Before every baptism we have the privilege to hear stories of how God has saved people in our church and community through the gospel. In order to encourage one another, we will be posting these “gospel stories” after each baptism!
Growing up, I considered myself a Christian based on my belief in God and Jesus and my desire to please people and God. The church my family attended was very legalistic and ritualistic, but I didn’t know any different at the time. Although I had a healthy fear of God, I was confident that He loved me enough to welcome me into Heaven one day; the fact that I was baptized at a young age “sealed the deal” in my mind.
As a teenager, I sometimes tried to justify my sins, expecting that God would understand, given my current circumstances and my good track record. I clearly did not understand the gravity of my own sins or the fact that they had helped nail Christ to the cross. It wasn’t clear to me what it meant to be “saved” and that the only way to salvation was through Jesus Christ and the appropriation of His life-saving blood in my own life.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I was exposed to some Bible-based churches and a different kind of preaching and worship that I had ever experienced. During that time, God graciously placed people in my life who regularly demonstrated the love of Christ and displayed confident faith in His sovereignty regardless of their circumstances. I could really sense the Holy Spirit prompting me to draw closer to the Lord and to seek His truths.
Once I was faithfully attending a Bible preaching church and reading the Bible and other Christian literature on my own, God began to speak to my heart like never before. He revealed to me that I had been living according to my own will instead of His, and I was trying to navigate life in my own power rather than relying on Him for strength. And instead of faithfully serving Him throughout my life, I had ultimately been looking to Him to serve me, as though He was a “fast-food” God who was ready and waiting to serve up my requests with a side of extra blessing. I realized that, even though I might not have been breaking God’s commandments outwardly, I was breaking them in my heart on a regular basis. Eventually it became clear to me that I was a sinner who was fully deserving of God’s wrath. Finally I could fully appreciate the great sacrifice Christ made for me at the cross.
Grieved by my sin, I asked God’s forgiveness and looked to Him for help in living a life pleasing to Him. I had a new resolve to make Him Lord over all of my life, rather than just in areas of my own choosing, surrendering to Him even when my flesh wants to do otherwise. Today I’m following Christ in believer’s baptism and I’m excited to continue serving Him with you.
My parents have taught me about God since I have been old enough to remember. They prayed with me by my bedside every night. I have always believed in God, but I would have to say the moment I accepted Christ was when I moved out of my parents’ house and saw what the world was really like. I accepted Christ so that he might guide me through life, both the good times and the bad, and help me to make the right decisions.
The Lord is changing me as I grow in Him. I have realized how much my parents have done for me and what they were trying to teach me, and I’ve become less selfish and a lot more grateful and really appreciative of everything they have done, and still do, for me. I want to be baptized in obedience to my Lord and to tell the world what He has done for me. It is my desire to follow Him wherever He leads.
Katie Grant (9th Grade)
I thought I was a good Christian all my life. I was raised in a Christian family, and I did everything that I was “supposed to do and acted the way I was “supposed” to act; but it never really meant anything to me in my heart becasue it felt like there was just something missing in my life. My life was an unfinished puzzle, and I was waiting for the next piece. Then, I heard that I should have an obsession with God, and that’s when I realized that I didn’t and I needed to.
Immediately after I heard that at Crossings Camp, I wanted to tell everyone about the gospel and how being born again has changed my life for the better. Being saved means you believe that Jesus died on the cross for you – you’re saved by grace through faith in Christ. Jesus died for us because He loves us so much, but we deserved to die instead because we have all sinned, and the consequence of sin is death.
Now that I have come to really understand the weight of Christ’s sacrifice, I know that I’m not just born again, but I feel like I got a fresh start in life. And this time, it’s a happy beginning with a happy ending. Even though I will face persecution, I know that my faith will remain strong in the Lord. Now, every day I think to myself that I’m so happy for the gift of eternal life, and in return, I devote my life to God. Now, I crave sharing God’s Word, and I feel like it’s not this task that I have to complete, it’s my mission that I find joy in doing, and that’s what I’m here for.