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  • Dr. Jim Broffitt

Sanctified: Testimony by Dr. Jim Broffitt

By: Dr. Jim Broffitt

As a young boy I attended a Methodist church and Sunday school. In Sunday school we learned to say the books of the bible in order, that is, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and so on. We had a list of memory verses, and when you recited one to the Sunday school teacher, you got a sticker. I was baptized (by sprinkling) and joined the church – I don’t remember how old I was, but I believe I was somewhere around 8 or 9, perhaps a bit older. I

could recite John 3:16 and other verses, but I don’t think I ever seriously thought about what those words meant. I wasn’t trying to be rebellious; I was doing what my Sunday school teachers and parents wanted, but whatever I was taught did not sink in.

Romans 10:9

9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

It’s not just saying the words, a firm belief is required for salvation. I said the words, but I did not have that heartfelt belief. I was a kid, and I probably didn’t think deeply about anything.

As an adult, I believed God existed because I could not conceive that the universe with its vastness and that life with its amazing complexity came into existence without a creator. The bible speaks to this:

Romans 1:20

20 For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.

In other words, people have no excuse to deny God’s existence. We see the evidence, so we should believe.

Although I believed in God, I had little understanding of Jesus and no real commitment to Him. I accepted a position at the University of Iowa in 1970, and got married in 1975. My wife and I did not attend church. Our first child, a son, was born in 1979. We planned to teach him the difference between right and wrong at home, but we thought it would be good reinforcement for him to also get that moral training outside of our home. So, when he was still a baby, we decided to find a church. We visited several churches in Iowa City and Coralville and landed at Bethany Baptist Church (now named River Community Church), mainly because the pastor at the time (Bob Petersen) was such a great Bible teacher and preacher. In fact, I remember my wife saying that if I’m going to have a religious experience, it’s going to be at this church.

The first sermon I heard Pastor Bob preach was like getting hit between the eyes with a 2x4. It made me sit up and pay attention. He was preaching through the book of Hebrews. I learned that we are saved by grace (a free gift from God) and not by good deeds (Ephesians 2:8-10). Our salvation is not based on our goodness but on the goodness of Jesus. Pastor Bob opened my eyes to God's Word, who Jesus is, and what He had done for me. God had me, I was hooked, and I put my faith in Jesus and committed my life to serving Him. In my life I have done things I’m ashamed of, but I have been forgiven through the blood of Christ.

A major influence on my decision to follow Christ was coming to believe that the bible is truly God’s Word. There are two pieces of evidence that were convincing. The first is fulfilled prophecies. More than 300 prophecies from the Old Testament about the Messiah were fulfilled by Jesus. There were 400 years between the end of the Old Testament and the birth of Jesus. So, those prophecies were written at least 400 years before Jesus was born! Here are two examples: Zechariah 9:9b and Psalm 22:16, 18. No human could come close to predicting things that accurately! Think about it. Could you accurately predict what will happen 400 years from now? I don’t think so. Those prophecies had to be inspired by God. The second piece of evidence are eyewitness testimonies. For three years Peter, John, and Matthew (and the other disciples) traveled with Jesus. They were taught by Him, and they witnessed His miracles, His life, His death, and His resurrection, and they wrote about these things. A few examples: 2 Peter 1:16, Acts 2:32 (Acts was written by Luke, but this is a quote from a sermon Peter gave at Pentecost as recorded by Luke.), 1 John 1:1-2.

Asking Jesus to be my savior was the best decision I ever made! Since then, the church has become a large part of my life. I am always eager to share the gospel with others when God gives me the opportunity. I continue to study the Bible to deepen my understanding and faith. Sometimes the sanctification process of becoming more like Christ seems to be two steps forward and one step backward because I am still a sinner. But I know that when I truly repent and ask God for forgiveness, the sacrifice of Christ is sufficient to cleanse all of my sins. Praise God! In our church I’ve served in various capacities. Currently I’m an elder and I’m on the Greeting/Ushering Team, and the Building & Grounds Team. Outside of church I’m a member of Gideons International.

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