I grew up in church with good parents who taught me right from wrong & rightly punished me for doing wrong. I went to Sunday school, sung in the choir, and did most of the things a regular, church-going girl would do. Then the church's fall revival rolled around & I started hearing a lot more preaching on hell. I knew this was a bad place & I didn't want to go there so I followed instructions, went to the alter, tearfully prayed a prayer & thought I was saved. The years that followed were filled with doubt, uncertainty & a lot of anxiety. I kept going back to the time & place I asked Christ to save me but the problem with that was I couldn't remember exactly what I said or did or if I really meant it. So I kept walking in this uncertainty through my teenage years and told myself that because I really didn't have the desire to drink or party that I was saved and living for Christ.
Isaiah 64:6 says we have all become like one who is unclean and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
The real reason I didn't do those things was a selfish one because I didn't want to get in trouble with my parents and make my family look bad. Then as I grew into an adult I began seeking a husband & what unmerited grace God showed me! I married my best friend on August 5, 2000 & about four years later we began coming to Grace. As I sat under the teaching & preaching of Bro. Scott Kennis, all of the things I learned about the Bible in my younger years began making sense, many questions I had were answered through the preaching of the word. I was able to forgive past offenses & began to understand & admit what a dirty sinner I was. Even though outwardly there was no apparent difference, inside my heart of stone had been broken & replaced with a new one formed by Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
He had made me into a new person who now truly desired to obey Him instead of just pretending because it was the right thing to do. I now cared more about hurting The Lord Jesus more than I cared about getting caught by others in my sin. All of this became apparent to me the other Wednesday night through the preaching of the word in Ruth. The Lord answered the prayers & questions I've had for several years now & it was certain to me that I needed to obey Him in believers baptism. I cannot say with certainty exactly when I was saved but I can say with certainty that I am saved & that the evidence lies within my heart that He changed, not in any outward appearances.
Philippians 3:7-12 says but whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things & count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ & be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith - that I may know him & the power of His resurrection, & may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own.