Who We Are: Sam

I was brought up in Glasgow and on leaving school I served an engineering apprenticeship on the Clydeside. Then at the age of 21, I joined the Merchant navy and sailed around the world for about 7 years. Towards the end of this time I met my wife, a young Airdrie woman from a Christian family. We were married in the church where she had been a regular attender with her family since childhood. Although I had never been to church before, it seemed natural to me that I too should begin attending church.

During the next 17 years attending church my experiences were that Christians were nice people and that church services varied; from being interesting, hard to understand, and sometimes quite challenging in terms of how I should live my life. However, what I heard about needing to become a Christian didn’t apply to me because I was a good man, a good husband, and success, money, and power were all that really mattered in life. God, if he existed, was supposed to be a loving God. I had done many wrong things in my life, but I still considered myself to be a good man and everybody liked me (so I thought). How could God not love me, and if there was a heaven, he would surely let me in.

Then one day the Bible, which I usually found very difficult to understand, drew me up sharply. Romans chapter 3 verses 23 and 24 said, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Suddenly the fact that I had committed what the Bible called sins became real to me. I prayed, and in my mind’s eye, I saw Jesus on the cross dying, but it was for me. I asked his forgiveness and believed in him as my Saviour and Lord.

Now my life has completely changed in so many wonderful ways. Now the Bible is alive to me and God’s Holy Spirit testifies to me that it is true and that it contains many precious promises for my life.

Looking back this change came about by my going to church and hearing God’s Word faithfully proclaimed.
Sam Bell