LET’S START with this verse: ‘By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God’ (Ephesians 2:8).
This verse is enormously significant. God’s grace is fundamental. God is the Creator of everything. He is the One who created the whole world and is aware of everything. He owes nothing to us, and we owe everything to Him, and He loves us. He will never forget those who are His children, He is always watching over them and will always come to their aid.
An Empty Life
Let’s go back to a few years ago, when I was a self-indulgent and sinful man. I neither accepted God nor denied Him, I was unrestrainedly devoted to seeking pleasure, and lived an aimless and empty life. It all started when I saw an old friend on a street corner. He invited me to his house and we discussed the Bible. One particular verse stood out for me, and it was as though a light had been ignited in the darkness of my life:
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished”, and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (John 19:30).
Just three words, but with them his life’s work was done: he took our burden upon himself, and saved us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). This verse raised many questions in my mind. Why would a man sacrifice himself for people he has never known? What kind of a man would do that? What kind of response does such a sacrifice demand, of those for whom he died? Is there something more precious than this life we’re living here and now?… and many other questions.
I needed to know more, so I started to read the Bible. I came across another verse:
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:22–24).
These verses made a huge impression on me, and motivated me to study the Bible with enthusiasm. This is the Christian life, a life with purpose. It’s the life of the Spirit. It’s not a life we can attain to by our own efforts or our own merit—it’s a way of life that develops, grows and ripens as we allow Christ to take root in our hearts. He has done all that is necessary, and his grace is all we need.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:15–17).
After studying the Bible and understanding it, I felt that I could no longer carry on with my previous life. I was ashamed, and recognised myself as an empty human being full of sins. Another verse came to my attention:
Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
A Life With Purpose
I realized that God had extended His grace and mercy to me through His Son who died for me. He has provided the path of repentance to turn from my sins, and His loving embrace was waiting for me. I repented and was baptised; my old self died, and I was raised to ‘newness of life’ (Romans 6:4).
I pray every day and thank God for my salvation and the beginning of a new life, with a keen mind which is focused on the goal of God’s coming Kingdom.
My life has a purpose, and I have a worldwide family to share it with. I will share the wonderful message of the Gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ with anyone who cares to listen.