Thank you to friends and family for coming to the service this morning. I would like to explain briefly how I have come to know Jesus.
My parents are Christians, they took me along to our village church, which I remember mainly as a challenge in sleeping on wooden pews. I am very grateful to my parents for my upbringing, teaching me so I grew up with an understanding of lots of bible stories.
I am especially thankful to them for taking us as a family to the ‘new wine’ summer conferences, which are Christian holiday camps with church services and children’s activities for the week. It was at these that I came in contact with the alive and meaningful good news about Jesus. One evening service on this camp the preacher invited those who wanted to become Christians to come to the front. I went forward and remember accepting Jesus as God and walking home that evening peaceful and with a great joy.
Significantly I cannot remember which year I first came before Jesus and this is indicative of the impact it had on my life. I believed in Jesus, however I did not live with him. I would defend Christianity and its ethics in discussions with friends. For the most part being a Christian to me meant adopting a philosophical framework.
I knew that this conflict between believing and not acting was wrong and unstable. This sense of despair at the world and need for God would grow. To resolve it, a few times a year and in moments of crisis, I would remember our all powerful God and turn to him. However like hunger being satisfied, once things had resolved I would no longer want Jesus to have any say in my life and things would return to the way they were.
Since finishing school, the Lord has been working in my life, changing me. I now know his plan is the best one, and that means a full time living relationship with him and that this life is made for trusting and serving him. There are still many times in the past few years when I have made mistakes and I will continue to do so. But the Lord has been faithful to me in those times bringing me back to him and he will continue to do so.
Why am I being baptised? People have been surprised when I’ve said I’m getting baptised, assuming I was baptised years ago. My wish to be baptised is testament to the Lord’s unfailing love, the work he has done in my life through his sacrifice and the work he continues to do through his Holy Spirit.
Jesus is real and didn’t die just for me. We have all done wrong, angering God and we will be judged according to the lives we have lived. We face death and separation from him for that wrong doing. God has made a way for us to be right with him, he sent his only son Jesus to die in the place of those who believe and place their trust in him.
I believe that Jesus, as witnessed by the Gospels, is the son of God and in dying on the cross he took the punishment allotted to me for my wrong doing. There is nothing in me that deserves this salvation or makes me eligible to approach the Lord, I am entirely dependant on his grace. I am looking forward to the new creation, when Jesus will come back again to make things right forever, and by his grace I hope to serve him faithfully until that time.