Full text of my testimony given at my Baptism, held in June 2013 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Melbourne, Australia:
I was raised in a Christian family, and my parents were missionaries in the Philippines during the early years of my life. I am so thankful to the Lord for my parents, for the blessing of good Bible teaching, and for the loving Christians in my life over the years. Returning to Australia as a teenager was a difficult transition. I wandered for many years in my own spiritual wilderness, struggling with sin, anxiety, addiction, chronic pain and many personal challenges. But in God’s mercy, he never abandoned me, and it is only by His grace that I am here today.
This past year has been the most significant of my life, one in which I have truly felt like a new person in Christ. The Holy Spirit has led me to an acceptance of the truth and beauty of God’s word, the Bible. This has had a profound impact on my faith, which itself is a gift from the Lord. For all the suffering he allows me to go through, I am learning that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him”. I have also come to truly understand how offensive sin is to a holy and perfect God. I rejoice in Jesus who died to wash away my sin.
In the words of a famous hymn:
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art.
How could I not love and obey God our Father in heaven, who created all things? For he so loved me that he sent his only Son to do what I couldn’t… save me from my sin, guilt and shame. How could I not love and trust in Jesus Christ, God’s precious Son and our Lord and Saviour, who gives us life? Despite the awfulness of my sin, Jesus loved me so much that he willingly suffered the shame and agony of the cross. He died in my place so that I might enjoy eternal life in his presence, instead of the eternal punishment I richly deserve. This blessed hope brings freedom and peace in this life, through the work of his Holy Spirit. It it is a joy to share in this hope with my family as we wait for Jesus to return.
I choose to be baptized today as a public confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. The Lord in his unfathomable kindness has given me a deep love for his truth, and is teaching me to keep my eyes fixed on him. Here today, in front of all of you, I commit to defend the truth of God’s word and to share it with others, whatever the cost. It is my hope that my baptism will serve in part as a witness to all here of the healing power of God’s love, grace and forgiveness in the life of a most wretched sinner.
In the words of that beautiful hymn ‘It is Well With My Soul’:
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
I pray that this too will be your song, in this life and for eternity.