LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grace Christian Assembly Part II

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Pastor Jim was kind enough to visit with Roger and me on Sunday night. We fellowshipped over a very nice meal at Ruby Tuesday. We talked about many things, and my life has been enriched for having had the opportunity to know Jim a bit better.:-) Gracious, honest and forthcoming, he is. He loves God, and he loves God's people. And, he wears it well.

In a previous email to Jim, I had asked him about baptizing me at some point. (That couldn't happen this past weekend because of logistics and their homecoming plans.) Anyway, after asking him about doing that, I'd remained a bit uneasy, mainly because I've actually been baptized, and I didn't want to be one of 'those' people who continue in a vicious cycle of "getting saved"/getting baptized over and over again. However, there IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that God -> removed the blinders and profoundly revealed Himself to me four years ago. No doubt. It was during that time, Oct/Nov 2004, that 'the lightbulb came on' for me. I 'got it.' God graciously, and in His perfect timing, gave me understanding of Who He is and who I am. I "got" that He is the just, holy and righteous God of the universe; and that I am a wretched, depraved sinner in desperate need of a Savior. And it is He alone who, for His own good pleasure and purpose, chose me for Himself and mercifully rescued me. During the ensuing years, I've often wondered if that's when I "really got saved." Knowing full well, of course, that "I" didn't do anything. "I" don't "ask Jesus into my heart" or "choose" Him, and "I" don't "make" Jesus Lord and Savior. Salvation is ALL of God. I also know that God has wrought true change in my life, where before there was none.

So, I mentioned during the course of the conversation with Jim, that I still wondered if that time was when I was "really saved." And in one fell swoop, with one statement and one piece of Scripture, all my doubts quite simply melted away. He said to me, "You were saved before the foundation of the world; God chose that time to enlighten you." I CANNOT tell you what that did for me, other than emotionally, it brought tears to my eyes. Of course I've read Ephesians 1, but apparently God chose this particular time to have someone speak His words to me, and in so doing gave me ears to hear and understand. After Jim said those words, I immediately had the related thought, "my name was written in the Lamb's Book of Life, BEFORE I was ever a glimmer in someone's eye." ;)

God's Word is mighty and powerful, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, it changes lives, never returning void. It is difficult to unlearn bad teaching. That I needed to be able to pinpoint a specific time, date and place when I "made a decision for Christ" is one of them. God is still teaching, and I'm still learning. Gratefully, He has placed a few teachers in my path who endeavor to rightly divide the Word of God and from whom I can rest assured I am taught well.

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5 Comments:

Blogger mark pierson said...

I LOVE your theology here; and you are so articulate. Reading this was a very pleasant experience for me. Thank you for taking the time to repost this here.

April 19, 2009 10:54 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Gayla,
Good point about still learning. I am certainly in the same boat as I am continually learning as well. What joy and peace we gain with each new insight.....
wayne

April 20, 2009 9:32 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Hi guys of the BC,

Thank you for your kind comments.

Always reforming!

April 21, 2009 10:16 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Hi girl of the BC,

You're welcome!

Always reforming too!

April 21, 2009 10:42 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Me too.

April 21, 2009 9:48 PM

 

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