The Christian testimony of how God changed a big hypocrite

“The Ex-Hypocrite”

How a Big Hypocrite Received a New Life.
See Why God Refused to Forgive My Sins.
6 Reasons Why He Did Not Accept Me.
(And, Why He May Not Accept You?)
The Lord Did Not Accept Me, Even Though:
  • A Minister Baptized Me as an Infant.
  • I Attended Church With My Parents.
  • A Church Confirmed Me as a Member.
  • I Read the Bible Faithfully Every Day.
  • I Prayed and Confessed My Sins Daily.
  • I Discovered the Purpose of My Life.
The True Confessions of an Ex-Hypocrite
How God Finally Relieved My Crippling Guilt…
By Greg Gibson

My religious upbringing was like that of many people…

I was born in 1960. Several days later, my parents baptized me.

But, I didn’t know God.

My parents took us to church on 2 Sundays/year. (You can probably guess the dates, can’t you?)

But, I didn’t know God.

At age 14, I attended confirmation classes at a mainline denominational church. The pastor taught us about morality, such as premarital sex and drugs. But, he didn’t tell us the good news about Jesus Christ.

Despite my ignorance of the good news of Christ, the church confirmed me as a member.

But, I didn’t know God.

As I entered my mid-teens, I sunk deeper and deeper into slavery to sin. My sins gradually progressed…

• Selfishness (I, Me, Mine, Me-first)
• Pride and boasting
• Lying
• Stealing
• Cursing with God’s name in vain
• Sexual lust
• Drunkenness
• Drugs (marijuana)
• Religious hypocrisy

But then, at age 16 the Lord began gradually
drawing me to Himself. Here’s how He changed my typical, teenager life…

I remember staring at the stars at night, and starting to ask the big questions. “What’s out there?” How did this universe get here?” “What is my purpose in life?” (Have you ever wondered about questions like that?)

How I Discovered the Real Purpose for Life

Then one day,for some unknown reason I picked-up a Bible that sat on our end table, collecting dust. And, I opened it to Genesis 1:1 and read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

All of a sudden it hit me, “If there was a Designer, then there was a design for my life!” Wow, awe flooded my heart! Finally, I’d discovered the true purpose to life.

But, I didn’t know God.

During the next 2 years, the Bible captivated me so much that I read it through from Genesis to Revelation. It gripped me with its stories of this holy God who revealed His glory by doing great miracles in history…

• He flooded the ancient earth because of the peoples’ sin.
• He sent fire to burn Sodom & Gomorrah because of their sin.
• He judged the Egyptians with plagues because of their sin.
• He came down to earth and walked on the water, healed the paralyzed, deaf, and blind, and even raised the dead.

I feared God and read the Bible everyday.

But, I didn’t know God.

The main thing that jumped-off the pages at me was my sin. All I could see was, “Do this,” and, “Don’t do that.” For 2 long years, guilt literally crippled my life. So, I prayed, confessing my sins everyday.

But, I didn’t know God

I strived to obey God’s commands (most of the time.) Yet, fears of dying and going to hell constantly tormented me, and rightly so. I even avoided people because of my guilty conscience.

During the last 2 years of high-school, guilt dominated my mind. So, I tried to justify myself before God by my own good works: Morality, Bible reading, and confession. But, the harder I tried to be good, the guiltier I felt.

“But, the harder I tried to
be good, the guiltier I felt.”
Why God Refused to Forgive My Sins
The reason I didn’t know God was because I never turned from my sins. You see, I knew that as soon as I confessed my sins like drunkenness, I was going to go out next weekend and get drunk again. I was a hypocrite, planning my sin and confession in advance. Afterwards, I’d just confess it away (so I thought.)
I was a hypocrite, planning my
sin and confession in advance.

But, God saw right through my hypocrisy, to my deceitful heart. So, He rejected my prayers, leaving me unforgiven and feeling guilty.

What I failed to understand is that God saves sinners only by His free grace, not our self-righteous works…

6 Reasons Why God Did Not Accept Me
(And Why He May Not Accept You?)

1. Are you a good person? Compared to who, humans or God?

“No one is good except God alone.” (Mark 10:18)

“None is righteous, no, not one…no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:11-12)

Let’s be honest, there’s something in our hearts that tries to justify ourselves by finding someone more sinful than us. “I’m not as bad as he is.” “I’m not an adulterer like she is.” If you look hard enough, you can always find a Hitler or Bin Laden to soothe your conscience. But, how do you compare to God? He’s the standard.

2. Salvation is by God’s unearned grace, not earned by your works.

“there a remnant, chosen by grace . But if it is by grace, it is no
longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.”
(Romans 11:5-6)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is
not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works,
so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8)

“…God, who saved us…not because of our works but because
of His own purpose and grace…”
(2 Tim. 1:8-9)

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior
appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy…” (Titus 3:5)

Do you know what the word “grace” means? Grace is God’s unearned favor, or unearned gift. Works are what we do. Grace is what God does. In Scripture, grace and works are opposites, like oil and water that can never mix.

Works are what we do.
Grace is what God does.

It’s been well said, “Self-righteous religion says, вЂ?I do good works, therefore God accepts me.’ But, God’s righteous religion says, вЂ?God accepts me by His grace, therefore I do good works.”

Self-righteous religion says, “I do good
works, therefore God will accept me.” But,
God’s righteous religion says, “God accepts
me by His grace, therefore I do good works.”

A preacher said it well :
Self-religion: Faith in Christ + Good Works = Acceptance by God
God’s religion: Faith in Christ = Acceptance by God + Good Works

Self-Religion: Faith in Christ + Good Works = Acceptance by God
God’s Religion: Faith in Christ = Acceptance by God + Good Works

Beware of getting the cart before the horse! Renounce your faith in your own self-righteous works. Receive God’s free gift of grace first, then do good works for Him.

3. You need God’s righteousness, not self-righteousness.

“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt.” (Luke 18:10)

“in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Philippians 3:8-9)

“the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” (Romans 3:22)

“Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.” (Romans 9:30-32)

“being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:1-4)

“For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does that Scripture say? вЂ?Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.’ Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” (Romans 4:1-5)

Your righteousness is impure, mixed with sins. But, Christ’s righteousness is 100% pure. And, God is ready to credit Christ’s perfect righteousness to you if you trust in Him.

4. How many sins did Christ pay for, only some, or all ?

“…Christ died for our sins…” (1 Corinthians 15:3)

If you really believe that Jesus died to pay for all the sins of His people, then why are you still working to pay for your sins? In other words, the debt is cancelled. God marked the debt “Paid in Full.” There’s nothing left to pay. Now, you can obey Him because of thankfulness that He paid the debt, not because of an obligation that you have to pay.

If you really believe that Jesus died to pay
for ALL the sins of His people, then why
are you still working to pay for your sins?

5. Christ is the only Savior, not a co-Savior to help you save yourself.

“I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:11)

“But I am the LORD your God…you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior.” (Hosea 13:4)

“…the Father has sent His Son as Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)

Give up trying to save yourself. Your role is sinner. His role is Savior The Savior doesn’t need your help. You’ve done all the sinning. He does all the saving.

6. Who is your faith in, Jesus Christ + yourself, or Him alone ?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, вЂ?Believe in the
Lord Jesus
and you will be saved'” (Acts 16:31)

Psychology tells you to believe in yourself. But, the Son of God says, “Deny yourself; believe in Me.” I don’t know about you, but I’m going to listen to the Son of God, instead of Freud, Jung, and their followers.

The reason God refused to forgive my sins was because I was trusting in my own good works, instead of trusting in His Son, Jesus Christ. I was ignorant of the good news of Jesus Christ…

• God created the heavens and the earth.
• We have sinned against this holy, righteous, sinless God.
• Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth and did many miracles.
• He died on a cross to pay for sins.
• He rose in power from the dead.
• He ascended to the throne of heaven where He rules.
• He will return to earth to raise the dead and judge us all.
• Turn from your sin, and trust in the Lord Jesus to save you.

Then the Lord opened my heart to see that whatever sins I had to giveup in this short, 70-year life would be worth it in light of eternity. At age 18, He gave me new life, granting me repentance from sin, and the gift of faith in His Son.

I told Him, “I don’t want to sin against you anymore.” The heavy burden of guilt I’d carried for two years was removed. I literally felt like I was walking on air! He also calmed my fear of hell and replaced it with peace in His presence.

Finally, I knew God!

A Bible-Teaching Church
(Not a Bible-Quoting Church)

About a year later, I started attending an independent, non- denominational church that taught verse-by-verse through whole books of the Bible. The pastor was preaching a series about love through 1 Corinthians 13. I still remember the first sermon because it was the first time I’d ever heard Bible teaching (instead of mere Bible quoting.)

He explained the meaning of the verse, and applied it to our lives in specific ways. Something resonated in my heart saying, “This is good!” So, I continued attending that church every Sunday.

Plus, I started attending a college fellowship group. I got to know other Christians who were zealous for God. Their zeal rubbed-off on me. We fellowshipped together, prayed together, and sang together. And, I grew like a weed!

Some of my friends told me that I needed to be baptized. Others told me that my infant baptism was enough. They both gave me books defending their views. I decided to test their books by Scripture. So, I looked-up every occurrence of the word “baptism” in the Bible.

It was clear in the Bible that baptism was for those who repent of their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. So, I obeyed the Lord in baptism.

Today, I’m not the same man I was as a teenager. Yes, I still struggle with sin sometimes, but not like I did before knowing God. He has given me new power to change old habits of sin. And, He’s multiplying His peace and joy in my life. I can’t wait to be with Him someday!

Most Bible quotes are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version by Crossway Bibles.

Comments (2)

2 Responses to “The Ex-Hypocrite: A Christian Testimony of How a Big Hypocrite Received a New Life”

  1. sharyl Cobb says:

    My question to your above testimony is: if we cannot in any way “save ourselves,” why, then, did Peter say to his audience on the Day of Pentecost, “Save YOURSELVES from this wicked generation.” (Acts 2:40) I hope the answer is simple!

  2. Manfred says:

    Sharyl: I think John GIll’s answer makes good sense and is easy to understand:

    saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation: meaning, the chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, and elders of the people, chiefly, who were a perverse generation of men; and upon whom, for their impenitence and unbelief, for their rejection of the Messiah, and their evil treatment of him, wrath and ruin would come upon them, to the uttermost, very quickly; wherefore the apostle exhorts to separate from them, and not partake of their sins, lest they should also of their plagues; but come out from among them, and so, in a temporal sense, save themselves from the destruction that would quickly come on their nation, city, and temple; and so the Arabic version renders it, “escape from this rough generation”.

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