Editor’s note: The following is a testimony from a woman in ministry leadership in Beijing. She was formerly a house church pastor and now serves through facilitating and editing the theological writings of house church pastors across China.
I sensed that I am a sinner in two aspects. One is the aspect of common grace. When I did not know Jesus, I felt my existence was worthless and meaningless. I had no purpose to live for. I questioned the reason for my existence. I tried to rationalize the meaning of my life. I did not know why I existed.
Even though I didn’t understand what it means to be a sinner, I sensed that I was a sinner by the way I was speculating about the essential meaning of my existence. It was part of common grace. However, it was not until I knew Jesus Christ and truly experienced his salvation that I really realized I was a sinner.
When I began to experience God’s love, I learned from the Bible that Christ died on the cross for my sins. I was astonished. What was the extent of my sin that the holy and perfect God had to die on the cross to redeem and restore me, this sinner? As a result, I began to understand what a sinner is and the impact of sin in my life, the consequences and the costs of sin in me.
It also answered the inquiries about the rationality of human existence I had before I knew God. Why do we live? What is the significance of our existence? We do not have the answers because we do not know our God the Creator. If we do not know God, we do not know the rationality of human existence.
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Why do we have these questions? The reason is because we are valuable. Human existence should be extremely glorious and honorable in eternity. Because of sin, we do not know this truth. So, along the way, I gradually perceived and processed the meaning of “I am a sinner.”
When I prayed to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and experienced my rebirth, I sensed I was deeply loved at that moment. People can really feel loved only when they know that they are fully accepted, and all their transgressions are forgiven.
When I learned that the Son of God died on the cross for me and God was willing to pay such a huge price to save me, I truly experienced forgiveness from God. As a result, I gradually sensed the freedom and liberation in God. I began to appreciate the dignity and glory that God gave to humans, along with the authority that God gave to his children. I began to enjoy the rest coming out of this relationship with God.
This woman talks of “the rest coming out of this relationship with God.” How does one experience this type of rest?
Translation provided by Jane, Ryan, and the China Partnership translation team.