Sep 26

How I Became a Christian

2006 at 5:20 pm   |   by Kristin Chesemore Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Spiritual Growth

During his sermon on Sunday (the link is up, by the way!), Dad shared a well-known story from Charles Spurgeon, describing the origins of his understanding of the doctrines of grace:

One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, “How did you come to be a Christian” I sought the Lord. “But how did you come to seek the Lord?” The truth flashed across my mind in a moment—I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, “I ascribe my change wholly to God.”

When I consider, as Spurgeon did, the question, “How did I become a Christian?” my first thought is: because of my parents. I was taught the truths about Christ and His work on the cross from a little child. The Christian faith is all I ever knew. But why was I attracted to my parent’s faith? Why did I personally repent from my sins and put my trust in Christ? Why have I persevered in my Christian walk? When I pursue the answers, as Spurgeon did, I come—as I must—to the same conclusion: “God was at the bottom of it all…He was the Author of my faith.” It was He who placed me in a Christian family. It was He who made my parent’s faith attractive to me. It was Christ who drew me to Himself. And ultimately, it is His grace that sustains me to the end.

What a comfort and a joy the doctrines of grace are. I am not a Christian because of the family I was born into or because of my own efforts. For then what confidence would I have to persevere? Rather, I am a Christian because, in the mystery of His mercy, Christ chose me.

Likewise, this doctrine inspires faith to pray for my own children. I cannot create little Christians. I cannot, by all my own efforts bring them into the kingdom. Although it is my privilege and responsibility to share the gospel with my children, only Christ can draw their hearts to His truth. Lord, may you reveal yourself to my boys. May they one day say with Mr. Spurgeon: “I ascribe my change wholly to God!”