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Conversion: a change of life - for God, in Christ Jesus.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (or constant) spirit within me...then will I teach transgressors THY WAYS; and sinners shall be CONVERTED unto Thee.” (Psalm 51:10-13)
“...old things (i.e. habits, way of life, etc.) are passed (i.e. continually passing) away), behold, all things are become (i.e. or are continually becoming) new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The above Scripture is the basic principle sense of the doctrine of Conversion - born again souls continually becoming more like, or conformed to be like, Christ Jesus, our Redeemer Lord. (Romans 12:1-2)
Definition of the term: Conversion is the act which takes place when a truly repentant sinner is Regenerated (i.e. born again, born from Above); and thus renounces his/her former self-dominated way of life, and turns in faith to follow after Godliness - as manifested by the lord Jesus Christ Himself.
This is what being ‘Christian’ is all about - Christlikeness in one’s NEW LIFE, as opposed to living a consistently carnal life of selfishness and sin. (Galatians 5:22-23)
This NEWNESS OF LIFE is thus a manifestation of what God has miraculously done inside the sinner’s heart. The Life of Christ is emulated, to the best of one’s ability, and the old carnal nature is denied and dominated by the outward expressions of the new nature of God
(1 Corinthians 6:9-12)
Conversion: This Conversion transformation is continually sought after, longed for, by the born again nature within - which seeks to glorify Christ as both Saviour and Lord! Obedience is henceforth yearned for by the believer. (Psalm 42:1-2) (John 14:15)
Constant Conversion, in the eyes of the world, glorifies God, and leads other sinners to Christ for Salvation. (Proverbs 11:30)
Conversion: Conversion reflects the change of mind concerning God and sin which was first brought about by true Repentance - the gift of God.
The NEW NATURE, given by God’s free grace, seeks only to follow after Holiness.
The OLD NATURE, inherited from Adam, seeks only to satisfy self; and is incurably disobedient to God and Godliness! (Hebrews 12:14) (Romans 8:7)
Therefore, because of the above facts of our situation as true Christians, we have continual conflict within us, and always shall until (in death) we put off these bodies of sin - or Christ returns to change us into glorified bodies which shall never sin again. Hallelujah! Even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen. (Romans 7:14-24) (1 Corinthians 15:51-58) (1 John 3:2)
Conversion: Conversion is therefore the exercise of the new nature, subsequent to the gift of Regeneration. It is accomplished by faith and continual Repentance from sin and error. (James 5:16-20)
As born again believers, we have immediate access into God’s Presence by prayer. (Ephesians 2:18) (Hebrews 4:15-16)
When we are aware of having sinned (i.e. transgressed known laws of Christian obedience), we can thus come to our Father, through Christ’s Atonement Sacrifice at the Cross; in the power of God the Holy Spirit.
(1 John 1:8-10) (Romans 8:26)
We humbly confess our sins, and once more resolve to forsake them; and to try to walk a fresh path of Godliness. (Galatians 5:16-26)
Conversion in Relation to Regeneration: The distinction between conversion and regeneration needs to be kept in mind.
Regeneration is the CAUSE of Conversion - we are given a desire to follow after God and Godliness ONLY after we are Regenerated into Christ’s Body, the Church! (John 3:3-8)(1 Corinthians 2:14-16)
Therefore, we consciously attempt to repent from, and forsake, those ungodly things which are behind (i.e. in the past life of sin), and press on in faith towards Christlikeness - God’s Righteous Standard of behaviour and attitudes. (Philippians 3:12-14) (James 1:22) (James 2:14-26)
Being ADOPTED into God’s Family, we thus strive to act like born again children of a Holy Lord God and Father. In this manner, we daily manifest the wonder of Christian Conversion.
Practical Point of Conversion: We who are merely mortal, born again Christians, shall always continue to sin, that’s a Scriptural fact!
(1 John 1:8) (Romans 7:18-18-24)
However, by God’s free grace, we can also be granted God’s forgiveness. (Psalm 130:1-4)
The ‘sheep’ (i.e. saved soul) when it falls into the mire, will never be happy until it is lifted back out and washed clean again. (Psalm 51:7) (Psalm 40:1-3)
But, the ‘pig’ (i.e unsaved soul) is completely at home in filth, and thus happy to wallow continuously in it! (2 Peter 2:22) (John 10:27-30)
True Christians are chastened when they sin and stray. (Hebrews 12:5-11) (Revelation 3:19)
Mere professors, unsaved, ‘good-living’ persons never receive the Father’s corrections. Why? Because they belong not to God! The Heavenly Father only corrects His own children, and the unsaved person in not in the Family of God. (John 8:44)
Conclusion: This, therefore, is the Scriptural doctrine of Christian Conversion - let us thus, “...work out our Salvation with fear (reverence) and trembling...”; and seek to be Converted to Christlikeness DAILY. Amen? Yes indeed, amen - and thanks be to God, amen.
(Philippians 2:8-12) (1 John 1:7-9)
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