Tuesday afternoon at Woodridge, was filled with many conversations. There were five team members out and a surprisingly hot sun and God was at work in the midst of it all.
The first conversation of the afternoon took place with Cheryl and her elderly mother and it was beautiful to see God's providence on display. Cheryl was interested to listen and was seeking to engage in the gospel conversation but her mother on the other hand was a lapsed JW who still believed their falsehoods. It was a struggle to get through the law and to the gospel as the mother kept trying to interrupt with different JW arguments about things. These were mostly palmed off and the tract to explaining the good news was taken. But it was getting harder and harder, then God in His providence sent the mother a phone call which took her attention for the next few minutes.
This enabled the daughter to hear in simplicity the desperate state humanity is in that each one of us deserve and eternity in Hell for our sin and therefore that the only thing that can solve this is if God Himself does something in order to save sinners. As she was hearing about what God had done her mother got off the phone and started interrupting again but it wasn't even thirty seconds before another phone call came in taking her away again.
In this moments that followed for the first time in her life Cheryl understood what repentance is, that it isn't "cleaning up your life", "stopping sinning" or "asking for forgiveness" but rather a simple change of mind about who God is and what sin is. It was pointed out that this repentance will always result in a changed life of actions but those actions aren't what saves us and nor is repentance. Rather, one is saved on the basis of accepting God's gift of salvation, through trusting that Jesus paid for their sin on the cross. Cheryl was speechless, she almost couldn't believe how simple and beautiful it was.
There wasn't any time for checking questions to give her a deeper understanding of the gospel but it was amazing that God had opened her eyes to the truth despite many years of confusion from the contradictory and works based ideas she'd grown up in.
There were a range of other exciting conversations where people came to comprehend the gospel for the first time but one that was wonderful was with a lady named Moana. She had some Christianity in her background but had basically just lived as though she was in charge. She saw that God exists via the building's need a builder analogy. She saw that she was in trouble via God's law and Holy standard and therefore was taken through a simple explanation of why Christ alone and His sacrifice can save a sinner.
She was then shown that this gift of forgiveness, purchased by Christ is on offer and to those who trust in Him they will receive forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life. In the next few minutes Moana came to comprehend that it was nothing to do with ones good works that saves a sinner but rather simply by trusting in Christ. She even came to understand that it isn't trusting in Jesus, then living a good life that makes someone right before God, rather that it is simply trusting in what Jesus did.
She then was able to understand that the changed life of good works that a Christian lives is a result of the salvation provided by Christ, not a requirement to receive it. At the moment Moana seemed to comprehend it all, her bus arrived. God had enabled her to come to a simple understanding of the essential truth of how someone is made right before God and what role our works play in that.
Please raise Cheryl and Moana up before God that they would not just comprehend the offer of forgiveness but that they would in whole-hearted surrender, trust in Christ for their forgiveness and be forever changed, wanting to know God, to be known by God and to make Him known!
Woodridge Team (QLD)
Meets 2-5pm every Tuesday afternoon at the Woodridge train-bus interchange on Station Rd.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.