How I Was Saved

My salvation came about in an unusual way. No one presented me with the Gospel message, told me about the need for salvation, or explained to me that I needed to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I knew nothing about evangelism rallies or Sunday school and had never been handed a gospel tract. Instead, I was saved after moving thousands of miles from my home, where I picked up and read a book that was completely unconnected to the Gospel.

I grew up in West Berlin, West Germany, before the Berlin Wall came down. At that time West Berlin was an island, surrounded by Soviet-occupied East Germany and kept alive via three corridors defended by the United States, Great Britain and France.

I’ve always believed in God. My family attended the local Evangelische Landeskirche, the Lutheran Church of Germany, where I was baptized as an infant and later confirmed. I believed Jesus Christ to be God, who “died for the sins of the whole world.” Therefore, unless you were a very evil person, such as Hitler or an axe murderer, you were saved.

My understanding of Jesus was also muddied by the political climate in the church at that time. I remember the local pastor delivering politically-charged sermons that compared Jesus Christ to Marxist revolutionaries and anti-Vietnam student leaders such as Rudi Dutschke and Fritz Teufel.

Some time later I began going on my own to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ged├Ąchtnis Church in the heart of the city. It was always open, day or night, a place where I could be closer to God and pray for his help and protection.

Then, an unthinkable tragedy occurred in my family. Despite my pleas to God for help, my father was abruptly taken away and my life changed forever. My grief and depression eventually gave way to anger and rebellion toward God for allowing this tragedy to happen.

I decided to leave medical school to pursue a career in the arts. After attending acting school in Germany, I made the big leap to Hollywood, where I studied to be a film actor. It was here, in this most unexpected of places, that God got hold of me. He let me come to the end of myself, then spoke in a way that was tailor-made for me.

When I first got to Hollywood, I purchased a book at the local Samuel French bookstore that gave advice on how to make it as an actor in Hollywood. Included in its reference section was a large recommended reading list, which included a title called The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale. Somewhere along the line, I also bought a copy of this book.

I read the “How To” book right away. Peale’s book I didn’t read until four years later, after I happened to see it sitting on a bookshelf. While I found Peale’s call to think positively a good idea, I thought it to be somewhat simplistic. His quotes from the Bible, however, jumped out at me.

I decided to look up the quotes myself. This led me to begin reading the Bible, something that hadn’t occurred to me before. What I discovered was a book quite different from the one I’d expected after reading Peale. For example, Peale says nothing about the last book of the Bible, the part in which the earth is destroyed and the coming judgment of mankind is foretold–not exactly uplifting to someone who’s not a follower of Christ.

As a matter of fact, I became quite depressed after reading this story of impending doom. So I ventured once more to the local bookstore and picked up a a book written by Tim LaHaye called How To Win Over Depression. The book pointed out that depression can only be conquered through healing of the spiritual being.

But how is this done? Fortunately, the book provided me with the answer, one contained in "The Four Spiritual Laws," by Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Since I'm a very visual yet systematic person, the simple step-by- step explanation paired with the illustrations of the separation between God and man with Jesus as the bridge, and the two circles–one with the Self on the throne of life, the other with Christ on the throne of life–made me immediately understand the gospel. At once the scales fell from my eyes. I dropped to my knees and prayed earnestly the prayer that followed the four spiritual laws.

I believe I was saved at that moment. Soon thereafter I began attending a church in Hollywood, where I learned much more of God’s saving grace and started to fellowship with other believers. That was the beginning of my incredible journey as a follower of Jesus Christ.

The Four Spiritual Laws by Dr. Bill Bright

Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws that govern your relationship with God.

God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.

God's Love
"God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16, NIV).

God's Plan

[Christ speaking] "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly"[that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10).

Why is it that most people are not experiencing that abundant life?


Man is sinful and separated from God.
Therefore, he cannot know and experience
God's love and plan for his life.

Man is Sinful
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). 
Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

Man Is Separated
"The wages of sin is death" [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).

This diagram illustrates that God is holy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion-but he inevitably fails.

The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf...

Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin.
Through Him you can know and experience
God's love and plan for your life.

He Died In Our Place
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

He Rose from the Dead
"Christ died for our sins... He was buried... He was raised on the third day,according to the Scriptures... He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred..."

(1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

He Is the Only Way to God
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes tothe Father but through Me'" (John 14:6)

This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

It is not enough just to know these three laws... 

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord;
then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives.

We Must Receive Christ

"As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name"
(John 1:12).

We Receive Christ Through Faith
"By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as result of works that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
(Read John 3:1-8.)

We Receive Christ Through Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3:20).

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience.We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:

Self-Directed Life
S-Self is on the throne
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is outside the life
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by self, often resulting in discord and frustration

Christ-Directed Life
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)
-Christ is in the life and on the throne
S-Self is yielding to Christ,
resulting in harmony with God's plan
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by Christ,
resulting in harmony with God's plan

Which circle best represents your life?

Which circle would you like to have represent your life?

The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You Can Receive Christ Right Now by Faith Through Prayer
(Prayer is talking with God)

God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, I invite you to pray this prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

Now that you have received Christ

Copyrighted 2007 by Bright Media Foundation and Campus Crusade for Christ.

All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Permission for use from the publisher
Campus Crusade for Christ, 375 Highway 74 South, Suite A, Peachtree City, GA 30269

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