Two teenaged girls visited my house one Saturday. They were from a large church in a nearby town, and they were doing door-to-door evangelism work.
Of course I invited them inside. I always enjoy conversations about religion, and when people come to my house for that purpose, I can’t say no. I enjoy witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latter Day Saints, showing them from the Bible that Jesus truly is the Almighty God and the only Savior. This conversation, though, would turn out differently.
We began talking about God, and we agreed about God. We talked about Jesus as the Son of God and the world’s only Savior, and again we completely agreed. We talked about the Bible as the Word of God, true and reliable, and still we agreed. All of us were having fun talking about our common faith as Christians.
“Tell me, J., when you became a Christian,” one of them urged me.
“It was a long time ago,” I answered. I became a Christian on a Friday afternoon. It was the Friday afternoon when the Son of God sacrificed his life on a Roman cross. His sacrifice made me a Christian.”
They couldn’t deny the truth of that, but they weren’t done asking the question. “When did that sacrifice become personal for you?” one of them asked. “When did you enter his Church?”
“I was about a month old,” I told them. My parents had the pastor come to the house, and he baptized me. My Baptism makes the cross of Christ personal for me—that’s when I personally became a Christian.”
“But you can’t remember something that happened when you were a month old,” one of them protested. I agreed that I didn’t remember the event of my Baptism. “When did you confess to Jesus that you are a sinner and invite him to be your Savior?” they asked.
“Oh, that,” I said. “I do that every day.”
Amazingly, the two of them left my house convinced that I am not really a Christian. We agreed about God, about the Savior Jesus Christ, about the Bible, and still they doubted the truth of my faith. Because I could not remember a single, emotional, overwhelming event which was the beginning of my faith, they could not accept that I really believe.
I do not doubt that some people become Christians in a sudden and dramatic way, one which they remember for the rest of their lives. Many Christians, though, grow up in the faith. They cannot remember a time when they did not belong to Jesus. They know they are sinners, and they know that they are forgiven and redeemed by Jesus Christ. As I would not doubt the faith of someone who dramatically came to Jesus, I cannot see why anyone would deny my faith because it does not have a dramatic beginning.
My third answer was honest and true. I do confess my sins to God every day. I do ask Jesus to forgive me every day. I do invite him to guide my life every day. I know of nothing in the Bible that says these things should happen only once in a lifetime. The daily life of a Christian, in fact, contains the cycle of repentance and faith. I would no more want to spend a day without deliberate repentance and faith than I would want to spend a day without breathing.
Jesus is my Savior, not because I gave myself to him, but because he claimed me. His righteousness and his sacrifice are my reason for confidence in my eternal home in heaven. I do not have to invite him to rescue me because he has already rescued me. He never needed my help. J.