My Salvation Story
My early exposure to Christianity and my consequent desire to be saved like everyone else I knew explains why I didn’t see the miracle in my salvation. This, I presume, is unlike someone who unexpectedly encounters Christ, in which case the miracle of salvation becomes quite apparent.
Driven by fear
I went out for altar calls at nearly every meeting I attended, all because I wanted to escape hell.
I had heard of God’s ‘judgment day’ and dreaded it, especially because I was told that on that day, a big screen will replay our lives for all to see and bring all our secrets to the open. That I did things I wasn’t proud of and couldn’t imagine my secrets being revealed to the world made me want to avoid this in every way. So, I would often run out when an altar call was made in hopes of being spared the shame of this doom day.
I wasn’t running out in response to the love of God and what Jesus had availed for me. No. I ran out in fear – to be saved from hell and all it stood for.
It was amazing to watch people express their knowledge and assurance of being saved in ways I couldn’t. I never even felt saved despite responding to many altar calls, talk less of knowing that I was. That’s why I went out repeatedly, crying, wondering why Jesus wouldn’t just put me out of my misery. I was ignorant.
I was an unhappy person. I hated people but I somehow managed to properly hide this feeling of resentment. Besides being prone to what I’d call advanced anger, I was constantly overpowered by sensual lust. Several times, I would go for bible study, answer questions conveniently and return home feeling like filth. I learned at some point in my journey that I wasn’t alone in these struggles.
I found Love in a friend, who was willing to listen and not judge
I had met him in my second year at the university. After listening to me speak of my struggles, he never judged me. Instead, he took time to reveal to me my identity in Christ and why I never should be ruled by fear. Over time, listening to him made me desire what he had, but more importantly, I just wanted to be clean and to have the mind of a child again, free from lust and every sin I’d gotten myself into.
This friend gave me some of Kenneth Hagin’s sermons. They often left me in tears. In them, I found the simplicity of the gospel and the possibility that I may have indeed been saved a long time ago. I could hardly believe it. It was a knowledge too simple, yet too high for me to comprehend.
I had always thought I could, by my acts, earn my way into God’s heart. I had thought keeping the commandments was the way out – isn’t it amazing how we who claim to be in the new covenant often live by the old? This was me until I stumbled on the part of God’s written word that made clear how NO ONE can be made right by keeping the commandments but my faith in Jesus (Romans 3:20-22). This was a shocker, although it was also easy to agree with. I mean, just one look at yourself and you can tell how well you fail at keeping God’s commandments.
An experience which changed me forever
In my inconsistent moments of studying God’s word, I came across a portion which spoke of Christ having died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). This left me stunned! How could this be? How does one love so sacrificially? Being an in-my-feelings kind of person, I somewhat still wanted a sign that I wasn’t being misled by all this. I didn’t get the kind of sign I expected but I got an experience.
While in Law School not too long ago, I visited my school’s Chapel to pray. Before praying, I took some time to read Andrew Wommack’s “Spirit, Soul, and Body” and meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:17-19. While I prayed with that scripture, I saw… A man visited an orphanage and adopted children who were dirty, and not properly catered for. As he took them from the orphanage, He said to the person who had overseen the children before then, “I have legally adopted these and now, I have full rights over them.” He had fulfilled all the requirements for adopting them and now they were his.
These children hadn’t called for Him, it was He who took the decision to come for them. I found that this reflected what I had read in Romans 5, about how Christ gave Himself for us while we were yet sinners.
I cried but this time, with Joy in my heart. I was that dirty child He came to pick. I wasn’t clean, but He took me for himself, and lawfully. Even now, writing this puts a smile on my face.
I am God’s.
And now, whenever doubts creep in about my being redeemed, I remember that Romans 5 says that while I was still an enemy of God he made me His friend. I guess that’s what we have to do – fight our doubts and fears with His word of faith and life.
If God, and not I, was responsible for my salvation, shouldn’t I believe Him when He says I am saved? I believe His word, not my feelings! And even when I choose to forget all else, the knowledge that I am loved by Him never leaves me alone.
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