Basics of Genuine Salvation Part 3: Genuine Conversion
Genuine Conversion takes place the moment your Genuine Repentance & Genuine Faith come together through a clear, complete understanding & acceptance of the Gospel of our LORD & Savior Jesus Christ. Genuine Conversion is a turning point that changes the direction of your life on earth as well as your eternal destiny. It is dependent on the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in your life. To summarize:
True Conversion is embracing Jesus Christ as He is freely offered to us in the gospel.
CONVERSION involves the Union of Genuine Repentance & Faith. In studying Genuine Repentance we learned many people Repent of their sin without believing in the Jesus Christ revealed in the Bible.
Illustration: Witnessing to a Jehovah’s Witness
Illustration: Witnessing to a Mormon
In Studying Genuine Faith we learned we are saved “through Faith” in the LORD Jesus Christ. But many false religions teach, and many people believe in a false Christ (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6-9).
Illustration: A Lady from China who believed in Jesus
Illustration: Oprah Winfrey
IT IS THE GOSPEL THAT REVEALS WHO JESUS IS
Without the Gospel (The Word of God), the Jesus we embrace may be a figment of our imagination! Genuine Conversion saves you from the Lie that: “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere.” Many sincere people are on their way to Hell because of their ignorance of the True Gospel and Who Jesus really is.
HEBREW WORD FOR CONVERSION
שׁוּב – “shûb”: means: “to return, turn back;” “to come or go back.” It is translated “convert” (Isa. 6:10); “converted” (Ps. 51:13); “converting” (Ps. 19:7). It is Translated “turn” 153 times;
GREEK WORDS FOR CONVERSION
“Strepho” means “to turn” and is translated “be converted” in Matthew 18:3. “Epistrepho” means “to turn about, turn towards [epi means towards]. There is a Concept of a radical change of life direction. The word “epistrophe” means “a turning about, or conversion.” It implies “a turning from & a turning to.”
The Thessalonians “turned to God from idols” (I Thess. 1:9; Acts 15:3). Why did they “turn to God from idols? Because they received the Gospel “as the word of God!” (I Thess. 2:13). Only God’s Word can lead us to Genuine salvation (Gal. 1:6-10; John 5:39-40)
Many Biblical Commands refer to the twofold “turning” of Conversion:
“Turn unto the LORD… with all thine heart and with all thy soul” (Det. 30:10). “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments” (2 Kings 17:13). This is our responsibility in Conversion.
CONVERSION COMBINES REPENTANCE & FAITH
Turn from idols (I Thess 1:9; Jer. 25:4-6);
Turn to God (I Thess 1:9)
Turn from darkness (Act 26:18; Col. 1:13);
Turn to light (Acts 26:18; 2 Cor. 4:4-6)
Turn from satan (Acts 26:18);
Turn to God (Acts 26:20; Joel 2:13)
Acknowledge & turn from your sinful self (Matt 3:5-10; Ezek 18:30);
Accept the Sinless Savior as your LORD (John 1:12-13).
Dictionaries capture the radical change that results from Conversion. “Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination to the exclusion of others.” If your motives for Converting are wrong you are not truly converted. We will be Judged by our motives (Rom. 2:16; Heb. 4:12-13)
CONVERSION IS A RADICAL CHANGE
The English word comes from the Latin “conversiōn-em” and literally means “turning round.” Figuratively it means a “change in character.” Synonyms are: “Change of Heart;” “regeneration.”
Genuine Conversion involves a supernatural work of God in us. Worldly conversion is a mere change in religious identity or a Psychological experience. Genuine conversion is a change in our nature & being (regeneration; a new birth). We become a new person in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
CONVERSION: A WHOLE NEW DIRECTION IN ONE’S LIFE
Genuine Conversion is evidenced by a change in our values (Rom 6:21-22). It entails changes in thinking, priorities & commitments.
You trust in Jesus as both Savior & LORD.
WE MUST MAKE THE DECISION TO CONVERT TO CHRIST
We are commanded to ‘be converted’ (Acts 3:19). The act of converting begins a life long journey of being a convert to Jesus Christ.
But there is a point at which we pass “from death to life” (John 5:24).
In Genuine Conversion You Turn at a point in Time – Then never look back! In Luke 9:62 Jesus told us:
“No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Demas is a sad example of a false convert who turned back (2 Tim. 4:10; see Heb. 10:38; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
TRUE CONVERSION TURNS AWAY FROM FALSE RELIGION
We turn from all false religions that cannot guarantee us eternal life. False religions can’t guarantee salvation because they teach salvation by works. They teach that you must earn salvation but they can’t tell you what works or how many will guarantee your salvation. There are only 2 different religions in the World. Those that teach you have to earn your own salvation by your own works; and the one true Faith that teaches Jesus did all the work necessary for our salvation so we can receive salvation as a gift of God’s Grace.
CONVERSIONS DRAMATIC BRAKE FROM OUR OLD LIFE TO NEW LIFE IN CHRIST IS PORTRAYED IN BAPTISM
Baptism is a burial: We confess that we have died to our old life
Baptism is a resurrection: We are risen to walk in newness of life with Christ (Rom. 6:1-11). Conversion is a matter of Life & Death! “Brethren… know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death…” (James 5:19-20).
GENUINE CONVERSION: 3 GREAT TRUTHS
- True conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit working through the power of God’s Word (John 6:63; Eph.2:1, 5).
- True Conversion changes the way I think: I “Cast down imaginations & bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5; Isa. 55:7). The Jews in Jerusalem had such false ideas about Jesus they killed him as a criminal. Some thought He was a blasphemer worthy of death for claiming to be God (Matt. 26:65; Mk. 14:64). They had to believe Jesus really was “The Son of God” (Matt. 16:16; 27:54).
Some thought Jesus broke the Law (Joh 5:10, 16; Matt. 12:1-2). They had to believe He fulfilled the Law of Moses (Matt. 5:17-18). Some thought Jesus was born of fornication (John 9:34). Thus He would be a sinner like all of us. They had to believe He was born of a virgin (Matt. 1:18, 20; 2:23; Isa. 7:14). Thus He was sinless like none of us. Some thought He was just a good man who did good (Acts 10:38). They had to believe that Jesus was “THE God-Man” (1 Tim. 3:16). Some thought Jesus was cursed of God by dyeing on a cross (Deut. 21:22-23; Gal. 3:13). They must believe Jesus bore the curse we deserved to save us from the wrath of God. (2 Cor. 5:21; Isaiah 53:4-6). Some thought Jesus was a blasphemer worthy of death for claiming to be God (Matt. 26:65). They must believe He really was “The Son of God” (Matt. 16:16; 27:54)
WHO DO YOU THINK JESUS IS?
Have you been “converted” from your wrong ideas about Jesus?
Do you know Him in the fullness of His Sinless Deity & Perfect humanity? If we don’t believe in “the real” Jesus we will die in our sins! (John 8:24-25). Why? Because “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12; John 3:36; 14:6). Do you believe what God’s Word says about Jesus? Or are you Deceived by the devil or men? Concerning them that are lost the Bible says: “the god of this world (satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…” (2Cor 4:3-4)
- True Conversion Changes How I Live. I no longer live “unto myself, but unto him which died for me, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).
The Apostle Paul is the prime example (pattern) of genuine conversion & salvation in the N. T. (I Tim. 1:15-16). He converted from a salvation by works of the Law to salvation by Grace through faith in Christ (Gal. 3:21-26). Before his Conversion Paul was willing to kill for his religion. After He met Jesus, Paul was willing to die for Christ.
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR OUR CONVERSION
We become a Worshiper of God (our spirit) – as our Faith grows our understanding of Christ’s greatness grows (Eph. 1:17-20). In Worship we tap into the grace, love & power of God.
We become a Lover of God & His people (our soul) – (see I Thess. 3:12-13). We Fellowship with God & His children (I John 1:3-4). Personal significance & identity comes from membership in God’s family (Eh. 2:11-22)
We become a servant of God (our body) – We become a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2). “Zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14)
We become a Missionary for God: (our vocation) (John 20:21; Matt. 28:19). We long to Finish the Great commission and “hasten unto the coming of the day of God” (2 Pet. 3:12).
GLORIOUS CONSEQUENCE OF GENUINE CONVERSION
Genuine Conversion brings the assurance of eternal salvation (Rom. 8:16). You can Know what God requires of you for salvation. You can Know if you have truly met God’s requirements.
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (12) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (13) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
(I John 5:10-13). Repent & Believe & be Converted to Jesus today!