The day was Sunday, January 26, 1997. There I sat in the ministry program which is known today as children’s church. While I do not recall the specific Bible lesson that was taught, I do remember what happened that day. That was the day I was saved. While I did not understand the depth of the gospel then, I do vividly remember feeling the conviction I was a sinner and that I could not save myself. I was told about Jesus, who was Himself God and that He had come to die on the cross for my sins as well as for other’s sins. As a response to what I was hearing, I confessed my sins and placed my faith in Jesus to save me.
I realize with sharing a particular date of salvation, clarification is needed. I once had a Bible college professor who gave the counsel to be weary of spiritual birthdays. I can understand such counsel because some people may profess faith in Christ with words but are falsely assured of salvation because their profession was in words only and not in actions. They thought they are fine spiritually because they mouthed a few words while no real change took place in their hearts.
Nevertheless, I do believe January 26, 1997 was the day the Lord saved me and gave me a new heart. The Lord has been growing me in His knowledge by His Word ever since, and He has been faithful in it! A few years later in the fourth grade, I felt called to become a pastor for the first time. Although I wavered in my calling for a couple of years in high school, the Lord brought me back to the calling of pastoral ministry He had placed on my heart. Fifteen years after feeling called to pastoral ministry for the first time in the fourth grade, I am in ministry and serve as an associate pastor at the church where my fourth grade teacher goes.
The Lord’s Faithfulness
Now, twenty years to the day of my salvation, I begin my expedition of teaching Hermeneutics at Crossroads Bible College. Essentially, I am teaching college students how to faithfully interpret and apply the Bible. On my twentieth spiritual birthday, if you will, I begin the duty of training current and future church leaders to faithfully study the Word of our faithful God. I have been a witness to the Lord’s faithfulness for the last twenty years. In saving me, in calling me into the ministry, and in gifting me with teaching His Word, I have reason to celebrate. He is faithful!
As I reflect on the Lord’s faithfulness, I am in awe. Twenty years ago the Word of God penetrated my heart and opened my eyes to the gospel. Today I begin teaching and training current and aspiring church leaders how to study the Word that pointed me to Christ. The Lord is faithful through it all!
This post was written by EBG Lead Writer and Founder Theron St. John. His joy is serving God and His people, both in the church and the academy. He is the associate pastor of Blue Ridge Christian Union Church in Shelbyville, Indiana and an adjunct professor at Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis.