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Rebekah's Story



Rebekah Hovland's story - birthdays and baptism

Rebekah Hovland was baptized this month at Lake Harriet! Here is her baptism testimony in her own words:

"I've been wanting to be baptized for over a year now. Since I was baptized as an infant and have grown up in a household of faith, I had not felt it necessary to be baptized again.

Until recently. This conviction has changed as I saw the beauty of such proclamation in many of my friend's lives. A moment I wanted for my own story. But it is not just a moment, it is a decision that I want to follow Jesus Christ with my whole life.

I was reminded for my need of a Savior on my birthday, actually. I despise my birthday, and I never really knew why until this year. I woke up one morning with a heavy conviction and realization that my birthday reminds me, undeniably, that I am deeply self-centered and arrogant.

My whole life, I thought I was good at being good. Maybe I was on the outside, which to a degree was by my own works. But when it came to who I was deep down, I could not change it. On my birthday, I finally came to a point in knowing that I am a sinner, and I have not overcome it. And God wanted to redeem my birthday.

You see, I've been waiting for a moment where I felt I had dramatically changed to be baptized. That I somehow had to be more righteous than I already was. Through the gentleness of God bringing me to repentance (Rom. 2:4), I realize that I cannot be any more righteous in my own doing, or even at all. Righteousness is only found in Him.

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the law and prophets bear witness to it - the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:21-23).

I want to receive the gift of His grace and need Him to wash me from the inside out. Like the Pharisees, not only the outside of the cup, but the inside, where there is greed and self-indulgence (Matt. 23:26). This baptism is not to show anything of my own works, but the work of Christ in me.

The Lord has been so faithful to me - He has led me to a marriage, a home, a career, a church, a life that I would have never chosen and is better than I could have ever imagined. He has proven His trust to me. Like a father to his children, He gives good things, and He gives the Holy Spirit (Matt. 7:11, Luke 11:12).

Four years ago, I doubted Christianity and spent six months at a Bible school, which rebuilt the foundation that is now my faith in Christ. These past two years, I have been placed with a community a fervent believers in knowing the Word of God and having obedience to it. I have been memorizing chapters of the Bible, studying it with others, and it has changed my life! The Word of God is living and active (Heb. 4.12). He has healed me of depression and loneliness, He has pursued me with purpose and direction, He has loved me with hope and a future, and He has provided peace and JOY beyond my own understanding.

Through the abundance of grace from God (Rom. 5:20), the direction of the Word of Christ (Psa. 119:11), and the conviction which brings repentance from the Holy Spirit, I have new life. And He promises this new life eternally (John 3:16). Jesus said,

Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:31).

Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life (Rom 5:3-4)."

Have a story of God at work in your life? Let the body of Christ know!

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
Psalm 66:16

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Vertical Church St. Paul
55 Victoria Street North
St. Paul, MN 55102

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