Testimony - Not By Works

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A Personal Testimony

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Testimony – Not By Works
“If there is a God, He must be a good God.” I recall so very clearly having this thought about God as a young boy. I grew up in the Carolinas, the buckle of the Bible belt. Yet even in my early teens I had a very limited understanding of God.
My family never attended church. We were not Christians. My father was agnostic. My mother said she believed in God but didn’t live like it. I was confused. Maybe you find yourself where I once was, when it comes to really understanding just who God is.
Because I thought God was good I also thought I must be good too, if God is to accept me. I believed I could earn God’s approval by being a good person. So I was, good that is. Good son, good student, I was the consummate Boy Scout who helped little ole’ ladies across the street.
But then I came to a real turning point. At sixteen I attended a “church event,” an area-wide tent revival of all things. I heard the Gospel for the first time in my life. Christians say the Gospel is good news. It’s the good news of God’s love for man and His offer of forgiveness and eternal life.
At that moment my understanding of God was challenged and corrected. For the first time I heard what the Bible says about my goodness and my effort to do good things in order to go to Heaven. I heard Romans 3:10 (NLT), “As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one.” And Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT), God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done…”
It became very clear to me that it wasn’t up to me. I could not nor did I need to earn my salvation. God had provided for me. I heard how God had given His only Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for me so I might have everlasting life! (John 3:16) That indeed was good news! I prayed a simple prayer asking Jesus Christ to forgive me and give me His gift of eternal life.
Maybe it’s time for you to stop trusting your own goodness and accept God’s good news. He loves you and He’ll forgive you. Just ask Him. I did.
Pastor Bobby Earls
First Baptist Church, Center Point
April 6, 2010
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