“The greatest thing about Christianity for me is …”

Having to face the reality of terminal illnesses and limited remedies for patients, I had a burning question.

“The greatest thing about Christianity for me is …”

As a teenager and young man, I was very interested in the world around me, past, present and future. I had many hobbies, many interests, all intellectually satisfying to a degree, and things that gave temporary enjoyment. But when I became a medical student, and had to face the reality of patients with serious and terminal illnesses, and the limitations of medical knowledge to cure, alleviate and comfort, I had a burning question: If mankind was just a product of evolution and natural selection, survival of the fittest, why did I want to be a doctor? What was the point? If our existence was merely to be born, live a few years, and then go back to the dust, what purpose was there in life? What we call virtues and self-sacrifice was meaningless. There was so much misery and unhappiness in the world. Yet a world where everyone lived completely to please themselves was a horrible thought. So-called scientists were seeking a “missing link” between apes and men, but what was the real “missing link?”

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Finding the “missing link”

The 17th century French scientist and philosopher Blaise Pascal once said, “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God himself.”

I needed to find the “missing link” between man and God, and when I found Him – or rather He found me – an indescribable joy filled my heart such as I had never known before. Faith came into my heart. Jesus Christ really was who He said He was, the Son of God, who came down from heaven to rescue human beings from the mess we had created for ourselves by placing ourselves as the center of the universe. Instead of acknowledging our Creator to whom we were accountable for the life He had given us, man had created his own gods and made himself God.

Jesus became my personal Teacher and Brother

God used circumstances to show me my self-centeredness and pride, and that I was just as bad as the religious people whom I thought were arrogant hypocrites. I started to read the Bible and so much which I had once rejected began to ring true. Then one evening light dawned for me, that Jesus loved me so much that He was willing to die for me, so I could be forgiven and begin a new life. I sensed Jesus calling me to be a Christian, one of His disciples, in spite of the selfish man that I was. That was a turning point in my life.

It was fairly easy to give up smoking, because there wasn’t room for a pipe and tobacco pouch in my jacket pocket, as well as a small Bible which I was hungry to read as much as possible. Now I wanted to have fellowship with those who knew something about what it means to be a Christian, so my circle of friends changed.

It is almost 50 years since I became a Christian, and my life has been an exciting journey of discovery and an education that is “further” and “higher” than anything I have ever known. I am getting to know God as my wonderful Father, Jesus as my best Friend and elder Brother, and I have fellowship with brothers and sisters from all over the world who are on this Way which Jesus Himself made as a man, a way of being transformed through obedience to God’s laws and commandments.

I can become like Jesus

The Bible is an amazing collection of scriptures through which God reveals Himself, and which Jesus fulfilled, so that He could say to His disciples, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” John 14:9. We can pray to Him for help at all times. He gives the Holy Spirit to all who want to obey Him, so that we have a Guide and Tutor, who reveals to us the way Jesus went in all the circumstances and trials He went through. Through His Spirit I have power to overcome the opposition to doing God’s will that I find in my nature, which means that I can keep all God’s commandments out of love for Him, and love my fellow man, and only want others to find the happiness and fulfillment that I have found through being a Christian.

Jesus Christ is not just the baby in the Christmas story and the young man who was willing to be crucified on Good Friday as an atonement for our sins, saving us from the consequences we deserved through living rebelliously for ourselves instead of doing God’s perfect will. Through obeying His commandments, we get to know Him, and our heavenly Father and Creator, because He is the Son of God. They did, and they do, everything in fellowship together. He is to be trusted absolutely, and by surrendering my life to Him, accepting Him as my Lord, and giving up my own will to follow Him, I have everything anybody could desire – peace and joy, security and hope for the future, and the best friends on earth. The trials and challenges of daily life are an essential part of our higher education and development, so we can be more and more liberated from the selfish tendencies we inherited from our ancestors. Jesus is with us to pass on all that God taught Him as a man, and how He overcame evil with good. And this life on earth is just the beginning of a life even more glorious, when we see and talk to Jesus face to face, because we will have become like Him.

Life is filled with purpose

I have found a fountain that never runs dry, a treasure that is greater than anything of value on earth, joy and happiness that has never been extinguished by the tragedies of life, and a way of life that fulfils everything I could possibly desire.

In the words of King David, I have been led to the Rock that is greater than I, and found in Jesus Christ “the Way, the Truth and the Life” beyond anything else I experienced before I was converted, and what I have seen in people of all persuasions ever since.

In the words of a well-known advertisement: “You’ve tried all the rest; now try the best.” You won’t be disappointed. I have never met anyone who became a true Christian who wanted to be anything else.

The greatest thing about Christianity for me is that through Jesus we get a connection with God as our Father in heaven, and a way by which we can be transformed.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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The Gospel of God

Grace means that all our sin is forgiven when we confess it. But it also means that we receive power to obey the truth that Jesus came with. In this book, Sigurd Bratlie expands upon this, showing the true gospel of God which is obedience to the faith.