Pastor Jim Gillespie | Testimony
Who I was before: In my life, I had walked down a road that led to drugs, alcohol and violence. I was very much a person who lived for himself with no real regard for others. My life consisted of lies, abuse, hate, and seeking self-pleasure, but that really is everyone. The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) - everyone, me, you, everyone - because our thoughts and actions have sinned against God.
What happened: I was at home when my wife said something about the Bible. Something she had read or heard and I thought she was wrong so I started to read her Bible and investigate for myself. While reading through the Gospel of John and Mark I realized I was a sinner and I saw myself for who I really was and what I was really doing. I realized I couldn’t save myself. Since I had sinned, I couldn’t fix the sin. I couldn’t pay for the lies or the hatefulness; I couldn’t pay for my sin. I realized, I need someone to pay for my sin for me. The Bible told me that the wages of sin is death, to be separated from God forever in a place that the Bible calls hell. That’s what I deserved, but the free gift of God is salvation through Jesus Christ. That Jesus paid for my sin for me and that God offers me a gift. That if I would place my faith in Jesus as the payment for my sin that I could be forgiven, saved from hell, and reconciled to God (Romans 6:23). God does this based completely on His love toward me and I don’t need to do anything. God doesn’t want us to be a better person before He gives me the gift of salvation, but wants me for who I am right now. God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus said that He would die for my sin and three days later would rise from the dead to prove that this salvation was real. I realized that all of this was true and at that moment I stood up and said to God, “If you will take me the way that I am - you can have me.” I confessed with my mouth Jesus as Lord and I believed in my heart that God raised Him from the dead and I placed my faith in Him (Romans 10:9). God says whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).
Who I am now: Everything from that day forward has changed. God is changing me from the inside out. I want to live for Jesus and love others. Those things I used to do - hold no power over me. I don’t want them! All I want to do is live a life that is pleasing to God and even though I don’t do that perfectly - I know God loves me and I am going to be with Him forever.