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The Bible shows us people who turn from their old lives and embrace new lives in Christ. But what if you can’t identify this moment in your own life?

The Bible talks about believing in Christ as a moment of encountering him and being changed. It’s about coming to a place of repentance and faith. We call this a “defining moment” of faith. But what if you don’t know when you first confessed Christ? Does that mean you haven’t had a defining moment of faith?

[Related: One Moment]

Is it About Having a Dramatic Experience?

Defining moments are especially challenging for people who grew up in a household that professed Christian faith. Children of Christian parents still have to learn to own their faith, but it might not be as dramatic or as obvious as it would be for someone who came from a non-religious background at an older age and had an “Aha!” moment with Jesus.

The question is the same regardless of how dramatic your experience is: are you trusting in Christ alone for salvation? If you are, then you must have started at some point, even if you can’t identify that first moment. No one’s faith is better than another’s, whether or not they can identify their defining moment.

[Related: Getting to the Faith Moment]

Experience or Faith?

The question is, “In whom is my trust, and am I fully trusting?” This is far more important than when exactly we first believed and what the story of that moment is.

The confirmation and assurance of our faith is not rooted in drama, but in the character of God and in the truth of the Bible.

Romans 10:9-13 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

[Related: What if I’m Not Ready for My Faith Moment?]

While it is helpful to feel good about our faith and to have a dramatic story, this is not what defines our salvation. Our salvation is defined by the character of our good God, the truth of his word, and the sacrifice of Jesus for us on the cross. If you trust in Christ and Christ alone for your salvation and if you have and are submitting to his lordship in your life, you have had your first defining faith moment. And if he is changing you in your Christian life, you have had plenty of defining moments.

Talk About It
  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Have you had a defining moment? If so, describe it.
  4. Have you felt inferior to a person because they had a better defining moment than you, or because they had one and you didn’t? Explain.
  5. Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-4. What is the value of “defining moments” for individual believers? What is the value of them for the church at large? In what ways could “defining moments” be detrimental to Christians or to the church at large?
  6. Are there “defining moments” outside of the moment someone first believes? What are examples of this?
  7. What is more important: having a defining moment, or having a defining faith? Explain the difference between these two things.
  8. On what basis do we decide if someone is a mature Christian? What are some examples?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.