True Conversion

Zaccheus Meets Jesus“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I want to talk with you about genuine (true) conversion. (This is an excerpt from the blog post: A Heart Gone Cold – Part 2.)

First of all, there are a whole lot of false conversions going on out there. Do you know anybody that says they’re saved (a Christ follower), but … well.

True conversion, on the other hand, and I was thinking, it starts when you first awaken to your own sinfulness. Right? (Romans 6:23; Isaiah 64:6)

I mean, you can live all your life, and sometimes you know something’s wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on it. But then the precious Holy Spirit comes along and He makes you knowledgeable of your sinful state. Jesus said, “When [the Holy Spirit] comes, [He] will convict the world concerning sin.” (John 16:8ab)

And then you find yourself thinking about Judgment Day. (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10) You know it’s interesting how everybody just “knows” about Judgment Day. Instinctively, everybody “knows.” Many don’t straighten up their lives “knowing” it, but they still acknowledge Judgment Day.

But the Holy Spirit comes along and He makes you knowledgeable of your sinful state. He does!

And it’s a good thing to become conscious that you’re a sinner. It’s a good thing that you find out you have cancer so you can do something about it. Some people think they’re better off not knowing. “What I don’t know can’t hurt me.” Right? “What I don’t know can’t hurt me.” That’s foolishness! That’s stupidity! What you don’t know CAN hurt you. And more than that, it can condemn you to hell. It’s a good thing to become conscious that you’re a sinner. It’s the first step towards genuine (true) conversion.

And then, after that, when your heart turns its attention to the Savior, which is also a work of the Holy Spirit, who died for sinners on the cross and then cries out in humility to Him, “Lord, save my soul!” ~ “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9) ~ that’s when genuine conversion takes place. “[N]o one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3c) That’s when genuine conversion takes place.

But then there’s another step after that with genuine conversion that’s very important.

And the best way to explain it, I was thinking, was by using the marriage analogy.

And the easy part of marriage is when you say, “I do.” Isn’t it? That’s the easy part. Anyone can do that. But then where the rubber meets the road is after that. In the days, months and years after you say, “I do,” that’s when you find out if you really “did.”

And it’s the same with genuine (true) conversion. When you say, “I do,” to Jesus, you really “do” until your last breath. (Genuine conversion plays out when you really “do” your “I do” to Christ over a lifetime!)

(You can’t “do” your “I do” to Christ over a lifetime on your own either. Salvation AND sanctification are each “the work of One.”)

(Zaccheus sitting in a tree meets Jesus picture is in the public domain: click here.)

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About Pastor Mike

Pastor Mike is making the most of web technologies to encourage disciples. A self-proclaimed “twitterholic,” one twitter follower describes him as the “jogging, blogging, tweeting Pastor.” Visits to Pastor Mike’s blog (A Heart For God) number in the hundreds of thousands. His video blogs have been viewed over a half a million times.