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Establishing Believers in the Christian Faith

from the book Why I Love God

4: I Believe in Jesus Christ

God just wanted one thing, and one thing only. He wanted me, in the midst of recognizing my own lostness, blindness, and sinful rebellion, to cry out to Him for mercy for my sins. He wanted me, while conscious of the fact that all my works were deserving of divine judgment, to believe on His Son Jesus Christ to save me. He wanted my trust and confidence that He, through His only begotten Son, would spare me the judgment I had justly earned. That He not only had the power to save a wretch like me, but He was ready and willing to do so. That He was a rewarder of those who seek Him, and He was willing to show mercy.

And I believed — I simply believed in the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, to save me from judgment for my sins.

My calling on the Lord did not put Him under obligation to save me, as if it was a debt He owed me. Not at all. Rather, it is just God’s nature not to despise a broken and contrite heart, and I was utterly broken. He takes no pleasure in meting out justice, but rather delights in showing mercy.

If there were a picture that reflected the interaction between God and myself at that moment, the image would be this. The Lord Jesus would be standing and I would be on my knees before Him, head bowed to His feet, prostrate in heart, broken of spirit, recognizing I had nothing to commend myself to God, fully aware I was deserving of judgment, but nonetheless asking for mercy and forgiveness as a pure act of grace and unmerited kindness on His part. That would be the accurate picture.

As the previous portrayal clearly indicates, my faith necessarily involved repentance. In my conversion I acknowledged I had sinned against God, had nothing to commend myself to God, and sought mercy and forgiveness from God. That was genuine repentance in that there was a complete change of heart towards God regarding sin. But it was also genuine faith in that I was seeking God‘s mercy to save me from judgment for my sins. And everything centered around Jesus Christ as the One sent from God to pay the penalty for those sins.

from the book Why I Love God

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