Dan Shutt - Northville, MI

 Testimony of Daniel D. Shutt

Northville, MI USA
 
My early childhood was molded by Bible-believing parents who diligently taught me spiritual truth. There was never a time when I did not want to have a right relationship with God, or when I did not want to be in Heaven at the end of life.

As I learned more about the Bible's message, I discovered that there was a hindrance to achieving what I so earnestly desired. I found that I routinely disobeyed God, and that this behavior sprang from a profound inner problem. The Bible teaches that we have a sinful nature that rebels against God and His Word, and I quickly learned that I was no exception. The apostle Paul states this with great clarity:

"For there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23)

Any comfort that I might have derived from finding that I was like everyone else in God's eyes was quickly dispelled when I learned that these sins barred me from Heaven and exposed me to God's righteous judgment. I began to feel the guilt of my sin, and longed that it might somehow be forgiven. The age-old question "How can a person be right with God?" became a consuming passion in my soul.

One night, wrestling with these issues, I recalled a Bible verse that I had recently heard. In it, the Apostle Paul says:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
(Ephesians 2:8-9)

As I pondered those words, it occurred to me that God didn't want me to improve my life or become more religious; rather, He had a gift for me, one that could not be earned or merited, a gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ.

How could He offer such a gift? Of course, that is the story of the Cross. Into a world where all had sinned, God sent His sinless Son. On the cross we all deserved, the holy One was Himself crucified. And all the punishment that I deserved because of my sin, was laid on Him, and He died as the sin-bearer, and as the Savior.

Did I not know this before? Of course I did, but in that moment, the personal implications of Christ's work became clear: He died for me! And with that recognition, I simply depended on Him and on His work, and that instant became His child, and entered into His kingdom. He took my guilt, and I took His gift, and I was forever changed.

I now have peace, knowing that all is right between my soul and God. I now have assurance that I will never face my sin again, and that Heaven is my eternal home. I now have life, as Christ himself said:

"I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish" (John 10:28)

Our desire is now to spread this message of forgiveness and peace through Jesus Christ, and to invite others to trust this great Savior. Many have rejected Him, but He will never reject an honest seeker:

"Come unto me (Jesus said), and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
"Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37)