Chapter 4

Revisiting the Faith

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” —Acts 4:12

To answer these questions, I revisited my original decision to follow Christ, and went back to the Bible.

IS JESUS REAL? As I love reading, it didn’t take me long to discover that many historical records show that Jesus did indeed live on earth about 2,000 years ago, and that he was crucified and died. But many of them didn’t say much about Jesus’s various claims: that he is the Son of God, that we can be reconciled with God by believing in him, and that he rose from the dead three days after dying. I had to consider all these claims and decide whether Jesus was telling the truth or not. Something the Christian author C. S. Lewis said, however, struck me. He observed that for Jesus to make those claims, he either had to be a liar, a madman, or exactly what he said he was—the Son of God. As I read the Bible and other works, I came to the conclusion that Jesus was telling the truth: he was the Son of God, he came down to earth to die for us, he was resurrected, and by believing in him we can receive eternal life.

I was also moved by the depth of God’s love. In the Bible, I read that God created the world because he is love, and he wanted to share it. He created humanity to have a relationship with us, but we rebelled. Our disobedience resulted in sin and separation from God. Although we deserved to die, God sent his Son to die in our place, so that we could be forgiven and return to his side. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

IS THE BIBLE RELIABLE? As I continued scrutinizing the Bible for answers about the nature of Jesus, why he came down to earth, what he did for us, and why we need to believe in him, I realized my newfound faith rested entirely on what the Bible said, but could I trust the Bible?

So I began to read up on the Bible itself. That’s when I discovered that it is not a single work by a single author. Rather, it is made up of 66 books written by some 40 people over a span of more than 1,500 years. This should have resulted in a wide range of clashing opinions and contradicting descriptions. Yet I was amazed to find that all 66 books of the Bible are consistent and united in their message. They tell of the same God, his love for all mankind, and his absolute holiness. And they all point to Jesus, the only one who can save us and enable us to have a relationship with God.

I also found that the Bible has historical foundations; many of its accounts about major events in history have been corroborated by records and artifacts.

As I thought about all this, I could see that although the Bible was written by some 40 people, God was its real Author. The apostle Paul reminded his protégé Timothy that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 timothy 3:16 nasb).

WHY SHOULD I BELEIVE? So Jesus is real and the Bible is reliable. Even so, why should I believe in him?

Having studied science in school, I found that I could better understand the Christian faith by comparing the reality of Christ to the concept of gravity. Whether I choose to believe it or not, I am under the influence of gravity—no matter what I do, it will always pull me back to earth. I could accept it and live by its rules—or pretend it doesn’t exist and suffer the consequences.

In the same way, I saw the truth of Jesus affects me whether I believed it or not. Therefore I had to believe. It wasn’t a case of choosing which religion or leader to follow—if Jesus was truly the only way to salvation and eternal life, then I had to believe in him.

John 1:3 says, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” How could I not follow the source of my life? How could I turn my back on the Creator who sought a relationship with me and my family?

As I revisited my decision to follow God, I remembered that I was not doing it naively. I understood the message of the gospel and knew what and why I believed. What’s more, my conviction also led to commitment: knowing that only Jesus could save me, I decided to commit myself to him as my Lord and Savior, pledging my life and absolute loyalty to him. It was a decision made from the head as well as the heart.

The answers the Bible contained not only affirmed my conviction, but also helped me think about what it meant to be a Christian. I wanted to show my parents that believing in Jesus did not mean turning my back on our Chinese roots and heritage. Rather, it was about acknowledging Jesus as Lord of my life and looking at life through his perspective.

In following God, I remained a Chinese and a Hakka; I was still able to appreciate and honor my culture, traditions, and roots, except for those aspects that distracted me from following Jesus.