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Personal Statement Of Christian Faith Example

“The Personal Statement, however, is an open field of possibilities in self expression, and that sense of ambiguity lends itself to great liberty and/or great anxiety.” Image courtesy of pal2iyawit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Retrieved October 11, 2013.

Writing any application for a school can be difficult, and writing the Personal Statement can become the most challenging part of it. By the time you are preparing to submit an application, most of its elements are already fixed: your GPA, your MCAT or GRE scores, the activities you did (or didn’t do). The Personal Statement, however, is an open field of possibilities in self expression, and that sense of ambiguity lends itself to great liberty and/or great anxiety.

Admittedly, the title is somewhat misleading. A “Christian” personal statement shouldn’t technically be very different from any other personal statement. It still has to accomplish the same goals, which are fairly well defined in the context of applying for a graduate or professional school. As an example, an excellent source on the Medical School Personal Statement would advise you to focus on answering these questions:

  • What have you done that supports your interest in becoming a doctor?
  • Why do you want to be a doctor?
  • How have your experiences influenced you?

Sounds simple? It’s not. Few people can easily articulate the reasons why they want to go into medicine (and this even includes those who have been working in medicine). As reflected on before, the most powerful reasons tend to be emotionally charged and heavily driven by personal experiences, desires, and ambitions. Sometimes these reasons spring from tangible and discrete moments that are relatively simple to describe: a father becomes ill, a friend becomes helpless, a tragedy unfolds in which the universal compulsion to heal and to comfort becomes central and even life-changing. But sometimes those reasons are harder to describe: a series of loosely connected jobs that led to an internal conviction, an affection for both the material and immaterial, a search for a career grounded in the authenticity of human experiences.

The more personal these experiences are, the more uncomfortable and self-conscious we become in describing them. We wonder if others will see things from our perspective, and as we struggle to describe them in nouns and adjectives and run-on sentences, we find it easy to become paralyzed by the fear that the reader/admission officer/judge will fail to understand . . . and in doing so, reject us as both applicants and as people. It is deeply unsettling because the process will require an act of introspection and then an act of public revelation.

So, like all other expressions of self-revelation, we are tempted to edit heavily. We want to be accepted for who we are but we also want to achieve a goal. We have an ideal that motivates us, but in order to achieve it we must submit it to the scrutiny of another . . . and in that process, we risk having it change.

What do I mean by this? I mean that I volunteered at a soup kitchen because I wanted to help people, but in writing the essay I wanted to make sure that the reader understood just how deeply I felt that emotion, so I overplayed the descriptions of how scraggly the hobo’s beard looked or how heart-melting that child’s eyes were. I mean that I did research because it sounded interesting and I enjoyed tinkering around in the lab, but I wanted my work to be respected so I added a gazillion extra adjectives about how triumphant or beatified I felt when gazing through the clear liquid in a test tube. I mean that I felt helpless when I sat by my friend’s bed as she lay dying or in watching my sister get bullied in speech therapy, but I wanted to do rightly by them in becoming a doctor so I wrote whatever bastardized piece of junk I felt needed to be written in order to get the job done. I mean I wanted to talk about Jesus and what he meant to me, but I couldn’t because it might get us both thrown out of school before we even started there.

Scary, Scary Night, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=54127 [retrieved October 11, 2013]. Original source http://www.flickr.comphotos8545333@N072564825110.

And in doing these things, I couldn’t help but feel that I was betraying the very things I wanted to satisfy and represent. When I read my words, they weren’t my words any more. They were the words of the effigy I wanted to portray: someone who was far more intelligent, creative, compassionate, and secular than I honestly considered myself to be.

I realized that the real work of writing a Personal Statement was to stop myself from selling myself. I was not a product out on the marketplace to be distinguished only by my differences in merit and form, but a unique person whose path had already been determined by a loving and sovereign Lord. I was not applying to different schools out of a statistical strategy for maximizing the probability of admission, but because each institution’s strengths and weaknesses could cause me to grow and be shaped differently for the work of the Lord. It helped me understand myself better, realizing in some circumstances that some of my applications were actually not the best thing for me. And I found that though thinking in this way was far more difficult than simply optimizing a resume, it restored a sense of purpose and intentionality to an otherwise superficial and anxiety-provoking time. It made descriptions of myself more vulnerable but more honest, which inadvertently made things more confident and more peaceful.

It made them Christ-centered, and therefore Christian. In the words of the Psalmist:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.


Writing a Christian Personal Statement: Part 2, Part 3.

David

David graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and received his medical degree from Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School with a Masters in Public Health concentrated in health systems and policy. He completed a dual residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware. He continues to work in Delaware as a dual Med-Peds hospitalist. Faith-wise, he is decid­edly Christian, and regarding everything else he will gladly talk your ear off about health policy, the inner city, gadgets, and why Disney’s Frozen is actually a terrible movie.

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  • 1

    Advocate The Holy Bible. Decide and state that the Holy Bible is the only accurate Bible and authoritative Word of God. It alone is the final authority in determining all doctrinal truths (for example: not traditions or other writings). In its original writing, it is inspired, infallible and inerrant (See: II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21; Proverbs 30:5; Romans 16:25-26).

  • 2

    Explain the Trinity. Outline that God is eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit. These three are coequal and co-eternal (See: I John 5:7; Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 3:7-11).

  • 3

    Lift-up Jesus Christ. Believe and present Jesus Christ as God the Son (the second person of the Trinity). On earth, Jesus was both 100% God and 100% man. Filled with The Holy Spirit beyond limit, He is the only man ever to have lived a sinless life. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, died on the cross for mankind and thus, took the punishment for our sins through the shedding of His blood. He rose from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will return again in power and glory. (See: John 1:1,14, 20:28; I Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 2:5-6; I Timothy 2:5).

  • 4

    Proclaim the Virgin Birth. Proclaim that Jesus Christ was conceived by God the Father, through the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity) in the virgin Mary's womb; therefore, He is the Son of God (See: Matthew 1:18, 25; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:27-35).

  • 5

    Explain redemption through faith in Christ. Realize that man was created good and upright, but by voluntary transgression he fell from grace (and each of us have sinned) so that: ones only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God (See: Genesis 1:26-31, 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21).

  • 6

    Tell about regeneration. Knowing God by being regenerated by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential (See: John 6:44, 65; Matthew 19:28; Titus 3:5).

  • 7

    Proclaim salvation by receiving Jesus. Be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by His death, burial, and resurrection, as salvation is a gift from God, not a result of any of your good works or of any other human efforts, but so that you then "do work preordained that you should do" (Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 2:16, 3:8; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 9:22).

  • 8

    Declare the necessity of repentance. Make your own commitment to change your mind, being willing to turn around, in all areas of life, to follow Christ, which allows anyone, who will repent, to receive His redemption, and be regenerated by receiving His Holy Spirit. Thus, through true repentance we receive forgiveness of sin and appropriate salvation (See: Acts 2:21, 3:19; I John 1:9).

  • 9

    Present sanctification (being one of Christ's saints). Continue in the ongoing process of yielding to God’s Word and His Spirit in order to complete the development of Christ's character in you. It is through the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus (See: I Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; II Corinthians 3:18, 6:14-18, II Thessalonians 2:1-3, Romans 8:29, 12:1-2, Hebrews 2:11).

  • 10

    Explain the importance of Jesus' Blood. Accept and know that the sinless blood that Jesus Christ shed on the Cross of Calvary was in payment, for redemption, for all time -- for all who receive Him -- able to end all use of blood sacrifice, as it is 100% sufficient to cleanse all mankind of all sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be punished for both your sinfulness and your sins, enabling all those who believe to be free from the penalty of unforgiven sin, which is death (See: I John 1:7; Revelation 1:5, 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Romans 3:10-12, 23, 5:9; John 1:29).

  • 11

    Teach the indwelling of Jesus Christ. Realize that Christians are people who have invited the Lord Jesus Christ to come and live inside them or 'dwell' within them by His Holy Spirit so that each believer will: relinquish the sovereign authority of ones life over to Him in truth thus making Jesus the Lord (King and Leader) of ones life as well as Savior. Each believer puts ones trust in what Jesus accomplished for each of them when He died, was buried, and rose again from the dead (See: John 1:12; John 14:17, 23; John 15:4; Romans 8:11; Revelation 3:20).

  • 12

    Show the importance of Baptism in the Holy Spirit.Receive the promise of Pentecost; it is the promise of the Father, sent by Jesus after His Ascension, to abide with each and all believers, forever, to empower the Church to preach the Gospel throughout the whole earth (See: Joel 2:28-29; Matthew 3:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 1:5,2:1-4, 17, 38-39, 8:14-17, 10:38, 44-47, 11:15-17, 19:1-6).

  • 13

    Present the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.Desire The Holy Spirit being manifested in your daily life through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and to sanctify the church, to demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, to be able to conform to God's plan, and confirm the power of the Gospel of Christ Jesus. The Bible lists of these gifts are not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations. All believers are commanded to earnestly desire the manifestation of the gifts in their lives. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Scriptures and should never be used in violation of Biblical parameters. (See: Hebrews 2:4; Romans 1:11, 12 :4-8; Ephesians 4:16; I Timothy 4:14; II Timothy 1:6-7; I Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1-40; I Peter 4:10).

  • 14

    Expound The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Agree with believers that The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through His Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of Jesus' Great Commission. Every person who is born of the Spirit is an integral part of the church as a member of the body of believers. There is a spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. (See: Ephesians 1:22, 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23; John 17:11, 20-23).

  • 15

    Present Sacraments of The Church.
    • Follow Jesus in "Water Baptism": Profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then the new convert is commanded by the Word of God to be baptized in water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (See: Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 36-38; 10:47-48).
    • Take "The Lord's Supper": Partake as a believer in a unique time of communion in the presence of God when the elements of bread and grape juice (the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ) are taken in remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross (See: Matthew 26:26-29; I Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-25).
  • 16

    Pray at every opportunity. Being always in [a spirit of] prayer--in everything: give thanks for His favor and the unlimited power of agreeing together upon God's promises.There is much to be achieved through the power of agreement and shared burden in your field of endeavor, especially as Jesus said, "If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done [accomplished] for you by my Father in Heaven." (See: Matthew 18:19) Pray for one another:
    • General prayer requests
    • Salvation for yourself
    • Salvation for a loved one
    • Finances/Work/School
    • Family/Friends/Enemies
    • Emotions/Concerns/Sexual problems/Disorders
    • Drugs/Alcohol/Habits/Addictions
    • Healing:
      • Pray for healing of the sick, thanking God that He has already provided it, giving Him the praise: expect to see examples of His healing power, as were illustrated in the life and ministry of Jesus, and included in the commission of Jesus to all His disciples, to as many as He shall call. This blessing of divine healing is given as a sign, which is to "follow believers". It is also a part of Jesus' completed work on the Cross and is one of the gifts of the Spirit. (See: Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 8:6-7; James 5:14-16; I Corinthians 12:9, 28; Romans 11:29).
  • 17

    Show God's will for provision for Christ's followers. Study and pro-actively seek the Father's will for believers to become whole, healthy and successful in all areas of life realizing that God will deny you no good thing! Love one another as Christ has loved the church, preferring one another, seeking not only your own, but serving in all things, as possible. But because of the fall, many may not receive the full benefits of God’s will while on Earth, as men may, if they wish, deny God and hinder you in some instances from some good already provided for you, if they can. That fact, though, should never prevent all believers from seeking the full benefits of Christ’s provision in order to better serve others, in many areas included in:
    • Spiritual (John 3:3-11; II Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 10:9-10).
    • Mental and Emotional (II Timothy 1:7, 2:11; Philippians 4:7-8; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 26:3).
    • Physical (Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:17; I Peter 2:24).
    • Financial (Joshua 1:8; Malachi 3:10-11; Luke 6:38; II Corinthians 9:6-10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 34:10, 84:11; Philippians 4:19).
  • 18

    Teach The Resurrection. Realize and receive Jesus Christ as physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body three days after His death on the cross. In addition, both the saved and the lost will be resurrected; they that are saved to the resurrection of life, and they that are lost to the resurrection of eternal damnation (See: Luke 24:16, 36, 39; John 2:19-21, 20:26-28, 21:4; Acts 24:15; I Corinthians 15:42, 44; Philippians 1:21-23, 3:21).

  • 19

    Expect Heaven. The eternal dwelling place for all believers after passing from death in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is called Heaven.(See: Matthew 5:3, 12, 20, 6:20, 19:21, 25:34; John 17:24; II Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 11:16; I Peter 1:4).

  • 20

    Avoid Hell. Live your one life on earth for God in Christ, because the unbelievers will receive supreme justice, judged by the one merciful Judge, God, and sent to Hell, if they have not received and proclaimed His will on Earth, to then receive just punishment with the Devil and his Fallen Angels by eternal separation in darkness (See: Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11, 20:12-15, 21:8).

  • 21

    Await the Second Coming, working as is preordained for each believer to do, being of service, until that day. Proclaim that Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to earth for the second time to establish His Kingdom. This will occur at a date undisclosed by the Scriptures (See: Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64; Acts 1:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:15-17; II Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 1:7).

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