Grace to One Without Merit
Dan, 1st Congregation
Before I became a Christian, I was an agnostic, thinking “I don’t know and I don’t care if God exists.” All I cared about was me. Although I made a profession of faith through my parents and was baptised in my previous church when I was 16, that was a false profession and I was never a true Christian. Throughout that whole time, I did not realise that I actually hated God, and was in need of His mercy.
On my 18th birthday, I was given a book on the gospel by a good friend of mine. That was when I began to really understand the gospel.
As I was reading this book along with the Bible, I began to realise that I was a sinner so vile, running hell-bound away from God. However, I also saw the mercy and grace of God in Jesus “who for us and for our salvation, came down from heaven,” took on flesh, was crucified and died to take away the sins of all who would trust in Him. He rose again, conquering all of sin and death. Jesus, “who shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead: whose kingdom shall have no end.” Till then, God commands all people everywhere to repent and believe on Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
I realised then that I never repented of my sins, never loved God and never truly believed. God could have chosen to leave me in my sins unto destruction, for “it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” (Romans 9:16) But he chose to grant me repentance and faith and there He saved me, not because I have merit, for I have none, but because while I was yet a sinner, Christ, who is full of mercy, died for me.
Ever since my conversion to Christ, I began to hate the very sin I once loved and began to love God, whom I once scorned. I also began to wonder, even till now, “Who is this God who would save me despite my wickedness? Why would God do this for me?” This stirred me to begin studying theology and the Bible seriously at a very early stage in my Christian life, wanting to love and know the God of my salvation.
Though life as a Christian never was easy, God has been faithful to me, giving me strength through His Word and my fellow Christians, the Church, to press on, and I know He will be faithful to me still, to the end. “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29) and “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)