Ahead of his latest album release, pop star Justin Bieber has opened up about how Jesus has been leading him away from sin and into new life. In an interview with Apple Music's Zane Lowe, the 25-year-old singer talked candidly about how he had journeyed from simply believing that God was real to becoming a devout and committed follower of Jesus.
The world-famous artist, who has just released his latest album "Changes," lamented that a lack of decent Christian role models meant it was easy for him to enter into a tailspin of drug abuse and relational chaos.
"I had really bad examples of Christians in my life who would say one thing and do another, so they were there my direct example of who Jesus was. I didn't take it as seriously because I didn't have good examples,” he explained. “I was just living in this shame, living in all this sort of stuff in my past and I wasn't able to move on."
Bieber said that, without an alive relationship with God, he was "100 per cent" on a path of self-destruction.
"It was bad…I don't know if I'd be alive for sure. It was dark, really dark," he said.
Then, something shifted.
“I never really...When it says, following Jesus, it’s actually turning away from sin," he explained. "What it talks about in the Bible, there's no faith without obedience. I had had faith about like, 'I believe Jesus died on the cross for me, but I never really implemented it into my life.' I never like, 'I'm gonna be obedient.'"
Over time, as he delved into the heart of God, Justin said he began to mature in his faith. He soon came to understand God's grace and love in a way that he'd never experienced before. And it changed his life in a profound way.
"I just really looked at the character of who Jesus really was," he explained. "[Jesus] found me in my dirt and pulled me out.”
He continued: "Now the way I look at my relationship with God and with Jesus is, I'm not trying to earn God's love by doing good things. God has already loved me for who I am, before I did anything to earn and deserve it. It's a free gift by accepting Jesus and just giving your life to Him, and what He did is the gift. The forgiveness is the thing that we look at and say, 'I'm going to worship you, God, because you gave me something so good.'
"I'm very grateful to have influences in my life that have played a huge part in me seeing their relationship with Jesus, and their relationship with their wives and their relationship with their kids and saying, 'that's what I want, and I’m striving after that.'”
Bieber's new 17-track album - released on Valentine's Day - was inspired by the relationship with his wife, Hailey, who he married in 2018.
“She supports me through so much. I'm really honoured to be her husband," he said of his bride. "This is an album I wrote in the first year of our marriage, so it's so fresh.
"There's so much more to learn about commitment, and building trust, and foundation. I'm looking forward to continuing to build and make music that's going to reflect that.”