Can’t Be Earned: Edyta
- Real lives at CCD
Edyta is a small-town girl from northern Poland. She grew up in a nominal Roman Catholic family, as was quite common in Poland. While growing up, she was fully aware of the Catholic teaching that people have to work to be saved from eternal punishment. She believed that she had to be a good person to be saved.
Small town ways tended to make her suspicious and on-guard against anything new. Other churches met the same scrutiny so when a group of Baptist Christians came to her town, she thought of them as a cult. Some of her friends began attending the Baptist youth meetings often, but she refused to go near the ‘cult’.
Soon Edyta decided to put her friends in their place. She would be a “good Catholic” and prove the Baptists wrong from the Bible. She was sixteen and although she was ‘Christian’, she had never really read the Bible. As she tried to find ways to show that her friends were being misled by cultists, Edyta realized that she couldn’t. Very quickly, she realized that she could NOT be saved from her sins by anything she did. She realized that salvation was not from works like the Catholic church had always taught her, but by grace only. Jesus had died to take away her sins.
Soon, Edyta and a number of her friends were studying the Gospel of John together and growing in their knowledge of God’s grace. She was baptised about a year later and joined the small Baptist church there – the ‘cult’ as she had once thought of it. They were a busy little church, often holding children’s meetings or conferences or going to other conferences, etc. The atmosphere of that church primed her for continuing that work in her gap year. After finishing high school, Edyta spent a year in missionary training, which was the first time she moved from her small hometown. She spent a few months training in Ukraine before spending six months in the Philippines.
After her gap year, she moved on to university, living in the same city as her future husband, although she did not meet him until much recently when he no longer lived there! While at uni, Edyta tended to stay quite busy with church and the Christian group at the uni, but there was one time in particular when that busy schedule became quiet. She was keenly aware that she wasn’t “doing anything for God.” This affected her so deeply that she became very low-spirited. Her Catholic background was influencing her. Even now, she says her background is “always with her.” She felt once again that she needed to earn her salvation. She spoke with her pastor about it and he brought her back to the Gospel, reminding her that Jesus had done everything. She didn’t need to be busy in church to be saved. She needed to trust Jesus.
Jesus’ last words on the cross are very important to her. “It is finished!” He said. Jesus has done EVERYTHING for salvation . . . for Edyta’s salvation. It means that her past sins, her present sins, and her future sins are ALL forgiven through Jesus. God sees Edyta as clean, because He is looking at Jesus. It’s the same for everyone who is trusting in Jesus! Forgiven! Clean! She says she needs to be reminded of that often because us humans are good at forgetting. Remember: it is finished!
It has been many years since Edyta set out to prove her friends wrong and she is still trusting in Jesus’ grace. She recently married one of our church’s pastors and moved to the UK, just as the country was shutting for the first lockdown. It hasn’t been as hard for her as we might think because God had been preparing her for this. Through her time in other countries and knowing international friends, she has sampled different cultures and languages. She had never thought she would learn English, but she had to use it in Ukraine and the Philippines, which led her to study it further. God had gone before her, preparing the way for this recent big change at such a difficult time. He is faithful.
And remember: you can’t earn His good favour. He gives it freely.
– by E.M. Harding