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CONVERSION

(A changed life! - e.g. Saul's conversion)

 

Read Acts Chapter 9 verses 1-18 for the details.

By birth, heritage, and training, Saul of Tarsus was a proud, and intense Jewish Pharisee whose convictions led him to become the main persecutor of the early Christian church, see e.g. Acts 22:4.

But God spoke to Saul in a dramatic way at a time when he was breathing out ďthreatening and slaughterĒ (Acts 9:1) which resulted in him completely changing his mind about the most important things in his life. The main issue in his mind was, ďwhat is Godís way of making us right with Himself?Ē Traditionally, Saul had been taught, and he fervently believed, that rightness with God was achieved through keeping Godís law. This was something that was dependent on his own goodness and his ability to obey Godís law. That was why Saul was so fervent a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law (Phil 3:5). But when he grasped that Jesus was the Son of God who had died on the cross as a sacrifice for sin, he recognized that instead of working to secure his own salvation (an impossibility!), he should trust Christ to save him. He himself testified, ďwhat things were gain to me those I counted loss for Christ (Phil 3:7). Salvation, he recognised, was not based on his own efforts but on Christís action. Not surprisingly, Saul renounced a religion that ignored Christís sacrificial death and resurrection, and he embraced with all his heart the living Lord Jesus and His cause.

When a man is truly converted to Christ, his life is changed and with God's help he changes his world. The Lord Jesus said, 'Except ye be converted...ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven' (Mat 18.3).

God Himself is the initiator of a man's conversion by: (a) commanding him to be converted; (b) calling the man to return unto Him; (c) calling him to forsake his sin; (d) upholding before man the promise of the forgiveness of sins, restoration and a life of rich blessings; and (e) warning man of judgment if he fails to heed Godís call and command.

Conversion is not a human invention nor the product of the human mind; it originates in the mind and will of God, who commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17.30) and be converted (Acts 3.19).