died and rose again to forgive me of all my sins. I was adopted into His family.
Today I know that God loves me, that I am forgiven, and when I die I will go to heaven where I will spend eternity there with my Savior. In the mean time, while I am here on earth, my Savior is busy transforming me more and more into the image of His son!
Do you have this same confidence that I do?
Whoever believes on the name of the LORD will be saved!
Now that is good news!