What Conversion Is
From thousands of questioners I know that there is widespread confusion concerning conversion. I want to try to make it so plain that every reader may know what the Bible teaches on this important subject.
The Bible teaches that God is a holy and righteous God. He cannot tolerate sin. Sin brings the wrath of God upon the human soul. All of the troubles and ills of the world find their root in the fact that man has lost his moral, intellectual and spiritual sense of God because he has lost God. He will not find God until he finds the way back to God.
Christ made the way back to God by His death on the Cross. He vindicated the righteousness of God. He purchased man’s redemption by the shedding of His blood. His death and resurrection made a new and everlasting covenant between God and man.
Therefore, the way back to God is not an intellectual way.
You cannot think your way back to God, for the carnal mind is at enmity with God. Nor can you worship your way back to God. And you cannot moralize your way to God, because character is vitiated with sin.
The natural questions come to us: What shall we do?
Where shall we start? Where do we begin? What is our road back to God? There is only one way back to God, and that is the way of the Cross. However, Jesus said each of us must apply the redemption of Christ to our own individual lives. He said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children,ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven:’ Matthew 18:3.Thus, Jesus demanded a conversion. This is how to begin! This is your way back to God!
I want to emphasize not so much the ground of our way back to God but the actual transaction that takes place between the sinner and God through Christ, which Jesus called conversion.
Biblical conversion involves three steps - two of them active and one passive. In active conversion, repentance and faith are involved. Repentance is conversion viewed from its starting point, the turning from the former life. Faith indicates the objective point of conversion, the turning to God. The third step, which is passive, we may call the new birth, or regeneration.
True conversion will involve the total mind, the total affection, and the total will. There have been thousands of people who have been intellectually converted to Christ. They believe the entire Bible. They believe all about Jesus, but they have never been really converted to Him.
But even if you have an intellectual acceptance of Christ - that still is not enough. There must be the conversion of the will. There must be that determination to obey and follow Christ. Your will must be bent to the will of God. Self must be nailed to the Cross. The only desire you will have will be to please Him.
To sum it up, conversion simply means that you are changed by the Spirit of God. The converted person will love what he once hated, and hate what he once loved. There will even be a change of heart about God. Where he once may have been careless about God, living in constant fear, dread and antagonism to God, he now finds himself in a state of reverence, confidence, obedience and devotion. Now, righteousness and holiness of heart, and living the Christian life will be placed above all other concerns, for pleasing Christ will be the only thing of real importance.
In other words, conversion means a complete change in the life of an individual, and more important, his acceptance in the Kingdom of God through the finished work of Christ on the Cross. This can happen to you by surrendering your life and heart to Christ. The Bible says: “As many as received Him (Jesus Christ), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: which were born ... of God.” John 1:12-13. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new:’ II Corinthians 5:17.
MY ACCEPTANCE OF CHRIST
As best I know how, with a realization of my sins before a Holy God, I here and now commit my all to Jesus Christ, by faith taking Him as my Lord and Saviour. I thank Him for His great love for me in dying on the Cross to put away my sins. I thank Him for His wondrous resurrection and His life for me now in Heaven. Now I look to Him to help to confess Him before men.