I went into college thinking I knew more than most about Christianity. I knew I didn’t know everything, but I saw myself as “mature”, “knowledgeable”, “rooted”.
Then God began a series of humbling events and trials, revealing my sin and my superficial understanding of the gospel.
I had heard the gospel so many times. I learned to recite it as a kid. I was taught to preach the gospel to myself daily. I knew the facts.
I knew that I am a sinner and deserve hell, but a part of me still thought, “I am better than most.” “My sin is not that bad.”
Slowly, God changed my prideful heart. Over and over again this year, God revealed to me my sin, showing me how easily my heart wanders and seeks self instead of Him. I often felt helpless against my sin, as I seemed to have no ability or power to control my thoughts or actions. I felt disgusted at myself and thought in fear about how God must feel towards my sin.
But in these times of despair and helplessness, the gospel became so much greater and so much more necessary. In these times, I could do nothing but desperately turn to the cross, reminding myself of Ephesians 2:1-7
” 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
The more I saw my own failures, the more victorious Christ’s death and resurrection became. The more I felt helpless in my ability to overcome sin, the more I thanked Christ for his sacrifice that freed me from the bondage of sin. The more hopeless my condition seemed, the more I rejoiced in the undeserved gift I received through Christ’s suffering.
I then realized that the things I am told to do at church like worship, service, prayer, reading my Bible, are all natural responses to the gift of the gospel. Knowing I have been saved from sin and can now have fellowship with the Creator God who loves me more than I can imagine, what could I do but praise this God and follow Him joyfully and obediently?
O, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise
The glories of my God and King
The triumphs of His grace!
Jesus! the name that charms our fears
That bids our sorrows cease
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears
‘Tis life and health and peace
He breaks the power of cancelled sin
He sets the prisoners free
His blood can make the foulest clean
His blood availed for me