March 23, 2012

Christ Alone Is the Way

Ephesians 2:8-9
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

Henry Gregory Adams was born of Roman Catholic parents in Saskatchewan, Canada and brought up strictly in that faith. Read his testimony here about how he found the Lord Jesus Christ:

"From early youth I was trying to be good, yet falling progressively into sin. With the rest of the crowd I was heading into perdition. I was told that by becoming a monk and priest I could avoid sin and be more certain of my salvation. Because I was sincerely seeking salvation, I entered the Basilian Order of Monks, received the long black robe and an adopted monastic name of "Saint Hilarion the Great" and made my vows. Among the studies for the priesthood, we had three textbooks on the Bible but not the Bible.

"I was eager to serve the Lord Jesus Christ! By leading a monastic life I thought I was doing just that. I performed all my monastic duties to the last rule. I whipped myself every Wednesday and Friday evening till my back bled; in penance I often kissed the floor; often I ate my meager meal kneeling down on the floor or completely deprived myself of food. I did many forms of penance for I was truly seeking salvation. I was taught that I could eventually merit heaven. I did not know that the word of God says, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

"After I was ordained as a priest I served five parishes in the Alberta area. I said Mass every day, heard confession, recited the rosary to Mary, had devotions to many saints and performed my penances more fervently than ever. Yet these did not satisfy my weary soul. I was heading into even deeper distress of soul than when I was a boy.

"I became acquainted with the Roman Catholic version of the Bible and in it were striking verses that contradicted my very belief and practices. God's Book said one thing, my Church another. Who was right? The Roman Church or God? I eventually believed God's word.

"The monastic life and the sacraments prescribed by the Roman Catholic Church did not help me to come to know Christ personally (John 14:6) and find salvation. After twelve and half years I escaped from the monastery, a lost sinner, without peace in my soul. I realized that man-made sacraments of my Church and my good works were in vain for salvation.

"Soon afterwards I believed that Christ died for me because I could not save my soul, and I trusted Him alone for my salvation. When I repented of my sins and received Him into my heart, believing that on the cross He paid the complete penalty for my condemnation, I knew that my sins were not only forgiven but forgotten and that I was justified before God."

Henry Gregory Adams' testimony excerpted from "Far From Rome, Near to God" (Richard Bennett and Martin Buckingham)

Reader, if you're thinking religion can save you then you are wrong. I too was raised as a Roman Catholic and knew when to kneel, stand, and sit during Mass. On Saturdays, we stood in line along with our friends and their families as we gave our confessions to the priest. As a kid, I was always amazed that the priest knew the exact number of "Our Fathers", "Hail Marys" and "Apostles' Creeds" I should pray for my sins. I thought that maybe they had charts like those found in a math book. Or a Catholic calculator. But, Catholicism left me empty in spite of - or because of- all the rituals.

It wasn't until I understood that I was a sinner and that I had sinned against God that I truly comprehended in my heart why Christ had to die for my sins. You see, it's not until you personalize Calvary and that you acknowledge that your transgressions and sins put Jesus up on the cross, it's not until then that you open your heart to Jesus and ask Him to be your personal Saviour and Lord.

I hope you undestand this basic truth: Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He died on the cross for your sins (John 3:16). Why? Because He loves you (Rom. 5:8)! Don't delay the decision any further. Surrender to Him today and experience love and newness like you've never known before. Follow Him here: The Plan of Salvation

Happy day, happy day,
when Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray,
and live rejoicing every day.
Happy day, happy day,
when Jesus washed my sins away!

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