Someone has well said that the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. That common adage illustrates one of Scripture’s most profound truths: its power to transform the lives of those who trust in Christ as Savior. Everyone can experience that power personally, and then share his or her experience with others.
The apostle Paul stated this remarkable truth when he wrote that if any person is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Previously he himself had been a blasphemer and persecutor, but the grace of God had so changed his life that he became a minister of Jesus Christ, preaching the very truths that before he had sought to destroy (1 Timothy 1:12–15).
Special Section: Can You Prove the Bible is True?
The change in our own hearts is one of the most compelling evidences we can give of the Bible’s truth. Sharing true stories of transformed lives has been a church staple since Christ sent the demoniac of Gadara back home to “tell what great things God has done for you” (Luke 8:39).
History is full of memorable conversion stories, and it would be good to learn a few of them, along with some powerful modern testimonies. One of my own personal favorites is John Bunyan, the seventeenth-century Baptist preacher and author of the bestseller The Pilgrim’s Progress. His autobiography Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners has been called one of the greatest autobiographies ever written.
Grace Abounding is Bunyan’s personal testimony. His unfailing honesty grips the reader as he describes his life before conversion. Bunyan is unsparing on himself, writing that he was such a horrid blasphemer that even notoriously wicked people were fearful to associate with him. He recalls his abject terror while ringing the church bell fearing that it would fall and crush him because of his wickedness.
However, the title of the book relates its message. While Bunyan’s sin was great, God’s grace in Christ was greater. Although we must examine the details to grasp fully the transforming power of God’s grace in any person’s life, a brief illustration or two often suffices to make the point.
In a moving paragraph, we encounter these arresting words from one who previously had been a blasphemer against Christ: “And now I found . . . that I loved Christ dearly: O! methought my soul cleaved unto Him, my affections cleaved unto Him; I felt love to Him as hot as fire.”
Or the following: “Those scriptures that I saw nothing in before . . . shine upon me. Jesus Christ also was never more real . . . than now; here I have seen and felt Him indeed.”
Not only did God transform the life of Bunyan, He called him to minister the Word of God. What was the character of his ministry? He longed to see others born again through Christ.
He professed, “In my preaching I have really been in pain, and have, as it were, travailed to bring forth children to God; neither could I be satisfied unless some fruits did appear in my work.”
Like millions before and after him, John Bunyan experienced the lifechanging power of God’s Word personally. No wonder he entitled his autobiography Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. Bunyan, like the apostle Paul, never lost the wonder of God’s transforming grace.
All that is required for any of us to experience that wonder is to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:9), and nobody who has done so has ever been disappointed.