From Legalism to Grace – Robbie’s Story
Jun 24, 2015 1767
My Christian life was one that was filled with legalism and a complete lack of assurance. I would get up and go to church with my wife and son, come back home and sleep until sunset. I wondered how I could sleep so long: did I have no concern for myself or my family? I felt that my spiritual life was stillborn.
I came to the gospel as an agnostic when I was told about forgiveness. I had longed for a fresh start.
Growing up in poverty without a father can be bad enough. But my Mum in her guilt and loneliness married a violent alcoholic. As a child, I didn’t understand these things, and at first I was just happy to have a new father and a new brother. But many times my brother and I were beaten so badly we missed two or three days of school. I saw my mother beaten and choked many times. On two occasions my stepfather turned himself into the police station because he thought my mother was dead.
Back in those days the law did very little to protect women. I remember thinking that sometimes no father is better than a stepfather. I was certainly ready for a new start.
That’s what attracted me to the gospel of Christ. But people in the church who I respected told me I had to be perfect in thought and deed, and that I would be judged at the end for every sin that God had already forgiven. One day, a person preached on the doctrine of God’s Judgement and he mentioned the name of Des Ford.
I can tell you now that real truth stands up to scrutiny. I eventually found the Desmond Ford’s sermons online, and I listened to sermons about salvation and grace. I learned that God is for me, not against me. I started reading C.S. Lewis and John Stott and I purchased Matthew Henry’s Commentary and Strong’s Concordance, as recommended by Des.
Now, I see the gospel through the lens of the cross. Now I’m ready to work for Christ. I teach the gospel at a women’s prison of 300 inmates. I teach a youth study group at a growing church of over 300 people. I’ve also been conducting studies at smaller churches and with individuals.
Bless you in the name of Jesus.