How a Buddhist became a Christian
I once met a young lady from Vietnam who would not become a Christian. She said she could never live a good enough life. She believed that to be a Christian you had to be perfect and act perfectly. How could I answer her? She said that Christians always flicked from book to book in the Bible and she found that confusing.
So there was my brief: using only one book in the Bible, prove that God doesn't demand perfection. I needed to heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit to manage this because I didn't know how to answer her.
We started with Romans 1:29-31 where there is a list of every ghastly sin known to mankind: greed, hate, envy, murder, quarrelling, deception, malicious behaviour, and gossip, insolence, pride, boasting, disobedience to parents, promise breaking, cruelty and mercilessness.
I showed her that God said that she didn't need to be guilty of any of those things to be a sinner. “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God” (Rom. 3:10-11 NLT). In case she missed the point, I added, “Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (v23).
She accepted that but argued that there was no reason, then, for God to save a sinner. I showed her that “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8). It was only because of an overwhelming love for us that God went to enormous lengths to save us even though we can’t manage to be sin-free.
She was puzzled and wondered if she had to do something in order to receive forgiveness of her sins. We opened the Bible to Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” She was surprised to see that she just had to receive her salvation as a gift.
She asked me if there was a complicated path to becoming a Christian? In short, no there wasn’t – it was a matter of a simple confession that Jesus is your Lord and Saviour. “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.… Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:9-10,13).
She looked at me with surprise. She told me that she “got” it and the next question that she asked was an exciting one—“Could you please pray with me to become a Christian?”
It's moments like that when the Spirit leads you, that make life wonderful in the Spirit.