Recently, I filled out an application for a ministry position at church and one of the questions asked me to explain my conversion to Christianity. As I wrote my answer, it was encouraging to reflect on how God has been at work in my life–both in the past and in the present. God brought me to life and caused me to be born again (John 3); He rescued me from the kingdom of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of his beloved Son (Col 1:13). Today, He is continuing to mold me, and will do so until I die or Jesus returns–He who began a good work in me will carry it on to the end (Phil 1:6). Here’s my brief conversion account:
I became a Christian at the age of 18. Although I grew up in a family that professed Christianity, it was not until my freshman year of college (fall of 2001 at the University of Nevada Las Vegas) that I made a personal decision to submit to and whole-heartedly follow Jesus. There were several students from our school’s Campus Crusade for Christ movement who were particularly instrumental in my conversion; these individuals helped me understand what it meant to know God personally, to repent of sin, and to place God first in my life. My heart was awakened to the gospel and I came to understand the seriousness of my sin, my need for a savior, the infinite worth of Jesus Christ, and the free gift of forgiveness in Christ. I became convinced that Jesus was God that I had to surrender everything to him; I remember praying, “God, I don’t know if I’m a Christian yet, but I want to be one.” Surrendering my will to God, I turned from my sins and trusted in Jesus as my God and the Lord of my life. New desires to pray, read the Bible, sing worship songs and evangelize sprang up in my heart and my life was transformed. I became especially passionate about evangelism, and spent a summer in California and a year in Scotland serving as a missionary to college students. Those experiences in ministry transformed the way I approached life and ministry, and created life-long patterns of seeking to know and treasure God above everything
Eleven years later, by God’s grace, I am still continuing to grow in my walk with the Lord. Attending church, leading others in ministry, sharing the gospel with non-believers, reading the Scriptures, praying, giving, and worshipping are all different activities that help me grow in my walk with the Lord. Recently, I have been learning about the lasting and relevant need to believe the gospel; the gospel is not only to be believed at conversion, but throughout a Christian’s life. I have seen this at work in how I think about myself and how I treat wife. Concerning my own identity, God has been teaching me about how my worth is found in Christ, who gave his life for me—not others’ opinions or my performance. In my marriage, I learning to rest in God’s grace as I seek to love my wife Rachel—I fail to love her as Christ loved the church, but Jesus died for my failures and gave me his righteousness. I agree with Luther that all of a Christian’s life is one of repentance. Thus, I believe God is helping me to grow in repenting of sin and in embracing the gospel.