So, I am going to be lame and actually post something that I wrote for homework. In my defense, it was not for school, but for CRF (For those of you unfamiliar with that, it is Collegiate Reformed Fellowship for students in the Moscow area).
This last week at CRF, Mr. Ben Merkle spoke on evangelism, specifically, on being immersed in the Word and in prayer thus preparing yourself to meet anyone with an answer for the hope within you. As homework he asked us to write a page or so in answer to that question. Essentially a testimony, or an explanation of why you are the way you are. It was an interesting assignment to complete and definitely made me think. For those of you interested, here is what I said:
First of all, I am created. I do not believe that I am the product of random chance, the vomitous effusion of primordial ooze. By merely observing the world around me I am convinced that there is a God, a Supreme Being by whom the universe was created. By seeing the beauty of this creation I know that He is fundamentally a good God. By reading the Scriptures I recognize that I am a special creation, endowed with the image of God Himself, able to reason, think and understand. I also realize that I am powerless, but that He is all powerful, controlling and knowing all things.
Secondly I am a sinner. There is evil in the world. I know that there is a moral standard since we are not just passive beings, but have consciences and feelings. Even atheists cannot consistently claim a neutral standard of behavior. Being made in the image of God we have, set in our very being, a perception of right and wrong. Knowing this, I am able to see that I do not measure up, that I am constantly doing that which is wrong. The Bible gives us the account of the Fall, in which Adam, the first human, turned away from God introducing sin into the world tainting all of creation and consequently all of his posterity. This is why there is misery in the world. This is why people die. The punishment for this sin is death and eternal separation from God.
Thirdly, I know that God is merciful in redeeming his sinful creation. He promised Adam that He would one day send a Savior to take away the punishment for our sin, bringing us back into fellowship with God. Thus, 4,000 years later, a baby was born to a virgin. Defying the laws of nature, this baby was God Himself incarnate in human flesh. He took on human form that he might be a fitting scape-goat to bear our punishments. Coming into our corrupt world, he lived without corruption. At the right time he was lifted up on a cross, cruelly murdered by hateful men. Three days later, according to His promise, He was resurrected from the dead, defying sin and death for ever and bringing with Him into new life all those who believed His promises and trusted Him for redemption. Thus I, having acknowledged my own sinfulness and need for renewal have trusted Him to bear my punishment for me and raise me up with Him to fellowship with God and free me from the power of sin.
Lastly, having received the great gift of His love and having been washed from sin by His righteous death and resurrection, out of thankfulness and reciprocal love towards Him, I am compelled to live righteously, seeking to put away the remaining vestiges of sin, and being renewed to a perfect likeness of Him in whose image I was made. I also am compelled to spread the good news of this redemption, telling others of the hope found in Christ, the Savior of the World. By my actions and by my words I seek to glorify Him, loving Him and loving mankind who, with me, were made in His image. My life and purpose are thus oriented by my thankfulness and love to a good, merciful and loving God. He loves me and therefore do I love Him. I no longer fear death because Christ defeated death and I through Him. I know that when I die, I shall be raised up, perfected in the image of God, to fellowship with Him forever, and with all believers. For this day I am waiting, seeking in the meantime to live according to His righteous standards, yearning to learn and know more about Him, observing and appreciating His wonderful character as evidenced in the beauty of Creation.