I want to share a meaningful post, so far as my personal history is concerned. The blog entry, dated 27 November 2006, marks the first time so far as I know, that I openly wrote concerning my autumn conversion as being salvific and not merely a progression in sanctification.
Anyways, you might find it edifying.
The Gospel of Mark, chapter 4, describes several kinds of ground onto which is sewn good seeds. Each type of soil is analogous of the different conditions of persons to whom is presented the message of Christ's kingdom, the truth about what Christ expects of His followers in this life.
One sort immediately dispels the truth with indifference or antagonism. An arm comes up, 'That's not for me, thank you.' It is as if birds caught away the seeds the moment they fell.
Another type hears the message for a time but his heart is increasingly overwhelmed with a crop of worldly concerns and ambitions which strangle any chance of fruitfulness the seed may have had. Such persons may take a certain interest in the Word of God but they will not be conformed to it. Christ says these ones shall be thrown into the fire. Their whole life is as chaff for burning.
A third kind of person receives the Divine herald with seeming joy. The seed falls and he embraces it with gladness. For a time he appears to run well. Then come trials and persecutions with withering heat. To the surprise of many, the hopeful plant dies without fruit. How can this be? The brittle clay cracks to reveal an underlying shallowness of his profession. Beneath the surface of a verbal profession were great stones of unbelief and vanity, a bedrock of unbroken pride and legal self-sufficiency. Such persons have aspirations after personal gain through the gospel, whether to be emotionally or financially secure; to have spiritual insurance for the day of judgment. But they lack true grief over their sinful nature, and the resolve by God's grace to quit all sin. The have no honest perception of their condition which would be demonstrated in an earnest desire to become different persons through an actual, albeit spiritual new birth. These stony-ground hearers have no heart for faith which rests solely on Christ alone to justify and sanctify them and thus have no connection to the Spirit whose vital influence is necessary to endure the soaring heat of days when even the 'gates of hell' assail them. During the long hour of the latter day, their barren stalks succumb and collapse to die a second death.
The fourth and only profitable heart-soil upon which the word falls is that which allows the roots to strike deep to the Source of spiritual life. Such a person may be called broken-hearted, for the fallow ground of self-righteousness and vanity has been upturned and tilled small by the iron spade of God's law. Any confidence in one's self to begin or finish salvation is broken. Such persons have counted the cost, have set their hand to the plow, and look steadily to future allowances of grace to draw them on along the upward calling. It is because their root of faith is in the sufficient grace of God through the merit of Christ that they receive power to endure trials and overcome temptations, to suffer heat and yet rise above the briers with an abundance of fruit upon their branches. Of such is the kingdom of heaven.
The seeds of twelve years have fallen on my heart, all that while without producing fruit.
I am a grain that had to die before it could live unto fruitfulness. [John 12:24-25]
Now at twenty-two years old I am budding for the first time. No sooner had the bedrock broken then the Spirit surged upward to surround faith's roots and soften heart's soil. I have found ample moisture in the nether spring of Living Water. By the grace of God I have been filled with the Spirit.
This year I am become the disciple of Christ. In my heart I am no longer Christian in the ambiguous sense of the word adopted by so many. I am not worthy of that precious Name. But by that title, Christian, I am a disciple, a learner, a believer, a hearer and doer, called to become a 'dying man preaching to a dying world.'
"It is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me." [Gal. 2:19-20]
"Whoever loses his life will gain it, but whoever holds on to his life will lose it." [Luke 17:33]
"Unless you repent you will likewise perish." [Luke 13:]
"No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." [Luke 9:62]
God has given me courage.