Before I start with what I learned on the trip in the coming weeks, I want to share my own testimony.
I had to write my testimony of salvation when applying to go on the mission trip. Someone else did the German translation; this was done for all the team members and checked by the missionaries that we worked with.
Meine Familie ist christlich. Schon in jungen Jahren hatte ich die Gelegenheit, das Evangelium zu hören. Ich habe gelernt, dass ich eine Sünderin bin, und dass der Tod die Strafe für die Sünde ist. Auch mit einer Menge guter Taten könnte ich mich nicht selbst retten. Aber, weil Gott mich liebt, schickte er seinen Sohn Jesus Christus um für mich zu sterben. Ich wusste, dass ich errettet werden muss, um in den Himmel zu kommen wenn ich sterbe, und der einzige Weg ist der durch den Glauben an den Herrn Jesus.
Während der Sommerbibelschule, als ich acht Jahre alt war, erkannte ich, dass ich Gott nie gebeten habe, mich zu retten. An diesem Tag habe ich meine Sünden gestanden und bat ihm, mich zu retten. Heute weiß ich, dass ich errettet wurde, denn in Römer 10 Vers 13 steht: „Jeder, der den Namen des Herrn anruft, wird gerettet werden“. Nun diene ich Christus in meiner Gemeinde in Singapur und auf missionarischen Reisen mit unserer Mannschaft.
I was born into a Christian family. From a young age, I had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. I was taught that I was a sinner, and death was the penalty for sin. There was no amount of good works that I could do to guarantee my salvation. However, because God loved me, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for me. I knew I needed to get saved to go to heaven after I die, and the only way was to believe in the Lord Jesus.
During Vacation Bible School the year I was eight, I realized that I had never asked God to save me. That day, I confessed my sin and asked Him to save me. Today, I have the assurance that I am saved because as it is written in Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Now I serve the Lord at my church in Singapore and by coming on this mission team.
Sharing My Testimony
When I wrote the original in February last year, it was the first time that I put my testimony on paper in many years. The last time was probably when I was 12 – just before I got baptised. (I was not baptised immediately as the church that I had been attending at the time only baptised children who were at least 12 years of age. This was something that I remember as strange. Even then, I felt that if you know you believe, why can’t you get baptised immediately?)
Since then, I can only recall one other incident where I recounted how I got saved.
During the trip, we took turns to share our testimonies to the churches we worked with. Whenever one of the team members shared their testimony, I marvelled to hear how God worked in that person’s life. How God called that person to believe in Him.
And it struck me that it’s a pity that back home, we don’t really talk about how we get saved. I shouldn’t even talk about the people in my church. I don’t even know how my family members were saved. Not my dad, not my mom, not my aunts and uncles.
Hearing the power of the gospel in other peoples’ lives strongly touch us and strengthen our faith. Why are we so tight-lipped about the defining moment in our lives that changed it for all eternity?
We should share about how God has worked in our lives. Tell others how He led us, though sinful and undeserving, to Him. Share how He has preserved us.
Assurance of Salvation
In my testimony, the only verse that is quoted in full is Romans 10:13. When I wrote the original, I had included verse references. I still have the draft of the first paragraph:
From a young age, I had the opportunity to hear the gospel. I was taught that I was a sinner (Rom 3:23), and death was the penalty for sin (Rom 6:23). However, because God loved me, He sent His Son to die for me (John 3.16). I needed to get saved to have eternal life, and that the only way to get saved was to believe in Jesus (John 14:6). There was nothing I could do on my own to be saved (Eph 2:8).
I don’t know if I was the one who put Romans 10:13 out there in full. Our testimonies were edited, and I did not think to keep a picture of the hand-written copy that I submitted.
But that verse, really, is the most important one to me. It’s also the most appropriate one. I’m glad turned out to be in the final version.
During my teenage years, I struggled a lot with assurance of salvation. I hadn’t been told about how I can have that assurance. Naturally, I struggled with sin, and when I did sin, I felt so far from God that it simply didn’t make sense – and I remember wondering if I really was saved.
I didn’t understand that it wasn’t a feeling that determined that you were saved.
Faith is taking God at His word.
Yes, it is my responsibility to search for this truth. I don’t deny that. But how I wished that someone would have told me that I was saved forever the moment I believed.
Being Saved at a Young Age
It’s a different experience when you grow up in the church and are saved at a young age. You don’t have that life-changing moment that adult converts would have. The before and after to compare your old life with your new. The before is a blur because you were so young that there is barely anything before.
I don’t remember the exact date I was saved. Some people do remember the exact date, and it seems that you must know when such a life-changing even happened.
But just because you don’t remember when, does that mean it did not happen? No, of course not.
I know I did ask Jesus to save me, and I remember it happening during a VBS. But I don’t know the exact year. I believe I was eight, but I could have been younger.
I had a friend my first year of primary school (equivalent to elementary school). She was from a Buddhist family. I remember distinctly telling her about God, and praying to God. I don’t remember if I really shared the gospel, but even if I did, I am sure that at that time, she did not receive Christ. But I know when I talked to her, God was real to me.
There was an incident where she wanted to ask God for some things – and I told her that she could just close her eyes and ask God for them. I don’t know what they were, but I remember that she prayed for one item and then she opened her eyes. I asked her if she asked for everything. She said she only asked for one, because she didn’t know she could have asked for more than one at a time.
There are people who have told me that they were saved when they were five. Some would argue that children don’t understand the gospel at that young age. I would disagree, because the gospel is simple enough for a child to understand.
It’s when we grow up, and the wisdom of the world creeps in and influences us, that it makes the simple truth so hard to believe.