2nd Year Environmental Biology, Edinburgh Napier Uni
Nobody is born a Christian. To be a Christian, one makes a conscious choice to give up one’s own ways of living, and submit to Jesus instead.
How and most importantly, why, did I make this choice to follow Jesus?
Before I answer this question, I’d like to introduce myself. My parents are German, but I was not born in Germany, I was born in Japan because my parents were missionaries there. As I got older, I claimed to be a Christian, thinking that by going to church and knowing about Jesus would make me one. If people asked me tricky questions about my faith and Jesus, I knew what to say. I knew what to say but I wasn’t really understanding or believing in it. A close look at my life would have immediately shown that I wasn’t a Christian. I was good at pretending to be one, but as I look back now, I wasn’t.
I didn’t really think I needed Jesus, because I did well at school and I was always one of the best sports players. I was solely relying on my own abilities for my security and happiness. When I went on to high school, nothing changed, only that I got better grades and more trophies in different sports tournaments.
I was very satisfied with my life at this point. I was still going to church and I was understanding more about Jesus than ever before, but I was still not putting my faith fully in God’s grace and love, that was shown through Jesus.
I still remember when I heard the gospel in an English camp. It wasn’t my first time, I’d heard the gospel many times before, but this time it was different. I understood the gospel and I felt it. I finally understood why we needed Jesus in the first place. I remember the speaker being a big guy who used to play American football. This is what he said. “I have bad news for you. God is good.” When I heard this I was shocked. This was going against all the things I thought I knew. How can that be bad news? And then, he continued, “This is bad news because we are bad, and bad and good do not go together. Nothing bad is acceptable in the presence of good.” I started to realize that I was on the bad side. I was struck and I wanted to hear more. “But”, he said, “There is a way for us, the bad, to be reunited to the good, for the good loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with us. And God made this possible by sending his own son to earth showing how we should live, and for what. Ultimately, the most important part was that Jesus had to take all our badness and die, for the consequences of sin are death! Our God has beaten all evil and all we have to do is believe that this really happened.” In the Bible it says: ‘If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved’ (Romans 10:9). That is when I decided to follow Jesus, not that I had to, but understanding what he had done, I was happy and almost eager to follow him.
My starting point was that God was and is real, but if you still doubt the existence of God and the necessity of Christ, the only way to find out is to keep an open mind to it and ask people around you why they believe in God. It is also important to realize that if there is a God, you can try to find him/speak to him and see what happens.
To conclude and answer my question, How and most importantly, why, did I make this choice to follow Jesus? This is because nothing that I ever achieve will satisfy me fully, and knowing what Jesus has done for me, how can I not live for him? I love Jesus because he has forgiven ALL of my sins. I know that Jesus cancelled my very heavy debt, because he loved me (and still does). The wages of sin are death. I have sin so I have to die. But Jesus died for me on the cross. What more can I do but follow him? For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)