“I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, I’m not who I used to be
Jesus, I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed”
I was raised believing that keeping the law and following the commandments would merit my salvation, and that I would earn my way to Heaven. I was taught that if I had abstained from meats, was baptized, and attended church on a particular day, that I would be a “good enough” person to gain eternal life.
Whenever I had questioned as to why we do “this” or do “that”, I was always given the “because that’s how it is” or “read this book” answers; I was never shown from the bible. It wasn’t until my early adulthood that while attending a special service at Whitfield Baptist Church, that I heard a clear presentation of the gospel. During that time the Holy Spirit, once again, began convicting my heart that I was lost without Christ. I can still hear Pastor Wayne Cofield asking the question, “If you were to die today, do you know if Heaven would be your home?” My answer was no. I didn’t know. I didn’t have that perfect peace that I hear Christians so often speak of.
It was later that evening, at home, that my husband and I began talking about the conviction I had felt, and decided to go see Pastor Wayne that next day. There in his office, he and my husband, both showed me from the bible that my good deeds were as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and there was nothing I could do, of my own accord, to get to Heaven. At that moment I trusted Christ as my Savior and was set free from the bondage of sin and the law; from sin, because of my unbelief that Christ’s payment on the cross was sufficient; from the law, because I had lived my life trying to keep the law, but always fell short.
Today, as my family and I prepare to serve as missionaries to South Africa, I am grateful that my desire to serve the King is not out of fear of damnation, but out of love for what He has done for me! I am so thankful that I no longer live under bondage. When I fall short, I am reminded that when sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Romans 5:20). When Christ saved me, He truly made me a new creature, and because of my new life in Him, I have chosen to live my life to please Him. After spending half of my life trying to clean up from the outside in, I can’t tell you what a relief it was to be made perfect in the sight of God! Not because of what I did, but because of what He did!
Maybe as you are reading this, you can identify with my story. Have you been trusting in your good works to get to Heaven? It is not by works of righteousness that we have done, but by His grace, we are saved. The bible says in Ephesians 2:8,9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Would you choose today to be freed from the bondage of sin and the law? Exchange your life and trying to be “good enough” and rather accept Christ who is already enough!