A week ago, on November 12, 2016, I made the decision to accept Jesus into my heart and life, to accept Him as my savior, to become a Christian once again. In the parlance of my new community, on that day I was saved.
I waited a week to write this because I wanted to let it all sink in beyond the overwhelming feelings of the moment. I wanted to experience the newness of it all without having to analyze and dissect it as it was happening, to go through regular work days and see how it all looked through the lens of hectic day-to-day life. Now I’m ready to talk, and I figured I’d do it by answering questions that I had to ask myself about this decision.
Because I feel it’s what God has been leading me to for the past few years. When I took the time to be still, accept my arrogance that I may know better than God what’s good for me, surrendered my will, and listened, truly listened to the “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12), that is what I heard, this is what I saw, this is what I understood. So I put my trust in God, for though He has challenged me, He has never led me wrong.
- Isn’t this sudden?
Not really. This has been a process that, with hindsight, I can trace back to starting in earnest at least 3-4 years ago, with subtler related events going back over a decade. Life events, unlike movies, doesn’t have clearly defined starting points, instead gradually shifting from one event to the next. If measured by my posts here, or even by my decision to finally leave Judaism behind, then yes, this is extremely sudden. But that event was also the culmination of a series of smaller events spanning years. I can say that my choice to become Christian was decisive, yes (well, decisive after I hesitated for a couple of weeks), but it wasn’t sudden, nor was it rash.
- Are you sure about this decision?
I very much am. It isn’t a decision I took lightly, but once I knew I wanted to do it, once I understood this is where God had been leading me, it was a decision I took gladly, surely, and in full confidence and trust in God.
- What about your past in Judaism?
My past informs me, but it doesn’t define me. I hope to bring to my new learning tools and knowledge I gained during my Jewish years as I study Scripture from here on, especially in the area of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the early church, when Christianity was a movement within Judaism (an area of study that I always found interesting and that I have been reading about since I first converted to Judaism).
- So do you now believe in Jesus?
This is the big question, ain’t it? After all, it’s the biggest point of difference between Judaism and Christianity.
The answer is yes, I believe. I believe in Jesus, God the Son, the Messiah prophesied by the Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim (the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings), who came as a person to live a perfect life, to teach of His kingdom, and to die for all of humanity’s sins on the cross thus becoming our Savior, who rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father, who sent the Holy Spirit to indwell in us, and who will return.
In full disclosure, I admit that I don’t yet understand it all, though. The Trinity, Triune nature of God, in particular, is a concept on which I am doing lots of reading, as it forms one of the core pillars of the faith. I get it, but I’m working on understanding it on a deeper level, and how each of the persons interacts with the world, and with us, with me. The great thing is that I have a lifetime to continue studying the ways of God!
- How do you feel afterward?
I feel wonderful, like I have come home. My family, supportive of me as they were during my Jewish years, were elated to find out I had returned to the faith of my father and mother, to the faith of my childhood. I feel closer to my parents, especially my father, than I have in years, and I feel a renewed connection to God now that I have invited Jesus back into my heart. I feel a combination of excitement and the weight of responsibility that this new life brings, but I am ready to make the best of this new life, of this new birth in Christ.