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Justified in the Name of Jesus

Emily called herself a Christian but lead a life of homosexuality, drug use, lying, and rebellion. One night, she googled some Bible verses and learned that though God is love, he is also just and righteous, and she gave her life to Him. Read Transcript

My parents divorced when I was four,

but then they both remarried three times.

I lived with my mom until I was 15 years old,

and then I moved in with my dad.

I got in trouble all the time.

I was always the type to push boundaries.

Just whatever the rule, wherever the line was,

I had to take two or three steps ahead of it.

I remember, in junior high, thinking

that I was attracted to girls.

I believed that, OK, if I feel this way, that

must mean I'm gay.

Whenever I was 15, I started seeing someone.

From that moment forward, the war between me and my parents

was on.

So of course, I just pushed harder, rebelled even more.

NARRATOR: At 18, Emily moved out so she

could live the way she wanted.

I was convinced that I was OK.

I viewed it like a civil rights type thing.

I thought I was doing the right thing the whole time,

and believed I was defending my personhood, not just

a behavior.

I never questioned it as being wrong.

At 18, I was no longer afraid of getting in trouble.

I wasn't trying to play nice, I guess, anymore

with it, which caused me to act really, really wild.

I drank a lot, I went to a ton of parties,

and I smoked weed almost every day for some years.

I dated different women, I was so far, so far off.

Like unrecognizable, even to me now.

But I just let myself go, I said, well this is who I am.

NARRATOR: One day, Emily's aunt invited her to a Bible study.

And I was reading about different attributes of God

that I'd never considered.

He no longer looked like this blob in the sky,

he was holy and good and love, but also just.

You know, also righteous.

God grew in my mind, from being this live and let

live figure to a creator who had a purpose

and who was involved and cared about our day to day.

NARRATOR: Even though she tried, Emily

couldn't stop thinking about what

she was learning about God.

I looked to my best friend and I say, hey,

what if they are right?

You know, what if this is true?

She told me, I was killing her high and she left.

And I immediately went and got the book

that I'd been reading in the study.

And that night, I was reading about what the book calls,

a salad bar religion, where you pick and choose

different parts.

Like you can pick some in the Bible,

some New Age stuff, some whatever.

And I realized that that's exactly what I was doing.

That I was combining what I liked,

disregarding what I didn't want.

I Googled verses on homosexuality.

Then I come across 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11.

Do not be deceived, it says neither the sexually immoral,

nor this, nor that, nor those practice homosexuality

nor sin more, will enter the kingdom of heaven.

And it says, and such were some of you.

But you were washed, you were sanctified,

you were justified in the name of the Lord, Jesus.

I realized that I was not a Christian.

I realized I wasn't submitted to him at all.

I realized that my religion was worthless,

because it had no works, it had no anything.

I immediately wanted to obey him,

and wanted my life to look like a life should look.

I didn't know how to even describe anything,

I just said, I can't be gay anymore.

That's all I know how to say.

I can't do it.

I don't know what I'm going to do,

but I know what I can't do anymore.

It's right here.

It's very clear, and that's OK.

I don't need to have anything.

I'm alive, and he's forgiven me, and that's

better than anything.

And I don't deserve it.

When I first got saved, I thought, oh, I should go out

and date a boy.

And that's not the fix.

Of course it's not the fix.

It's God.

It's not jumping from homosexuality

to heterosexuality at all.

It's holiness that he calls us to.

I had to understand my identity has

to be in Christ, not in dating a Christian boy or anything

else like that.

I needed time to grow, you know, and just

understand what Scripture says.

NARRATOR: Emily took advantage of her time

alone, learning more about God and what

it means to be a Christian.

After some time, she met someone.

Ben's mom introduced us.

But he already knew my testimony,

so he already knew everything.

And was totally cool with moving forward with me.

And what's cool about Ben is that he

knows his own need for grace, you know what I mean?

He understands it biblically, which is that we're all broken.

I may have looked more broken, outwardly, than Ben,

but he understands that he is in much need of God

and forgiveness and redemption as I am.

So on the two year anniversary of me getting saved,

Ben and I actually got to marry.

Look at Scripture.

Look at your life and be as fair as you can, and say, do

I look like a redeemed saint?

Someone who battles sin, but someone who has been redeemed?

I still struggle with sin.

I still struggle with different attraction or with a desire

to life.

It's easier, but that doesn't have

to be what my identity's in.

My identity is in him.

I feel loved in that I'm not a slave to it anymore.

He saved me.

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