Why is a clear understanding of the scriptural marks and fruits of true conversion very important?
Scripture frequently testifies of true conversion experience. Can you relate the heartfelt experience of misery, deliverance, and thankfulness in the following persons'
conversions to God?
- The Philippian jailor
- The thief on the cross
- The Ethiopian eunuch
- The Syrophoenecian woman
- The paralysed man that was lowered through the roof to Christ
- The man cured at the Pool of Bethesda
What others can you add to this list?
As these truths are applied to his heart, he learns to hope, believe, and trust in Jesus Christ as his only way to be reconciled with God, delivered from sin, and escape well-deserved punishment. As faith deepens, Jesus Christ increasingly becomes his deliverance, righteousness, holiness; in short, his "everything" for salvation. Jesus Christ becomes his personal Savior. Christ possesses everything which the convicted sinner has learned that he lacks and needs for salvation.
3. A heartfelt experiencing of thankfulness (obedience) - Experiencing something of the deep, gracious, saving love of God through Jesus Christ for sinners produces an overflowing love toward God in return. With true thankfulness of heart, the person desires to love, serve, and honor God - to do that which is pleasing in God's sight. He wants to obey God wholeheartedly and perfectly. God's law then is not a burden or something which he is forced to follow, but a delight and that which he wants to do more than all else. His remaining sin deeply grieves him, for his deepest motives, desires, and affections are to love and serve God perfectly with his entire being.
Can you relate to these descriptions of experiencing misery (repentance), deliverance (faith), and thankfulness (obedience)? Do you know something of them in your life's experience?
Several never stopped reading their books, newspapers, or magazines; others continued their conversations with others; some kept looking out of the window; a few partially listened to the emergency directions because they had nothing better to do. In short, everyone was disinterested and found the proclamation of this message to be boring.
But imagine if, when flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,144 metres), the right engine of the aircraft caught fire. The passengers saw the flames, felt the unsteadiness of the plane, and heard the voice of the pilot informing them to listen to the emergency-procedure message of the flight attendants because an emergency landing will be necessary.