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Conversion begins with repentance

Notice God’s desire in Isaiah 55:7: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

In order for one to become a Christian, one must repent of sin. Notice what Christ said in Luke 13:3: “I tell you … unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

When Jesus started to preach His gospel message of the Kingdom of God, He said in Mark 1:15, “Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

So, one must repent and believe, but this action does not yet make anyone a Christian. This is just a first step toward Christian conversion. As you’ve read above, one needs God’s Spirit.

How does one receive God’s Spirit? The apostle Peter answers this in Acts 2:38: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let everyone of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”

One such place is in 1 Thessalonians 1:9: “And how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” To be converted means to turn away from sin, and that must be done regularly.

A converted life begins

After one receives God’s Spirit, a converted Christian will focus on what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is not easy. It is obvious that the apostle Paul was a converted Christian. He had repented, accepted Christ and received the Holy Spirit. He explains that his deliverance was through Jesus Christ, who also gives us the help we need to turn from sin and be converted. But living a Christian life and overcoming sin was a struggle.

After one receives God’s Spirit, a converted Christian will focus on what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

What is conversion? It is a process

After receiving God’s Spirit, we must be led by God’s Spirit (Romans 8:14).

We have all seen a beautiful multicoloured butterfly. It did not start that way. It started as a tiny egg, almost invisible to the human eye. It had to pass through various stages of transformation until it became an amazingly beautiful butterfly.

Scriptures tell us that we, too, must go through a process of transformation. In our case, it is to become a converted Christian.

Notice what the apostle Paul said in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

God requires that we leave our former ways and change direction by turning to God. We must turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. As Peter said, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

The word converted “means properly to ‘turn; to return to a path from which one has gone astray; and then to turn away from sins, or to forsake them.’ It is a word used in a general sense to denote ‘the whole turning to God.’

After one receives God’s Spirit, a converted Christian will focus on what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”One such place is in 1 Thessalonians 1:9: “And how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” To be converted means to turn away from sin, and that must be done regularly.

What is conversion and what happens when it is complete?

In Philippians 2:12-13 we are encouraged, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

God wants to help us overcome sin. Why?

God wants to give us eternal life. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).

Notice Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

A Christian is admonished to overcome sin and endure to the end. “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations” (Revelation 2:26).

So, what is the end result of conversion? The apostle Paul answers that in 2 Timothy 4:7-8: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

What you need to do

Now that you understand what conversion is, you need to begin practising what you’ve learned. In prayer, ask God to help you repent and be converted. Ask Him to help you understand and prove for yourself His truth as revealed in the Bible. Ask Him to give you courage to obey even though others around you may not care about or understand what God says.

If you truly want to be converted, ask your Creator for help.  This is the most important thing in your life. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to further your relationship with God!