When talking about a personal testimony one could talk of a Damascus Road or an Emmaus Road conversion experience. If one has a Damascus Road conversion it is a dramatic event; saved from drug addiction, or while in prison, on the battlefield , or perhaps from the brink of suicide. Suddenly in the midst of the total mess of life, Jesus shows up and that’s it, your life is dramatically transformed, never the same again, like burlap to cashmere. This can make for a great story, the kind that makes for a great read in the many great books we can obtain, telling of God’s wonderful mercy to a sinner saved from the clutches of hell. However, there are some of us for whom, whilst not exactly ‘saints’, we are far from being axe murderers either; one day the whole thing just makes sense to you and that’s it, like the most natural thing to do. Our stories can seem to us boring by comparison, like polyester to cotton.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23)
Whichever one of these situations is closest to your own experience, looking back you may realise that you were very far from God and that you had a dark heart, that is if one compares themselves with God’s perfect requirements, even if you did regard yourself as a good person. These requirements are a great ‘leveller’, because the fact is that ‘all have sinned’ [Romans 3:23]. We all need the salvation that God offers through Christ, because ‘all are guilty’ [Romans 3:19] and, ‘there is none righteous, no not one’ [Romans 3:10]. We are unable to meet the perfect requirements and save ourselves, so we need a perfect righteousness that only Christ can offer.
“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” (Romans 5:6)
We exchange our guilt, fallenness, sin and filthiness for this perfect righteousness (He ‘literally’ takes our stuff upon Himself, and gives us His perfection instead). All this is made possible by His sacrifice on the Cross, thereby qualifying us for entry to heaven. The most amazing thing about this free exchange is that all we have to do is believe.
“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31)
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