The Manifestation of a Genuine Conversion

January 8, 2016

         The Manifestation Of A Genuine Conversion

If you are truly saved you will reveal it by the way you live. You will want to tell others about it, but they should know it, whether you tell them or not.  Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”  If we think we have persuaded someone to place his faith in Christ for salvation, it’s best that we don’t tell everyone about it.  If we do, we may be embarrassed if he doesn’t show any evidence of it.  It is best to let him tell others about it, and even better if he shows it by the change in his life.  II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Some people aren’t hesitant about telling others that they are Christians, but their life doesn’t show it. If you are a genuine child of God, those around you will know it.  The fact that someone made a decision to accept Christ as their Savior doesn’t mean much unless we see a change in their life.  Some soul winners pride themselves in the number of people they have won to Christ.  If we ask them how many of those they have supposedly won are now faithfully attending church, they would have to confess that many aren’t.  We need to be winning souls, but after we win them we need to help them take the first steps in living the Christian life.

It would be refreshing to hear in our time more testimonies of people who converted to Christ and left no one in doubt about it. In history we read of conversions that were little short of miraculous.  One example is that of Francis of Asisi.  He was the son of a rich man.  He was taken as a prisoner of war and spent four years in captivity.  After his release he fell sick.  During that time he began to think about spiritual matters.  For a time he wavered between surrendering to God, or going back to an immoral life style.  He felt guilty because he had so much and most people around him had very little.  One night he invited a group of his friends to come to his house for a big party.  After eating and drinking, they went out to the street and had a disorderly celebration. All at once someone realized that Francis wasn’t with them.  They went back in the house to look for him.  They found him sitting on a bench in deep concentration.  When they asked him questions he didn’t respond.  One friend said in jest, “Can’t you see that he is thinking about getting married?” Then he responded and said, “Your’ right.  I am thinking about getting married to the most beautiful bride the world has ever known.  Her name is poverty.”  He never returned to his past life.  Not everything he did was biblical, but he dramatically manifested to the world that he had been converted.

Another dynamic example was that of Billy Sunday. In the years 1883-1890 he became famous in the United States as a baseball player.  In 1886 he was converted in a mission that was being used of God to win to Christ alcoholics and street people.  He said to his friends, “I have bid good bye to the past life.” He left no doubt about the fact that he did. After two years he stopped playing baseball and began preaching the gospel.  Thousands were converted in his evangelistic crusades.

There is little reason to believe that one’s conversion is genuine if he hasn’t abandoned his past life. We already read in II Corinthians 5:17 that old things will pass away.  It isn’t just a change in religion, although that may be included.  It is a change in the way we think and live.  Titus 2:12 says, “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”

I recently read a book entitled “Mission To The Head Hunters” by Frank and Marie Drown.  It was thrilling to read how they succeeded in persuading  savage Indians in the jungle of Ecuador to trust in Christ for salvation.  Conversion, for the Indians, meant that they abandoned tribal customs.  Among those customs were tribal warfare, shrinking the heads of conquered chieftains, polygamy, and witch doctors.  Their love for Christ enabled them to be victorious over the ridicule they received from other Indians.

In the Bible we read of some of the things the believers in the primitive church left behind. In I Thessalonians 1:7-10 it says they left their idolatry. In Acts 19:19 we read that they abandoned their “curious arts.” That means the practice of magic or witchcraft.  They made it public by burning their books in the street.

In our day, among the things we expect people to leave behind are profanity, pornography, drunkenness, and indecent behavior. If your conversion took place some years ago, the fact that you don’t do those things attests to the fact that you must be a Christian.  What did you leave behind when you were converted?  Did people see a change in you?

Conversion is not just a matter of leaving things behind. What you leave behind needs to be replaced by virtues that are added.  Christians aren’t just known for what they don’t do.  They are also known for what they do.  Jesus said “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” II Peter 1:5-7 gives us a list of virtues we should be diligent to add to our lives. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;    and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;    and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”

As we said earlier, we long to see more dynamic conversions. Will yours be one of them?  It begins by repenting of your sins and accepting God’s forgiveness based on the merits of what Christ did for us when he died on the cross.  If your repentance is genuine, it will be manifest by the fact that you leave your sins and surrender to the will of God.  You will need the help of a good Bible believing church.  There you will find encouragement and gain knowledge of what God askes of us.  Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:    Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

 

 

 

 

(95)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *