I accepted Christ as my Lord when I was thirteen, at Immanuel Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was during an evening service given by Dr. Allen W. Graves that I made my public profession of faith.
A testimony is one person’s profession of faith in Jesus Christ. A Christian witness consists of that person's life after their profession of faith.
This weekend one of our lessons included writing our testimony. For a Christian, that means telling how we came to Christ and what He has done, so my first paragraph is true for the profession of faith part, but is a very incomplete witness.
My favorite example in the Bible is the Samaritan woman who, when she believed Him, witnessed to others:
Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? (John 4:29 KJV)
But I think the best example is Paul conversion experience as told by him to Agrippa in Acts 26. So, if you want to do some comparisons, please do so.
Unlike Paul, I was born into a household that did not attend church. Both parents were raised in Christian families who faithfully attended – my Dad at a Methodist church, my Mom at a Baptist. The result is part of being unequally yoked. Rather than choose which to attend, they simply did not.
Until I was ten and they moved from California to Tulsa, Oklahoma, within walking distance to a Baptist church, and we walked. Dad worked most weekends, so he only attended one service each Sunday, but Mom saw to it we attended regularly. It became second nature to go to church, twice on Sundays and Wednesday had a full spectrum of activities.
While studying for Girl’s Auxiliary steps, I came to understand that everyone is born with a sinful nature. Recognizing that sin leaves but two choices – acceptance of God’s plan of salvation, or denying Him. I choose to accept because I loved the Lord described in the Bible.
One aspect of Girl’s Auxiliary had us study other beliefs. I chose Catholicism. Those weeks of study help me understand why it is so important to know the source of our beliefs, for ours were so very different. Father Bob of St. Francis Xavier answered some of our questions about the Catholic church, referring to writings outside of the Bible. We were invited to the baptism of a baby, too.
I was saddened by the thought that the child would grow up thinking she was a follower of Christ, a member of His church – and might never come to know Him as Lord and Savior. The Bible teaches that salvation is through faith, by God’s grace:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)
We are not born into it. We cannot earn it. We cannot boast about how we achieved it:
Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:9 KJV)
My father was saved and baptized at Immanuel, as was my sister. Our family remained active at Immanuel Baptist. I remained in GA’s through school, then moved into Young Women’s Auxiliary activities, then Women’s Missionary Union as I repeated my Mom’s mistake.
I married a Methodist. He, too was baptized at Immanuel, though he had been christened as a baby and immersed as a teen as a Methodist. We took our children regularly – until we moved away.
Without detailing the type of churches we attended, suffice it to say, they were not filled with the Holy Spirit’s work as Immanuel was. Our neighborhood church started off as a comfortable fit – until the church began to argue and eventually split. Another down the road seemed good, but again there was no spiritual growth. It became easier not to go as teen difficulties grew in our children.
We tried a friend’s church – another denomination that “had no creed but Christ” and all three of my children were baptized there. We started attending one of their churches closer to home. It was a good church, but no spiritual growth.
By the time we moved to DFW we were empty nesters often traveling on the weekend and only visited one nearby church. We were not visited in return.
How easy it was to allow personality and divisions separate us from God’s word.
Until we moved to Paradise and a bus program brought our granddaughter to the church we now attend. Over the next few years family members made their professions of faith, were baptized and are now working with their spirit-filled churches.
The similarities between the church where I was baptized and the one I attend now is the focus on Jesus Christ as Lord. The acceptance of the truth in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1.
Jesus answered Satan for me: Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:10 KJV)
Paul told Timothy about scripture: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)
Luke lauded the Bereans: These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11 KJV)
And that, my readers, is why I publish this blog. This is my testimony. This is my witness that Jesus Christ, Son of God, died to cleans my sins. And He is able to do that for everyone. Luke explained how:
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30-31 KJV)
Sounds simple? It is – and it isn’t. That’s why there are hundreds of postings in this blog. God has something for us every day in His word. We are here to learn and grow in His loving care until we return to Him.
When that does happen, dear readers, Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. (John 14:28 KJV)
Come with me to our Father.