January 2, 2009

My Testimony: "God Saves Sinners"

I was regenerate at 10 years old! No one knows when they became regenerate but they know when they confessed their sins and were baptized. Youth camp on Lee Highway, east of Chattanooga, Tennessee was the place I first received remission of sins. I remember weeping as we sung "Oh how I Love Jesus" standing on sawdust and wood shavings in an old open air tabernacle!

Even though I was raised a Wesleyan Pentecostal I was a Calvinist before I knew what Calvinism was. My family listened to local radio, especially Church programs and gospel singing. I heard an old fashion Baptist preacher say Sunday after Sunday we are "sinners saved by grace." That was the little leaven that leavened the whole loaf. I never read what John Calvin wrote. In fact I never heard about Calvin till college. The words of that old preacher went to the core of my being and remained steadfast. Nobody knew better than me that I was a sinner "saved by grace" and when Wesleyan preachers said, "we are not sinners saved by grace, we are saints of the most high," I knew better. While everyone else was confusing glorification with sanctification, I was a young sinner in a struggling process of sanctification seeking what B. B. Warfield called "that sight of the majesty of God that pervades all of life and all of experience."

I overheard adults describe a god who observes human lives from atop a tall building and he sees the cars in collision courses and therefore has knowledge of what is going to happen. "He doesn't force us to do something we don't want to do" they said. I said, "my God has to be bigger than that!"

I knew I was weak and had only a little strength and if I was to keep his word I would need a God bigger than that, otherwise I was on too many collision courses. As a young lad I focused on a sovereign God and not my human potential.


Anonymous said...

Regeneration is the first step in the application of redemption. it is compared to conception, No one knows when it occurs. It is the implantation of the divine principle, granting faith and repentance, which leads to the initial conversion experience.
It is the awakening or quickening of the elect sinner, and may occur years before one is saved.

Dr. Paul W. Foltz

WatchingHISstory said...

Bro Paul

What is the initial conversion experience?