By Dr. Rebecca Quam
Meet Nicole! Nicole is a cheerful, enthusiastic participant in our Acts 29 witnessing group at the North-West University campus in Mafikeng, South Africa. She is also active in our Bible study and Sunday evening house church. After three years in Acts 29, she is now one of our student trainers, helping other students gain confidence in sharing the gospel.
Going back three years, Nicole was brought to Acts 29 by her friend, Hope. Nicole regularly attended church, read her Bible, and prayed. However, as she learned how to share the gospel using Romans 6:23 in “one verse witnessing” and to explain the ABC’s (Accept we are sinners, Believe in Christ’s death on the cross, and Confess He is Lord of your life), Nicole realized that she had never personally done the ABC’s. She thought she was a Christian because she was doing the “Christian” things, but she had never put her trust in Christ and accepted his forgiveness and Lordship in her life. So, she accepted, believed, and confessed Christ and has been passionate about the gospel ever since.
The first part of Nicole’s story is common here in South Africa. Going to church, praying, and listening to gospel music is cultural and the church appears to be flourishing. But when you dig below the surface, there are few who have roots.
When we visit students in the dorms, most say they are Christians and are happy for us to come in and share a verse with them. A definite blessing! But when we chat with them about how they came to be a Christian, they speak only of life-long church attendance and prayer. Almost none speak of a time they repented of their sins and accepted Christ as Lord of their lives.
We share Romans 6:23 with them and love to do follow up studies on basic Christian topics, like forsake all, assurance of salvation, baptism, church, etc., but I am often concerned whether they are truly rooted in their faith or if it is merely superficial or cultural? As in the parable of the sower and seeds that fell on rocky ground, I worry that, when faced with difficulties, they will realize that their “faith” lacks roots and substance.
Because of this, my passion here on campus is helping students send down deep roots of faith that will keep them stable when troubles blow. The more they understand about who God is and what He has done, the deeper their roots grow. The more they share the gospel with others and see its life changing nature, the deeper their roots grow. The more they shift their focus from their own lives and struggles to God’s love for others during outreaches, the deeper their roots grow.
How deep are your roots? Have you done the ABC’s? Is your Christianity based on what you do or on what He has done? If you are not sure, please take the step today of growing roots in Christ. Realize that saving faith can only be based on what He has done. Accept your own rebellion against God, believe in Christ and His death and resurrection, and decide to follow Him as Lord of your life. I pray that your faith grows roots deep enough to withstand the storms.