Gospel Relevance

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St. Augustine’s Testimony

While preaching at this year’s Passion 2012 Conference, John Piper said that, after the Apostle Paul, St. Augustine has had more influence for Christianity than anyone else. Shocking words, to say the least, but what is more shocking (and encouraging) is Augustine’s testimony on how he came to faith in Christ.

He tells the story in his book Confessions, an autobiography written around AD 400. He had been listening to the preaching of Bishop Ambrose and, coming under great conviction of sin, met the Lord in an incredible way. He tells the story below:

So was I speaking and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when, lo! I heard from a neighboring house a voice, as of a boy or girl, I know not, chanting, and oft repeating, “Take up and read; Take up and read.” Instantly, my countenance altered . . . I arose; interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the Book {The New Testament}, and read the first chapter I should find . . . I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: “Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh” . . . instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light . . . infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away.

The Holy Spirit, speaking through a mere child, spoke directly to Augustine and changed his life forever. God would later use Augustine to change many lives forever.

What an incredible testimony.

You may also like:

  1. How R.C. Sproul’s Words Changed My Life 
  2. Tim Keller on The 3 Biggest Idols in Western Churches Today 
  3. On Dealing With Rejection 

About David Qaoud

David Qaoud (MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary) is associate pastor of Bethesda Evangelical Church in St. Louis, Missouri, and founder of gospelrelevance.com. His work has appeared on The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, and Banner of Truth. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and son. Learn more.

5 Replies

  1. Reblogged this on Captivated by Christ and commented:
    If you haven’t heard this, it is well worth reading. If you have, it’s worth reading again!!

  2. Rocky

    My impression of Augustine:

    Positive: He was a great thinker and devoted to God.

    Negative: He advocated dominionism and supersessionism, which afflicts the Prostestant Church today. He was a promoter of sexual repression and false guilt which has ruined many lives ever since. As I google this, I see there is at least one major address given that seems to exonerate him of the latter charges, so perhaps those better informed would like to comment on that.

  3. Hi, David. I see you are a follower of Christ, as I am. And also like St. Augustine. Thanks for the like on my post.

    -Alex