I thought I was a Christian

by
March 12th, 2007

    “A man may honestly think himself honest, and a fresh week’s
    experience may make him doubt it altogether. I sorely want a God
    to make me honest. ” – George MacDonald, Paul Faber

    “So foolish was I and ignorant; I was as a beast before Thee.” – Psalms 7 3:22

    “And the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” – Acts 11:26

(Journal entry, July 1997, John Andrews) I did indeed think I was a Christian. I called myself one, and I most earnestly claimed to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

I tried to center my life on God as he did. I lived by his Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Command-ments. I went to church every week and read the Bible every day. I ordered my thinking by the Lord’s Prayer, even worked at healing by prayer after the Master’s own example.

But I had never really come to know Jesus Christ. Not recognizing Jesus as God incarnate, how could I enthrone him as Lord in my heart? John’s self held that throne.

Affirming my own perfection and denying sin, how could I receive Jesus as the loving Savior who died on the cross for me personally? John was in no need of saving.

Not knowing him to be alive, reigning at God’s right hand, interceding for me, how could I receive the treasures he was ready to grant if I but asked them in his name? John prayed with logic, not petition.

Dismissing as superstitious those who are buried with him in baptism and raised with him in the eucharist of bread and wine, what part had I in the body of Christ? John thought himself part of a better and higher fellowship.

Presuming to read Scripture scientifically, which is to say selectively, how obedient was I to him who said his words will never pass away? John walked after a different leader.

Yes, for a long time I thought I was a Christian, and it’s true that sociologically I was more nearly that than anything else. But theologically I was unrecognizable to Paul and the believers at Antioch or to the Lord himself and his men from Galilee. He would have said sadly to me, “I never knew you.”

I’m convinced, though, that he knows me very well now, for at last I have come to know him. Years spent wrestling with five simple questions who is Jesus Christ, why have the ages worshipped him, what does he offer me, what does he demand of me, what is the cost of refusing him? rewarded me well. I have found the one priceless pearl, Jesus my Savior and Lord, my best friend and elder brother.

To spend all my days adoring him, exalting him, serving him, and proclaiming him, and then to spend eternity companioning with him and shepherded by him, is finally my sense of what it means to be a Christian. What a discovery; what a joy. Thank you, Father.

The author can be reached at andrewsjk@aol.com

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