At EBC, we require applicants to submit a written testimony for two reasons.
First, we require a testimony because the Church of Jesus Christ consists of “visible saints,” that is, Christians who believe in Christ inwardly and confess Christ outwardly. As Paul says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9).
Second, we require a testimony because Christians are “visible saints” not only in their words, or their profession of faith, but also in their life of obedience and repentance. The grace of God transforms the life of a sinner, causing them to be born again (regeneration), and causing them to grow in holiness (sanctification). The Scriptures say, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! ” (2 Corinthians 5:17) And, “Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:20)
As you write your testimony, you should keep those two things in mind:
First, confess your faith in Jesus Christ.
- What do you believe about Jesus Christ? Whom do you say that Jesus Christ is?
- What has Jesus Christ done? What do you receive through him or in him?
- How did you come to know the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ?
Second, describe the change that you have experienced.
- Speak about conviction of sin, i.e., the realization that you are a sinner in the sight of a holy God and are in need of a Savior. (It is not necessary to identify a precise moment or day in which you were converted. Not everyone’s experience is like that.)
- Briefly, describe what “things are passed away.” What thoughts and behaviors had ruled over you? How was your life marked by wickedness, before?
- Also, briefly describe what “things are become new.” What changes show that you are being led by a new Master and a new life? What has changed in your thoughts, behaviors, and relationships?
- Write in your own words. This is Christ’s work, but Christ’s work in you. Use your words and your understanding to tell others what has happened to you and why you want to join EBC.
- Write specifically, but be prudent about the details of what you share (regarding your sin) so as not to cause unnecessary temptation.
- Be brief. Write a plain and simple testimony of your faith in Christ and conversion to him, not a condensed biography.