It was through my own personal salvation experience that I realized the power of Jesus Christ.
I grew up in a Christian home and went to church every Sunday. However, I never really understood the concept of salvation until I was older. I always assumed that since I was a good person, I would go to heaven when I died.
It wasn’t until I started studying psychology in college that I began to understand human behavior and why we do the things we do. As I learned more about sexuality and relationships, I began to see how far from God’s ideal we really are.
Through my studies, I came to realize that salvation is not something we earn by being good enough. It is a free gift from God that is available to anyone who asks for it.
When I finally understood what salvation meant, I decided to ask Jesus into my heart. It was the best decision I ever made. Now I know that no matter what happens in this life, I have eternal life with God.
If you are struggling with understanding salvation or have questions about your own faith, I encourage you to talk to a pastor or counselor. They can help you sort through your thoughts and figure out what salvation means for you.
As of September 2011, I will have been a born-again Christian for 41 years. My dad, Jack Baines, Sr., was converted to Christ in 1967, and it started my own journey toward faith. Dr. Melvin Worthington was the pastor at the First Free Will Baptist Church in Amory, Mississippi, and he invited my father to attend a Revival service where his brother was the guest evangelist.
My father was convicted of his need for Christ and immediately gave his life to the Lord. One night a few weeks later, my father asked me to go with him to hear Dr. Worthington preach. I was only 13 years old at the time, but I remember that message vividly. It was entitled, “Where Will You Spend Eternity?” The Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin and I went forward at the end of the service to accept Christ as my personal Savior.
My father’s newfound faith had a profound impact on our family. We began attending church regularly and became involved in every aspect of church life. My parents taught my sister and me about Jesus and His love for us. They instilled in us a love for the Lord and a desire to serve Him.
I am so grateful for my parents’ faithfulness in leading me to Christ. I cannot imagine my life without Him. Jesus has been my constant companion through good times and bad. He has been my strength when I have been weak, my hope when I have been discouraged, and my joy in the midst of sorrow.
My father rededicated his life to Christ on the first night, but the following night he went forward to the altar and declared that he had never been born again, which is when he accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. His life was soon characterized by transformation and a dedication to living for God.
He became a different man who was no longer controlled by the demons of his past. I remember my mom sharing her testimony a few years ago about how she came to know Christ. She said that she had been raised in a Christian home and had always gone to church. However, she never really understood what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ until she was an adult.
One night, she was lying in bed and felt the Holy Spirit convicted her of her sin. She got out of bed, went to her knees, and asked Jesus Christ to forgive her of her sin and come into her life. She said she immediately felt a peace come over her and knew that her life had changed forever.
As for me, I grew up in a Christian home and accepted Christ as my Savior at a young age. However, there was a period of time in my life when I turned away from the Lord. I was involved in some unhealthy relationships and made some bad choices. But, even in the midst of my sin, I always felt the Lord drawing me back to Him. And finally, by His grace and mercy, I repented of my sin and returned to Him. I am so thankful that He never gave up on me!
As my father’s faith grew, he began to lead people to Christ, and it all began with his family. A one by one, my sister, brother, and I asked Christ into our lives after my father taught us the Bible at home and encouraged us to continue attending church. When I was five years old, I was born-again.
I was a typical young child who couldn’t really experience a life of deep sin or rebellion because I was still too young but who nevertheless needed salvation as much as anybody else did. One day my father took me to the pastor’s office where I accepted Christ and immediately baptized myself.
I grew up in the church and went through all the motions. I went to Christian school, was involved in youth group, and went on mission trips. But something was missing. I had a head knowledge of God but not a heart knowledge. It wasn’t until I was 17 that I really surrendered my life to Christ.
At 17, I started my first year of college at a secular university. This is where my faith was really put to the test. For the first time, I was faced with different worldviews and philosophies that challenged everything I had been taught. I also met people from all walks of life with different value systems. It was during this time that I realized that what I believed needed to be more than just head knowledge; it needed to be a heart belief.
One night, I was lying in bed and couldn’t sleep. I was going through everything in my head and realized that I had been living my life for myself and not for Christ. I surrendered my life to Him that night and made the decision to follow Him with my whole heart. Since then, my relationship with Christ has been the foundation of my life.
I am so thankful for His grace and mercy because without it, I would be lost. He has given me a new life and purpose. Because of His love for me, I am now able to love others with the same love He has shown me. And that is what life is all about.