Hi, I am Anu Mathew. I was born in 1987 in a nominally Christian family. My parents are from South India but we lived in Mumbai. We were members of the Marthoma Church, which is a break-away group from the Oriental Orthodox (Jacobite) church of South India.
As a child, I joined my parents in attending services at their church. The worship consisted of long liturgies recited in old Malayalam mixed with Aramaic. I didn’t understand a thing. However, from a very young age I was convinced that the God of the Bible was the Living, True God; His words were true and the Lord Jesus would return to earth. I attended church regularly and prayed daily but at the same time I was a worldly person – jealous, egoistic, selfish and not helpful. There was no meaning or real Christ-like character in my life.
In December 2010 I went to my native place to attend my cousin’s wedding; there I was having a general conversation with my uncle when he asked me about my personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Well”, I said, “I go to church every Sunday; I read my Bible and pray regularly”
“All these things that you're doing are not enough” he said, “These things do not make you a Christian in the Biblical sense, a disciple of Christ”
My uncle was a true believer in Christ. Using Romans 10:9-13 as his text, he explained to me the need to confess my sins and receive Christ as my savior. This was what God expected each human being to do. We are sinners, and thus unacceptable in His sight. It is only through Jesus Christ that we are cleansed from our sins and made acceptable to God.
I realized that I was living a life of double standards; what I was doing was wrong. I immediately prayed, confessing my sins; I received Jesus Christ as my savior. What a joy it was to become a true child of God!
After receiving salvation I remained in my home church. But as I grew closer to God I understood that something was missing. There was a feeling of incompleteness; I wanted to do something for my God but I realized that my home church was just a kind of social gathering for its members – not a set-up where service to God was encouraged; moreover, there was no spiritual strengthening and no spiritual nourishment for my soul that was now thirsting to know God more and more. I kept praying to God so that I could come closer to Him and grow spiritually. God opened many doors for me; I got to know many others who were born again believers (biblical Christians). Some of these new friends were spiritually mature and God blessed me through them. I learned that the Lord Jesus wants His disciples to be part of an autonomous local church made up of believers – something my home church was not. As I studied the scriptures diligently, I understood the need for baptism. I understood what kind of life a true Christian should lead and the importance of proclaiming the gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ. Continuing in my home church after God had revealed so much to me would amount to being a carnal Christian; I was convinced that the carnal Christian life was a futile one; I was sure that I didn’t want to live that kind of life. So I made up my mind; I was baptized and I joined a Biblical church near my workplace. My parents were upset; they were totally against my decision but I kept praying and God gave me the strength to overcome every hindrance. Today, the feeling of incompleteness has gone and all my questions have been answered; now my life has meaning and a purpose.
It is now more than two years since I got saved. I am so grateful to God for saving me in His grace and answering all my prayers. Truly my God is the Living God and I am indebted to Him forever.