Chasia is a second-year Chemical Engineering major who enjoys building her archives of anti-humor, reading books of Puritan persuasion, sampling rare and exquisite cheeses, such as those found in Mac N Cheese and string cheese, and feasting on the Words of eternal life.
Firstly, I am so unworthy to expound on God’s immeasurable grace in my life—there are no adequate words and so meager an understanding in my heart of that inexhaustible and infinitely glorious Gospel which has somehow fallen upon my foul soul. Ephesians 1:3 wondrously reveals that God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places; and though my heart is exceedingly far from fully glorying in—let alone comprehending—the riches of this blood-bought gift of eternal life, I nonetheless pray that we can together reflect on the following paramount theme of God’s love, of which I am the most unworthy recipient.
In His abundant grace, God placed me in a Christian family and gave me something of a second home at the church, where I spent long hours every weekend accompanying my parents who served faithfully in various ministries. It was God’s deep and dear mercy toward me to give me parents who consistently planted in my heart many seeds of Truth and joyfully expended great effort to inundate my schedule with Bible-related activities. Through Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), youth group, family Bible study, Christian school (Preschool-5th grade), and thousands of Ravi Zacharias sermons podcasted without end during family car rides, I accumulated a wealth of knowledge in Biblical truths during my early years.
Growing up, I believed I was morally in-sync with God because I was not of the outright rebellious sort. I always diligently completed my BSF homework, did my devotions daily, and listened attentively to my Sunday School teachers. But there were grievous inconsistencies between my head and my heart. I paraded false humility to shroud a profound arrogance and idolatry of reputation. I calculated my every action and word to garner the praise of others, spending years laboring to conform myself into what I observed should befit an “ideal” person. I was enslaved to empty glory, trading that which was fearfully and wonderfully made for nothing more than a shell of existence. To a great extent on the external, I could change my words, actions, temperament, motivations, interests, and even my literal outer appearance for my own vain ends, but I was helpless to change my heart, whose thoughts and intentions were laid bare before an omniscient and holy God. Yet blind as I was, I deceived even myself. I felt dangerously safe—even saved, if you will—in my extensive knowledge of the Bible and my self-righteous practice of its commands. Although I knew much, in actuality I hardly understood—was hardly stirred to—a proper fear of God to motivate a repentance I scarcely knew how to define. Though I spoke fluently and confidently on doctrines of grace, I would not acknowledge that I coldly rejected God’s forgiveness to pursue my sin.
Yet God showed mercy. During fifth grade, I picked up a book entitled “Growing Up Christian,” which God used instrumentally to demolish my empire built on the sands of pride and vain human wisdom. It was then that I was irreversibly pierced by the words in James 2:19. “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” My soul was in anguish when I found that I had no answer to the question that haunted me incessantly: what set me apart from the demons that I should have access to heaven instead of hell?
In the following five or so years, there were many times when I cried out to God for forgiveness and the grace to commit my life to Him. As to the exact date or even year that I was saved, I am not sure; but I do know that, had God not begun to soften my heart to the realities of His truth, I would have been blindly complacent to drown in my sin without a clue that I was already dead. As I began to truly examine myself in light of Scripture, the Holy Spirit graciously convicted me to see with greater clarity the dichotomous contrast of my wretched state against God’s holiness—even my best works are stained with sin! It became glaringly clear that my fruitless knowledge and Pharisaical righteousness had no power to save me from the wrath due my transgressions.
While I was crushed by the unbearable weight of my sin—what absolutely shattered me was that blessed Gospel of grace, which began to fall afresh on my heart. “Let the bones that you have broken rejoice” (Ps. 51:8)!! For “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). The holy, ineffable God, who is both just and the Justifier (Rom. 3:26), in love for us “did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all” as the propitiation for our sins (Rom. 8:32, 1 Jn. 4:10). How can it be that the perfect Christ—who for the joy that was set before Him (Heb. 12:2)—would pour out His soul to death for the guilt of His people (Is. 53:10-12), that we might be reconciled and forgiven! That in His good pleasure, He would freely adorn us with spotless righteousness to cover the shame of our nakedness (Rev. 3:17-18); relieve our utter spiritual bankruptcy with the blood-bought riches of salvation (Matt. 5:3); anoint our eyes with salve that we might behold His glory with unveiled face (2 Cor. 3:18); and grant us unfettered access to the throne of grace, even as He accomplishes everything that which is necessary to present us blameless before the presence of His glory (Heb. 4:14-16, Jude 24)—such is a grace deserving of endless years of rapturous praise!
Through this Gospel, which is the power of God for salvation, He replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh and gave me a desire to know, love, and obey Him. Praise be to God that, in His perfect timing and will, the planted seeds of head-knowledge as accumulated throughout many years gradually began to reach fruition—things once of abstract concept became precious, deep-rooted convictions by the Spirit. As God has given and grown my faith in Him under the expository preaching of His Word as well as discipleship from other sisters in Christ, I now understand that “the implanted Word” is not only “able to save [my soul]” but is also the Sword of the Spirit by which I can stand firm (Jas. 1:21, Eph. 6:17); I know the joy of counting all my vain boasts as loss because of the far surpassing worth of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection; and I praise God that His strength is made perfect in my weakness as an instrument of His mercy, that the Great News may be proclaimed to anyone who would hear!
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God […] and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:1-2, 5).