5 Misconceptions and Truths About Salvation in Christ

New-creation-in-ChristI realized recently that my conversion from atheism to Christianity was so unbelievably different than anything I had expected as to be worthy of recounting. The misconceptions that I held about being a Christian and about what salvation was like were completely opposite from what I experienced. I decided that revealing what my previous thoughts about finding Christ and what the realities were would be beneficial to those of you who are either atheists, those who are considering Christianity and for Christians who might not understand why Christianity is so difficult for the non-believer to understand and accept. This list is by no means complete, but contains the most striking differences for me.

  1. Belief was not a gradual thing. One of the biggest surprises for me was the fact that I expected that there would be some type of gradual understanding that would lead ultimately to an “AHA moment.” I believed that as I learned more and more about Christianity that eventually the puzzle pieces would start falling into place and eventually it would just start making sense. This is not the case nor do I believe that it is ever the case. The moment before I accepted Christ into my life I was just as far from believing in Him as I’d ever been. I knew that something was driving me and leading me to something, but a belief in God and Christ as a necessity in my life was as far from my mind as it could possibly be. I went from complete and total ignorance to complete and total belief in an eye blink. There’s no way to explain it, only that I know this to be true. For those of you who are waiting for your apprehensions and your doubts to go away, you will wait forever. Doubt is a requirement for faith. To accept those doubts and still have faith is the definition of faith.It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. – 1 Corinthians 15:52
  1. Being a Christian does not make you sinless. There is an incorrect perception among those in the atheist community that Christians believe that they are without sin. They believe that being a Christian makes a believer think that they are somehow morally superior to those who don’t believe in God. I learned quickly that my sinful nature did not go away only that I was now convicted by it. I realized that to my core that I am woefully inadequate and that Christ is an absolute necessity to help me get right with God. The difference between the believer and the unbeliever is that we know that what we do is harmful both to ourselves and to others and that the power of forgiveness through Christ is the only way to the Father. We all fall short of the glory of God and nothing we do makes us good enough. We are all sinners and having faith in Christ does not change that reality. We might be right with God, but we still all live in a fallen world.For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. – Galatians 5:17
  1. I was worried that I wouldn’t be allowed to do what I wanted to do. One of the worries that I faced and that many non-believers who are looking at Christianity face is an idea that we will have to give up the things that we enjoy. We will no longer be able to listen to the music we like, watch the movies that we enjoy or party with our friends. This was one of the biggest surprises for me. It is not that I am NOT allowed to do it, but that I do not want to do it. Even the sin that I still commit have no joy in them anymore. Movies that are gratuitous are now uncomfortable and TV shows that make fun of God make me angry. At the end of the day it is not about what I am NOT allowed to do, but what I want to do. It is a matter of becoming a new creation.
  1. You are in fact a completely new person. I can’t stress enough the unbelievable changes in my life when I accepted Jesus. If anything should help me maintain my faith it is the fact that the person I was the second before I accepted Christ and the person I was the second after are so completely polar opposite as to be amazing. Prior to my salvation I was completely fine with abortion, with gay marriage and that everyone should be able to do whatever they wanted to do no matter how self destructive. I was angry and bitter, lonely and without purpose. After finding Christ all of those things change. This was not a gradual thing, but an instantaneous event. One moment you are completely fine with your sin and then the other you are completely and totally convicted by them. At one moment you believe that you are a good person and then the next you understand how unbelievably wretched you are and how much you need an advocate to make you right with God.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
  1. There is a honeymoon period. It is almost cliché for a born again Christian to be on fire. Constantly in the word, listening to podcasts about the Bible and Christian history and talking to everyone they know about how wonderful being a Christian is. This is what I call my honeymoon period. It was an amazing time of discovery and of newness, but it only lasted about 6 months. Just like in marriage, growing in your faith requires making the transition from this exciting period into a mature faith. The good news is that with learning and maturing comes a deeper gratitude and more understanding about what being a Christian actually means. You are now able to live like a Christian and not just be excited about being one.

wpid-wp-1426854582640.jpegWhen I first became a Christian I quickly realized that I knew nothing about what that meant prior to being one. Even though I had been through small group and even attended church once in a while, my misconceptions were many and they were complete. I realized quickly that it wasn’t about loving the gifts that Christ gave me but having a complete and total love for Christ himself. The fact that Christ would die on the cross for me in order to turn me from a sinner who justifiably deserves eternal judgment into a son of God who is blameless is still something that I can hardly believe. If that isn’t surprising, I don’t know what is.

Michael Davis
Senior Editor of Veterans to Christ. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.