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Ryan Gilbert

Ryan Gilbert

I grew up in a Christian home, though I often thought of myself as too smart for Christianity. I had many questions about where the Bible came from among other things, and no one seemed to be willing to answer my questions, or even admit that they didn’t know the answers.

This frustrated me. But God started working on my heart using several of the older students in the youth group I attended when I started junior high. Though I had been baptized when I was five years old, it wasn’t until I was 17 that I truly understood the meaning of repentance and faith. At a youth camp in Glorietta, NM, the camp pastor explained the weight of the truth that Christ is LORD. During the first night of that week, I turned from my sin and trusted in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

The biggest thing that I did not understand, until this particular day, was that I could not earn my salvation. Being a good person could not earn me a place with God for eternity. The camp pastor explained sin, and explained that I could do nothing to fix this on my own. Then came Jesus, to live the life we couldn’t live, die on the cross bearing our sins, and rise again defeating death.

The second biggest thing that had not made sense to me was how someone could be saved from their sin simply by acknowledging that Jesus was God. I believed this, so I thought I was saved. But this camp pastor explained that the meaning of “believe” from John 3:16, among other texts, was much more than just an intellectual acknowledgement. He explained that faith and repentance could never be separated, and that Jesus could never be your Savior without being your Lord.

After placing my faith in Christ, my life changed somewhat drastically. I read through the entire Bible in about 2 months. To be honest, I didn’t remember much from what I read, but my understanding of life and the world turned upside down. This life wasn’t about me, but about something much greater. God graciously revealed to me through His Word that there was no greater thing to live for than God’s glory. It wasn’t until three years later, while being mentored by my college minister, that I realized I had not submitted to biblical baptism, since I was not a born-again Christian when I was first baptized. So it was during my sophomore year at TCU that I was baptized at Southcliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX. Ever since God saved me, my life’s trajectory has been aimed toward becoming more and more like Christ.

Ryan Gilbert


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