March 28, 2020 at 9:49 am #59020Rebecca A.Moderator
This is a little about me, the writer of the Back2thebasics blog!
I grew up in a few different churches but primarily I was around baptist teaching. At home I was taught things that were contrary to the things I heard at any church I attended. I knew from an early age what sin was and that I was a sinner. I knew Christ was sinless and that He died on the cross for my sin. However, I often questioned how exactly I was saved or if I needed to continue to do a certain thing to keep salvation. I wondered if it was saying a prayer that saved a person or if baptism or some other church tradition played a part in someone obtaining salvation from sin and death.
I got to the point where I would question if I was even saved or not. I really didn’t know where to find verses in the Bible that had to do with salvation, I only knew what people had told me about sin and Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. I tried to read the Bible but I never knew where to start and I didn’t understand most of what I read. At best I was a very confused baby Christian with what felt like very little help in understanding God’s word. Because of this, I was continually confused and at times felt as if I had no hope. If I asked people questions at the different churches I attended I would sometimes get answers like, “God’s ways are higher than ours so we really can’t know the answer to that for sure, but we just need to trust God.” I didn’t know how to trust God if it was true that we couldn’t really know much about Him. Looking back, I see that through my life I had heard some truth and would say I believed the things I heard. But sadly, I still didn’t know where these things were found in the Bible so I had no foundation of my own to stand on other than knowing it was somewhere in the Bible because someone told me it was.
I ended up working with a few different ministries because I was encouraged to “serve God with my life” and I wanted to, so I tried to do that in different ways that seemed to be good because people I knew were doing it. After a few years of this I started to realize that these people I was trying to minister truth to had questions I couldn’t answer and I realized I had the same questions. I began to feel inadequate to teach others when I didn’t know truth for myself first and rightly so.
A few years ago during the summer I came across a strange looking booth at the Howard county fair. The signs hanging up on the backdrop seemed pretty controversial and it showed me that whoever these people were, they were obviously trying to start a conversation about the Bible. I went up and asked who they were and what they were doing and the response I got was simply, “ We are just here handing out information to help people see that they need to study and understand God’s word for themselves and that they shouldn’t just trust what some guy behind a pulpit says.” I was surprised at the answer but I was encouraged by it because this person promoted the thought that understanding God’s word was a possibility. So I started asking questions that I had had for as long as I could remember.
I asked weather or not we had to be baptized to be saved. And I was asked, “which baptism are you referring to?” I was excited now because although I did not understand why, I did know the Bible spoke of multiple baptisms and these people seemed to have studied their Bibles. And for the first time, I was given answers that didn’t involve just an opinion. I was shown one verse after another that clearly explained the answer to my question starting from the beginning of the bible up to Paul. Through their explanation the gospel was clearly communicated that salvation was by God’s grace through faith in Christ’s Death, blood shed, burial, and resurrection and not by any works we have done or could ever do(Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). They said that if water baptism is something that we do,(a work) it cannot save us. And in that moment I finally understood that I had no capability to do any type of work at any time to save myself, not even that prayer I prayed once could save me, only my faith in Christ’s finished work could save me from the penalty of my sin. And for once I was shown where the Bible actually said these things! I was fully persuaded for myself of the truth of God’s word concerning the gospel of the grace of God. That day I knew for certain that I was trusting Christ’s finished work alone to forgive me of all of my trespasses(Colossians 2:13) and provide for me resurrection and eternal life in Heavenly places in Christ.
I took every one of the tracts at the booth home that night and read them all and looked up every verse reference used. It all made so much sense seeing it for myself in the Bible. I went back to the fair every day that week and asked more questions. I learned about how I was placed into the Body of Christ when I believed the gospel because the Holy spirit baptized me into Christ’s death and raised me up to new life in Christ(1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 6:4) and that I was sealed with the holy spirit unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 1:13). I learned I was at peace with God, (Romans 5:1) I was complete in Christ,(Colossians 2:10) and that I had all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ(Ephesians 1:3).
Throughout the conversations at the fair I also learned about Mid-Acts Pauline Right Division. I learned that things like dispensation and revelation of the mystery were words and concepts in the Bible. I learned that God progressively revealed instructions to men throughout the Bible, eventually revealing the mystery to Paul about Jesus concerning salvation being offered to all men by grace through faith in Christ’s finished work alone and aside from the law or covenants given to Israel. I learned that Paul was given a position from Jesus Christ himself in Acts 9 as the apostle to the gentiles and I finally knew where to find instructions for how to live my life in this dispensation and why things happen the way they do in this world.
I now know God’s will is something that can be understood. I learned that I am an ambassador for Christ (1 Corinthians 5:20) and that I have been created in Christ Jesus unto good works and I should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). I have learned that we fight a doctrinal battle, not a battle of flesh and blood.(2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 6:12)
Over the past 3 years I have learned even more through personal Bible study, teaching from and conversations with other members of the Body of Christ. I am thankful for those who have taken the time to personally study God’s word and teach Christ according to the revelation of the mystery given to Paul. God’s word truly works in those who believe it just like 1 Thessalonians 2:13 says.
learning the truth of God’s word rightly divided has changed everything in my life. I now know that my life isn’t about me, my old man is dead and I should walk according to the new man which is Christ. This is what I am learning to do every day through reading and studying God’s word and through prayer. It is definitely not always easy, and I have had to make really hard decisions because of the truth I am coming to a knowledge of. But I can have peace because I can know the truth God has made available to me by His spirit in the Bible(2 Timothy 3:15-17). I am thankful for God’s provision of salvation through the work of Jesus Christ on behalf of sinful humanity. And I am thankful for those who are faithful to teach God’s word rightly divided because I may not have come to a knowledge of salvation without them.
The Gospel is plain and simple; All men have sinned(Romans 3:23) God commended His love toward us while we were yet sinners by Christ’s death for us(Romans 5:8) and offers us salvation freely through His blood shed, death, burial, and resurrection(1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Because there is no righteousness in us we cannot contribute anything as an acceptable payment for our sin, but through faith alone(Ephesians :8-9) in what Christ has done on our behalf, we are given Christ’s righteousness(Corinthians 5:21) and therefore we are accepted of God in Christ.(Ephesians 1:6)
If you are trusting your own works to save you, you have a false hope. Trust Christ’s finished work alone and your hope of forgiveness and eternal life can be sure!
Written by: Rebecca
Visit this post on the blog website!
My Testimony of Salvation
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