>Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
I grew up in church. My parents tell me that I skipped my first Sunday, but I got my act together by the second week. Whew!
The good thing about growing up in the church and in a Christian home is that the circumstance greatly helps in avoiding things that I might later regret. No arrests. No paternity tests. No broken bones.
The only downside, if you will, is that when I crossed the line of faith nearly 40 years ago, there wasn’t any drastic change. In fact, it felt exactly the same. There were no addictions broken. There weren’t many wrongs righted. There was no great appreciation for the umbrella, because I had never experienced a downpour.
Was I genuinely saved? (People have asked me that — usually out of anger.) I found myself envying people who had been truly lost and radically saved. Their testimonies made mine seem rather vanilla. Maybe I just needed to head out to Vegas, enjoy sin for a season, then repent and testify! Rick Warren calls a testimony like that a “bragomony.”
While my experience was not dramatic, my salvation was. My sins weren’t obvious because they fit within the boundaries of my church. I didn’t smoke, drink or chew, play cards or roll dice. I was qualified…to be a Pharisee.
When I was 17 years old, I experienced a radical transformation. God called me into vocational ministry. My desires completely changed. I had an insatiable thirst for God’s Word. The Bible I devoured that summer is barely readable today for all of the marks, notes and highlights. If I could go back and relive any portion of my life, the summer of 1982 would be it.
Your transformation might be in degrees like mine or it might be like night and day. Your testimony may be far more entertaining than mine (and I am a bit jealous). Your transformation may be yet to come. You haven’t crossed the line of faith.