Interview with

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

Three emails came in this week asking if you would share your testimony of coming to Christ and your earliest memories of being a Christian.

Well, God saved me out of a life of drugs and crime and sex when I was six years old. I got that from David Michael. [brilliant!] I love it. At my mother’s knee in a motel in Florida on vacation. And I am blown away 61 years later—I was six then—61 years later even though, Tony, I cannot remember it. And I think ... I want to encourage people here who don’t remember the precise moment of their conver-sion. I want to encourage them. How can I say, “It blows me away that God saved me away if I don’t remember?” How can I say that? Isn’t that ridiculous or a contradiction? And I have got two answers. I mean, my answer is no, it is not a contradiction. And I have got two reasons. One is the Bible tells me what happened to me, not my memory and not my experience. And you know what? I would say to those who have a stunning testimony that they do remember, be careful. Your memory and your experi-ence are fallible and can be misled. And at the root, you better find out what happened to you from the Bible. And at root, then, we are both going to have the same testimony. What happened to me was that it was raised from the dead. And I remember our youth pastor, Kempton Turner said to a whole hundreds of young people he said: The resurrection of the dead is never boring. None of you has a boring testi-mony.

And that is true. That is absolutely true. I was raised from the dead when I was six. God almighty took out the heart of stone and put in a heart of flesh. He opened my eyes to see the light of the gospel. I was blind and he let me see even a six year old the mansion of his truth. I received the gift of faith. It was a pure miracle, a pure gift. Repentance was given to me by a sovereign act of God. So that is my first rea-son for saying I am blown away. I am blown away by something I don’t remember, because the Bible tells me what happened to me. And that is way more reliable than if I could remember it.

And here is the other reason. I am blown away by my conversion that I don’t remember because of the unbelievable sinfulness of John Piper that I have watched for 61 years. I watched me for a long time and I have hated the remaining corruption in me for a long time. There is a lot in me I do not like and what I see in it, the more mature I become is how tendentious it is, how prone it is to wander. And I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that if there were not sovereign grace at the beginning and sover-eign grace at every moment along the way, what I see of my sin since my conversion is enough to damn me totally. And therefore I am amazed. I don’t have to remember a horrible life of sinning before I was saved in order to tremble at my sin. And so anybody who feels like they wish they, you know, had gone some awful way and then been plucked out of that awfulness and have a nice story to tell. I just don't think they are looking at the mirror very carefully. There is enough corruption in us to make us tremble and to make us feel how incalculably horrible sin is and how precious grace is and to be blown away that God broke into our life and created this hatred for sin and created this longing for righteousness and created our reliance on God.

So my story is one that I can’t remember and I hope it encourages many.

Thank you Pastor John — and thank you to all the listeners who have sent in email questions. We get an average of about 750 questions every week, and we do read them all. Of course we can an-swer 5 of them a week. But we appreciate your questions, they play an important role in helping to shape the content and direction of this daily podcast. Thank you. Continue sending your questions to us at: askpastorjohn AT desiringgod DOT org. … I’m your host, Tony Reinke. Thanks for lis-tening.