When I first attended church for a month, what I knew about the gospel was that Jesus took on the punishment humanity so deserves, how much God loved us despite our sins, and how He has defeated death (I only knew about physical death then) by rising from the dead. I did not really grasp that sin is disobedience towards a holy God, but I felt touched that He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross. All I have to do is to accept Him as Lord and Saviour, I thought. So I went online and looked for the Sinner’s Prayer, and prayed that.
However, I lived on my life with a form of godliness by attending Campus Crusade and its events, but denying its power by having no desire to pursue God on my own, participating in worldly things and affections. I thought faith was simply agreeing and believing in whatever the bible and pulpit says, but even though I have attended sessions on how to divide the Word of God, I get frustrated with dividing it during my own private time. I believed that His blood cleansed me from my sin. Initially, I will feel bad about certain sins like lying to my parents and watching questionable shows, but eventually there was no remorse over sins I commit. My prayers most of the time were self-serving, seeking to bless self-satisfying endeavours, never about bringing God the glory He deserves.
I never knew how conviction of sin feels like, and my attitude and external deeds are no different from those who outright reject Christ. And that I have the Gospel shown to me numerous times (God created us to have a relationship with Him, but we rebelled and are sinners by nature. He sent His Son, who lived a perfect life, died on the cross and rose from the dead. Those who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life), intellectually I understand, yet I don’t feel affected by it. Shouldn’t that be the core of Christian belief, the reminder of a Christian’s love for Christ, and feeds his desire to share the gospel to the unsaved?
I don’t know how genuine is the Jesus I build my faith and beliefs on, false idol or the one true God? Did I confuse worship euphoria with love for Christ? Did I confuse Christian participation as my faith? I can’t grasp, from a godly perspective, that man (including me) is inherently sinful and hate His authority, and that being a disciple of Christ is no easy-believism. To this day I can’t swallow the fact that many who came to Jesus during His earthly ministry were looking for free food and miracles, and walked away when He talked about following Him for real. And then there is Judas who walked with Him, did works in His name, yet loved money more than Him enough to betray Him. I am certain of God’s existence, but if I am wrong about Him, I only have this life to choose what is right. I don’t even dare to say that the Jesus I know (about) is an incomplete picture. I really fear that what I perceive to be true would be fatal for my soul.
I didn’t think much about it during my first year of profession, I excused myself as a babe in Christ. But it has been two years and I am starting to worry about how genuine my faith is, second guessing every intention I have about praying to God and reading the bible. I am wrecked with doubt. I have told some Christians, “I am sorry I am not a Christian” because I feel fearful hiding under His banner as an empty professor. And I am tempted to tell my unbelieving parents the same thing and forget about seeking Jesus and saving faith altogether, falling away.
What does it mean to know Christ? I can read the bible from front to back and know about Him, but not know Him as Lord and Saviour.
What scares me the most? “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”