Sinner Saved by Grace
Testimony by Carishma Kuruvilla
I was a born into a loving Catholic family, who never knew much about God, apart from attending the usual Sunday masses. Most of my childhood and teenage years went by in chasing behind all the worldly things that i had grown up seeing around me and still carrying a sense of emptiness inside.
During my high school years, i was first introduced to the Bible by a Godly family who invited us to attend a time of Bible Study and prayer with them every week. It was here that the first seeds of faith were sown into my heart. I was very captivated to know that God is a very Loving God, who desires to have a personal relationship with us and that we can call Him Abba Father. I was really intrigued now to know more about Him and week on week as i heard the parables that Jesus taught, 2 particular parables really got my attention; The Parable of the Prodigal Son and that of the Lost Sheep. I was able to see myself in that position and see how gracious God is in wanting to seek out this Lost Sheep and extend His forgiveness to me. In my heart then, i had made a decision to follow after this Shepherd!
Apparently the seeds had fallen on rocky soil which would soon be chocked by the cares of this world. Out into my college, i soon forgot this decision and continued on in my "normal" worldly life. But i thank God, that He wasn't done with me yet. In my final year of college, one of my friends invited me to her church where i got to hear the precious Word again! As i attended church more often with her,slowly and gradually i began to grasp the following truths as written in the Bible and the Holy Spirit convicted me of the same:
Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.
This Eternal Life that God wanted to give us was found only in Jesus Christ.
As Scripture says in 1 Cor 15:3-4
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
Rom 10:9 says If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
The Holy Spirit greatly convicted me of these truths and i couldn't put off my turning to Christ any longer. I prayed to God for boldness to follow Him and in one of the prayer meetings on Aug 25, 2006, I surrendered my life to Christ and received Him as my Saviour!
I can only echo the words of this beautiful Hymn that i have experienced post that decision:
Oh What a Wonderful , Wonderful Day, Born of the Spirit with life from above Day i will never forget, Into God’s family divine After i'd wandered in darkness away, Justified fully through Calvary Love Jesus my saviour i met! Oh what a standing is mine! Oh what a tender, compassionate Friend, & the transaction so quickly was made He met the need of my heart, when as a sinner i came Shadows dispelling, with joy iam telling, Took of the offer, Of grace did He profr He made all the darkness depart! He saved me! Oh praise His dear name
Ch Heaven came down and Glory filled my soul When at the cross, the Saviour made me whole My sins were washed away, and my night was turned to day Heaven came down and Glory filled my soul
Then onwards it was a new chapter, a new beginning in my life as 2 Cor 5:17 says "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
The Lord also helped me to understand His word better in the months to come and follow His command of baptism through the following verse in 1 Pet 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
I was baptized on Feb 11, 2007 in Cornerstone Church, Cochin. I thank God for having kept me in His ways and working out His plans each day and having brought us here to Bethel.
Atul and me visited Bethel Baptist Church on one Good Friday service in 2012. Having come from a Charismatic/AG background, i was a little apprehensive about coming here initially , but week on week as we came here, God worked in my heart to make me see His work being carried out in this church.
Seeing the genuineness of the people here and and the wonderful fellowship in His body and the love that was being lived out among the church members, was indeed very encouraging. We also sensed a strong sense of focus on the Word of God here which is most healthy for any church to grow.
The last Church Camp i attended, i got to understand the importance that Christ gave to be members of His local body for mutual edification and i was convinced that if He deemed it so important, then even i ought to.
Eph 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Eph 4:16 The whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” .
Hence it is my desire to join this church and be a part of this local body so that i may also be able to contribute my bit in the building up of this body, being trained up for every good work, to be of service in whatever capacity I can and to be mutually edified and grow in love, grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!