Cultural Christianity - Samuel Lawrence
My name is Samuel Lawrence and this is my story:
"When I was 28, I prayed to 'receive Christ' as a graduate student in Austin, Texas. A few months later, I was baptized in Stillwater, OK. That baptism wasn’t valid because I wasn’t in Christ. I wanted Him to 'fix' my life rather than give me a new one. I was more interested in what He could do for me than what I could do for Him.
I made superficial changes such as going to Church and reading the Bible. I even agreed with basic Christian doctrines. I looked like a Christian on the outside. But I hadn’t changed on the inside. I continued in my sin and didn’t want to part with it. For about 30 years, I lived as a “cultural Christian.”
And no one challenged my complacency until my family and I joined Henderson Hills twelve years ago. God exposed my self-deception through preaching from the pulpit and teaching in community group. At first, I didn’t take it well. I became angry and resentful at any suggestion that I wasn’t a Christian.
Nevertheless, He continued to shine the light of His Word on my heart. I began to understand the vital importance of inner transformation, turning from sin and to the Lord in repentance. He brought 1 John 3:9 to my attention:
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.
God showed me that I was making a practice of sinning rather than putting it to death through the power of the Holy Spirit. As the Apostle wrote in Romans 6:4,
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
I asked Jesus to save me, to put sinful desires to death, and to live to Him daily. He was merciful, gracious, and gave me a new life with Him.
I’m a new creation because He has made me new. Pray that I may manifest the fruits of repentance, to make much of Christ, and to walk with Him in newness of life. All praise, honor, and glory to Him!"