My Testimony – E. Christian Grossman
Before receiving Christ as my personal savior, I was living according to the
truth – The truth, the laws and the regulations as they were presented to me by
man. I was living my life within guidelines that are legalistic and in many
cases immoral, corrupt or at the least, questionable. The world I was living in
was a world full of fear, confusion, suspicion and hostility. My life, as a
result of living within the bounds of what men deem as being sensible,
acceptable or reasonable was too often consumed with feelings of disappointment,
disillusion and hopelessness. Unfortunately, that same world exists today just
as it did on Feb. 28, 2006 when I met with Pastor Scott Harris for the first
What motivated me to come to Grace Bible Church was the need to know and then
live by what the truth really is. I had always perceived myself as one having a
good sense of right and wrong, and had always believed in Christ, but I never
had the true relationship with Him that He intended me to have.
I first received Christ as my savior on Mar. 9, 2006 when I met with Pastor
Elias Carrero and Brad Rawlins at Perkins restaurant in Wappingers Falls. We
read the sinners prayer and read from the books of John, Romans, Ephesians and
others. I learned that day that my salvation was secured for me through the
great sacrifice that Christ made when He died on the cross for my sins and that
my faith in the fact that He is the Son of God is testimony that I will be
granted eternal life.
It all seemed so simple at the time that deep down inside I was asking
myself, "How can this be?" On April 5, 2006 I began my discipleship with Doug
Welch and began a journey where I would learn many things, one of them being
that the Christian life really is simple, yet it is so difficult that no one can
live it! The only one who can live it is Christ, and He desires to live it
My life did begin to change after I received Christ, but it did not change as
I had anticipated. My life actually became more difficult as I struggled to live
as a Christian in a world where it is extremely easy not to. It wasn’t until the
latter part of my discipleship that I was beginning to grasp the fact that I am
not in this alone and that the Christ-directed life is just what it implies.
It’s directed by Christ and I am not Him.
I attributed my failure of not having a true understanding of the gift of
eternal life to my many years of having been a Catholic and having it ingrained
in me that I needed to earn the right to enter into God’s kingdom. However, at
this point in my discipleship it had been clearly brought to my attention that
only through God’s love was Christ sent here to die for my sins, and that only
through the shedding of His blood have I been forgiven my sins. Only through
faith in Christ as my savior may I have the eternal life that is granted by the
grace of God. My failure in truly understanding and accepting the gift of
eternal life would have been more accurately attributed to my own personal pride
and stubbornness. These simple truths were reiterated in Pastor Harris’ sermon
on August 20, 2006 when he clearly stated that this great gift that God has for
us is both unearned and undeserved. Sometimes I still have a hard time accepting
this, but I’m gradually learning how to turn over the reins and am growing in my
ability to understand and be truly thankful for what He has done for me. A few
verses that helped me along are Romans 10:9, "that if you confess with your
mouth the Lord Jesus and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the
dead, you will be saved," and Ephesians 2:8,9, "For by grace you have been saved
through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works,
lest anyone should boast."
I’m learning to accept the fact that in order to live as a true Christian
there cannot be the two of us in control, and I’ve already tried the "I’m in
control" approach. I’m beginning to recognize that to abide in Christ I must
live in dependence on Him and that it is His wisdom, strength, ability and
courage operating through me that enable me to live according to His will.
Christ does want not me to live the Christian life apart from him. He wants to
live it through me.
Since becoming a Christian I have developed a greater personal awareness of
God and have a greater sense of how valuable human lives really are. I look at
the world through a different set of eyes and no longer worry as much about the
things in the world that I cannot control. My relationships with others I view
differently, and although not all of them have changed, some have. A good friend
of mine has recently returned to church and I sincerely believe that he is well
on his way to receiving Christ as his personal savior. He confided in me that my
previous words of encouragement had prompted him to return and he thanked me for
them. I was thankful to the Lord for that.
I understand that becoming a mature Christian doesn’t happen overnight. My
walk with Christ will take me there from where I am today. I understand that I
will never be perfect, that I will always fall short of the glory of God and I
will never be able to lay claim to the fact that I am not a sinner. I will
always need the support and encouragement from my fellow believers.
It is my sincere desire to be baptized as the Scripture commands me, that I
may show my faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior and to begin a
new walk in a new life for the righteousness of God.