Monday, August 17, 2009


This is just a quick follow-up to Thursday's post. Conversion and Christian growth are often mistaken to mean the same thing. The Bible makes a distinction between the 2 experiences. There is an initial conversion and a daily conversion that continues after. The clearest and plainest demonstration of what conversion is may be understood by considering the experience of Saul of Tarsus who was converted and became Paul. Read Acts 9:1-20 to see what happens in conversion. Take special note - this is at the BEGINNING of Christian experience. Paul's growth in Christ began after he was converted. The true conversion that occurs when a person confesses and repents of his or her sins for the first time includes such a radical change in the person's attitude toward sin and Christ that many mistakenly believe that it could only happen gradually. The thoughts and feelings of a truly converted individual are changed with his or her permission by the grace of God at the moment of initial conversion.

Many have never truly been converted and this is made evident in their disposition towards sin and Christ. Sin and selfishness is not avoided at all costs and Christ is not the center and joy of their lives. They may wear the name of Christian but their thoughts and feelings and affections are not in heaven or upon heavenly things. They are of the earth..earthy..

The conversion of Saul was marked with heartfelt repentance, thorough confession, and an earnest longing for pardon of sin. Prior to his conversion, Saul had been proud and self-confident; now he was bowed down with sorrow and shame; he abhorred himself because of the suffering he had brought upon the disciples of Jesus. In the light of the revelation that had come to him, he began to see himself as the chief of sinners.

Saul yielded himself fully to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. With eyes anointed by the grace of God, he saw the mistakes of his life, and recognized the far-reaching claims of the law of God. He who had been a proud Pharisee, confident that he was justified by his good works, now bowed before God with the humility and simplicity of a little child, confessing his own unworthiness, and pleading the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Saul longed to come into full harmony and communion with the Father and the Son; and in the intensity of his desire for pardon, he offered up fervent supplications to the throne of grace.

A Brief Review

When a person accepts Christ for the 1st time and is truly converted

1. His or her views about Christ change and they are ready to do what He tells them to do (Acts 9:6)

2. His or her views about other human beings change and they are interested in the salvation of others. (Acts 9:20)

3. He or she exalts Christ as God and no longer exalts and worships self as god. (Acts 9:20)

May the Lord bless us with His love and give you and I an increasing understanding.