One of my roommates began discussing the Bible with me, which was not a subject I really wanted to pursue, even though I regularly attended church. I didn't know much about this book, but I could sense that taking it seriously would be the end of my freedom to run my own life. However, I enjoyed arguing with my roommate, which led me to read the Bible to see whether I could somehow prove him wrong. This confirmed all my worst fears: I was a sinner. I was meant to have a personal relationship with God, but this was impossible unless my sin was paid for. Only Jesus' death on the cross in my place, not doing good works or religious observance, could pay for my sin. I had to receive by faith a brand-new nature; Jesus called this being "born again".
Despite my arguing, on the inside I knew my roommate was right, and this created a serious problem for me. There was no doubt that I was a sinner, because that takes only one sin. I could also see that there was no way around the death and resurrection of Christ: "No man comes to the Father except by me", Jesus said. However, despite this gracious offer of mercy, I knew that if I took God up on it and asked him to save me, then I could no longer be my own boss.
So there was war between my pride and what I had to admit about God and about myself. I held out for a while, but finally I could not dodge the truth any longer, and gave my life to Christ shortly after college. Yes, I did give up control of my own life, but I was never qualified for the job in the first place! Now I have the riches of the Bible, the promise of heaven and above all God's own presence through the risen Lord Jesus.
There isn't enough space here to tell all that this has meant in every area of my life over these 25+ years. There have been times of blessing, and sometimes the way has been hard or I have failed, but God has never failed to keep his promises to me. Today I serve as a college professor of mathematics. God has blessed me with a lovely wife and four precious daughters; having children of my own has given me a whole new insight into what it cost God to pay for my sin.
My life changed when I began to take seriously Jesus' claims on my life. Here are some statements that I once confronted, from the book of Romans in the Bible:
"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." (6:23)
"But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (5:8)
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (10:13)