After making a couple comments to my neighbor about my past, she asked me yesterday when I “turned my life around.” That’s a great question, and I appreciated her genuine interest in my story. My reply illustrates my understanding of soteriology (the doctrines of salvation). I stated that I did not turn my life around, but God had invaded and changed me from the inside out. That happened in December of 1984 when I was in basic training for the U.S. Army. Having grown up in a spiritual desert in Wisconsin (there were eight bars in our small town and not one evangelical church), I had never been explicitly told something that I inherently knew–that I was a sinner. That cold morning at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, I was also told that God had offered a remedy for my “sin problem.” A Savior had come from heaven, and if I believed (an action of head and heart working together), I could experience both abundant and eternal life. About one week later, the miraculous wind of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3) blew upon my spiritually dead bones (Eph. 2:1-3) and I became a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). My life has never been the same. “I once was lost”, but God found me. “I once was blind”, but God gave me eyes to see His glory in the face of Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). He turned my life around! Any good seen in me is due to His gracious work in and through me (Eph. 2:8-10). I remain amazed that a holy, holy, holy God would bend so low as to select me and choose to accomplish His awesome and mysterious plan with me. A biblical understanding of salvation only leads an individual to boast in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:31). So–on a beautiful Friday morning in sleepy little American town, I glory in my Redeemer–Jesus Christ, and thank Him that He rescued and saved (Dan. 6:27) “a wretch like me.”
Reflections on the Quest: “BUT GOD”!