By Becky Tidd
I was only five years old when I believed that God sent his Son, the Lord Jesus, for me so that I might have eternal life. At that time in my life it was so simple and sensible because I knew I was not good enough to make it to heaven on my own. As I attended church, Sunday school, vacation Bible school, church camp, and various Bible studies in the years that followed, this matter of whether I really had a relationship with God came into question. I became haunted by comments like, “If you really believed, you should see fruit in your life, and if you don’t, maybe you really didn’t believe in the first place.”
Various teachings I sat under on John 15 and portions of James confused me even more. Several times I was personally counseled not to worry so much about certainty of my eternal destiny. Some said my doubts and concern about where I was to spend eternity were a sign that I was a Christian.
Over the years I realized that looking to myself and trying to analyze how much I really loved and obeyed God was a dead end when it came to assuring me of anything. Not only that, but it kept me from experiencing the joy of knowing God’s unconditional love for me. Without that joy, sharing Christ with others and doing good Christian work was a real chore, as many times I acted under a shadow of guilt.
As I became more confident of my own ability to read and understand the Bible, I began to see that Scripture was not contradicting itself. God wasn’t giving His Son as a gift in one book and putting a price on having His Son in another!
When I was introduced to the Grace Evangelical Society I was so thankful to find an organization whose leaders were committed to dealing with this issue head on and who weren’t afraid to tackle some of the tougher scriptural texts on this matter, even at the risk of possibly offending other popular evangelical teachers. I feel blessed to be a part of this staff and pray that I can help in getting this important message of “faith alone in Christ alone” out to as many people as possible.