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Joined: 2005/11/17
Posts: 370
Bloomington, IN

 Conversion Story

"If you don't have a conversion story you probably don't have a conversion." I hear this preached, and often it is intended to mean that one instant in your life you repented and received Christ and your life was instantly changed 180 degrees no questions asked. I was wondering people's thoughts on this. Personally I don't see this being the case every time in scripture. Did Peter have a "conversion story" where it was instant? Obviously Cornelius did and the ethiopian eunuch did and the people at Pentecost did, but what about Andrew? The Ephesians in Acts 19? The Corinthians?

Going back to the OT...Abraham? In God's eyes it was instant, but for Abraham it was a process (Gen chp 15- chp 22). Noah's family went through a process.

Just y'alls thoughts and understanding of conversion.

Denver McDaniel

 2006/2/22 0:13Profile

Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619

 Re: Conversion Story

I am not even sure the word conversion is used in the Bible. I know in one translation the Lord said to Peter conserning his upcomming failure and forsaking of Christ, "when you are converted again (or turned again) ..."

But in reality, what we call conversion is the experience of the New Birth which takes place when we believe into the Lord Jesus Christ.

Everyone has a 'conversion story" even if they themselves don't know it fully. That is some may be unclear when it was exactly they knew they were born again, They only know that today they have Christ and He is within them and they have Life in His Name.

None of us are born Christian. We may be raised in a Christian home and been involved with the church all our lives. But there must be a time when we passed from death to Life. A time when we were translated from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of His Love. A time when we were regenerated and indwelt by the Spirit of Christ.

There must be a time when Christ, whom one may have known about and even held the correct doctrines concerning Him, became a living reality to them. Before they knew of Him, but now they know Him. Before they understood the doctrins of Christ, but now they know the Christ of the doctrine.

And this occurs when we genuinly repent toward God, recognize we are lost and apart from Him, and call on Him to save us and regenerate us. We may not use these exact words, but this is the essence of our experience.

By nature we are all sinners, fallen, and separated frm the life of God. And until the Spirit convicts us of our condition, reveales Christ to us and enables us to call on Him, we are not "converted".

The following experience may be drastic and obvious to all, or it may not be a great outward change, but just the inner testimony of the Spirit with our spirit that we are indeed children of God and our sins are forgiven. And the Bible begins to be alive to us and we begin to know something of the Reality of Christ.

Conversion may be a process. That is the process of the Sanctifying Spirit working on us, convicting us, and making us consciece of our lack and need for Christ. But the New Birth is not a process but instantanious. It is the end of the process of conversion. It is the consumation of the sanctifyng process of the Spirit setting us apart, calling us, wooing us and convicting us.

If conversion is a process, regeneratioin and the New Birth are the consumation of this process.

And if the New Birth is the consumation of the process of conversion, growth in Life, transformation, conformation, and final transfiguration and glorificaton is the consumation of the sanctifying work of the Spirit following our New Birth.

If the process of conversion is the gestation period, regeneration is the Birth. And what does it bring forth? A baby with the life of his father.

And if the process brings to an end the gestation period, the birth issues in the New Life which is just the beginning of the Christian Life.


 2006/2/25 13:34Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Conversion Story

Hi BeYeDoers,

There has been some discussion in the past around this and am at a loss as to which heading(s) it might be under...

But this instantly came to mind;

And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:3-9

And the explanation;

Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Mat 13:18-23

Mike Balog

 2006/2/25 13:53Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776

 Re: conversion

"If you don't have a conversion story you probably don't have a conversion."

You have a good reason to be concerned. This statement defies what Christ said,

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it is going. So is everyone born of the Spirit." Jn. 3:8

We can't formulate the work of the Spirit or measure it by our natural "eyesight". When we do, we will come up with a lot of wrong judgments. Yes, there are indicators of true salvation, but "conversion experience" - at least the way many expect may not be one. As pointed out in the parable of the seed and the sower - many have an experience with God, his word and his Spirit- maybe even an extatic revelatory experience. But it's what's at the end that counts: only overcomers will enter heaven.

I've had many "conversions" throughout life - steps along the way ex: change of mindset, change of goals, change of choices, times of enlightenment, ah ha experiences, etc... all which were important parts of my spiritual journey. I know that there was a true turning point that would be considered rebirth by the Spirit. I think I know when that point in time was, but I may be wrong. I am more certain about the process than the moment.

And I expect a lot more "conversions", because there is a lot more transformation still to undergo.

Each person is on a journey, and it is not time to separate the sheep from the goats - especially according to 'conversion experience'. Leave it to God to birth his own in his time. We just sow seeds. At least that's the way I see it right now.

Does this make sense?



 2006/2/25 15:03Profile

Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619


And I expect a lot more "conversions", because there is a lot more transformation still to undergo.

We need to make a distinction between "conversion" and "regeneration". Conversion is related to our experience of repentance, regeneration is something God does within us in regenerating our dead human spirit and imparting His Life into us making us children of God.

Conversion is usually used as a catch all to include all the aspects which contribute ultimatly to our initial salvation.

But regeneration is a specific thing. It is resurrection. It is the imparting of Eternal Life into our dead spirit raising it from the dead and indwelling it.

One who is regenerated has been converted. He has repented toward God and believed into the Lord Jesus Christ and has eternal Life.

And this eternal Life is not dependant upon his overcomming, rather his overcomming is dependant upon his having the Eternal Life. A person overcomes because he learns to live by the Life of the Overcomming One in his spirit.

Being an "overcommer' has nothing to do with "entering heaven" according to the scriptures. Rather it is in realtionship to reigning with Christ in the comming age of of the Kingdom.

To be a part of the New Jeruselem in the Eternal Age in the New Earth is a matter of being born again of the Spirit of God and having God's Life. But reigning with Christ in the Mellinium is a matter of reward to the overcommers.

Not all believers are overcommers, but all believers are saved and have eternal Life.


 2006/2/25 17:24Profile

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