Today I would like to post another quotation from early Christian history. Consider Augustine as he retells his conversion experience. If you have not read the Confessions then I strongly advise you to. There is much more to this story, but this will suffice as a brief summary. Augustine’s big battle with sin was always Lust/Sex. He had a concubine and finally sent her away as he planned to marry, but he shortly returned to other women. According to him, it is not until this day that he finally gets a glimpse of the glory of the Gospel and is forever changed. Augustine goes on to be a monk (ie. Vow of poverty and celibacy). The change in this man is simply amazing. This literally sex-crazed man will be forever transformed into one of the greatest names in Christian history.
Heb. 13:7 “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.”
I probed the hidden depths of my soul and wrung its pitiful secrets from it, and when I gathered them all before the eyes of my heart, a great storm broke within me, brining with it a great deluge of tears … For I felt that I was still enslaved by my sins, and in my misery I kept crying, ‘How long shall I go on saying “Tomorrow, tomorrow”? Why not now? Why not make an end of my ugly sins at this moment?’
I was asking myself these questions, weeping all the while with the most bitter sorrow in my heart, when all at once I heard the sing-song voice of a child in a nearby house. Whether it was the voice of a boy or girl I cannot say, but again and again repeated the chorus, ‘take it an dread, take it and read.’ At this I looked up, thinking hard whether there was any kind of game in which children used to chant words like these, but I could not remember ever hearing them before. I stemmed my flood of tears and stood up, telling myself that this could only be God’s command to open my book of Scripture and read the first passage on which my eyes should fall. For I had heard the story of Antony, and I remembered how he had happened to go into a church while the Gospel was being read and had taken it as an instruction addressed to himself when he heard the words, ‘Go home and sell all that belongs to you. Give it to the poor, and so the treasure you have shall be in heaven; then come back and follow me.’ By this message from God he had at once been converted.
So I hurried back to the place where Alypius was sitting, for when I stood up to move away I had put down the book containing Paul’s Letters. I seized it and opened it, and in silence I read the first passage on which my eyes fell: ‘No orgies or drunkenness, no immorality or indecency, no fighting or jealousy. Take up the weapons of the Lord Jesus Christ; and stop giving attention to your sinful nature, to satisfy its desires.’ I had no wish to read more and no need to do so. For in an instant, I came to the end of the sentence, it was as though the light of faith flooded into my heart and all the darkness of doubt was dispelled.”
Augustine’s Confessions VIII
In Christ alone,