I was recently in a class where we were asked the question, “Why are you a Christian?” I immediately began to sort through all the Bible and theological knowledge in my head in the pursuit of forming the most convincing answer to this question. Prepare to be impressed, guys, ‘cause I know some stuff! People around me started answering with things like, “He has proven himself in my life,” “My life is better with him than without him,” “He showed me it was the truth.” These precious people left me speechless with their perfect answers. Their answers show off a big God who changed their lives forever.
In my humanity, I wanted to give an answer that showed off my time as a believer and background in Christian education. My answer would have certainly showed off me, and I am thankful that they spoke up before I could. Because I quickly recalled the message from Sunday, and I had a but God moment.
Paul makes it super clear in Ephesians 2 what we bring to the table on our own:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
— Ephesians 2:1–3
This is a stunningly awful résumé. This is proof that, on our own, we are dead, following Satan, children of wrath.
BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, EVEN WHEN WE WERE DEAD IN OUR TRESPASSES, made us alive together with Christ— BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED—
— Ephesians 2:4–5 (emphasis added)
Ask me why I am a Christian now. My only answer is that once, I was dead, but God made me alive. Once, I was destined for wrath, but God gave me grace. Once, I was following the enemy, but God loved me with a great love.
I brought him nothing but he gave me everything. Of course I am a Christian — after knowing but God, how could I not be?