True Biblical Conversion
***sermons to this point in Apple Notes****
Title: True, Biblical Conversion
Title: True, Biblical Conversion
Series: Book of Mark
Review Book of Mark to this point.
By God’s grace, we are to continually grow to understand the doctrines of scripture.
Though conversion happens in a moment, it is a doctrine which we must study and learn more and more.
Different kinds of conversions, but what makes this one such a priority?
(1) The conversion of a van
(2) The two-point conversion in a football game
With this kind of conversion, we are dealing with the healing of a soul.
And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; And see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, And make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, And the houses without man, And the land be utterly desolate, And the Lord have removed men far away, And there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: As a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: So the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
Isaiah was sent by Jehovah to the children of Israel
Now the greater Isaiah has come from Jehovah - and his message will either bring healing or hardening.
This kind of conversion is critical because it deals with the souls of men!
Because this kind of conversion is such a priority, we must mature in our understanding of true, biblical conversion.
(1) True conversion results in true freedom
(1) True conversion results in true freedom
(a) Defining conversion - turn, turn back, return -
(b) Defining forgiveness - leave, to send away, set free, to let alone -
(c) Connection conversion & the forgiveness of sins -
Principle: When someone is turned back to the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, they are indeed set free. They are able now to walk in newness of life.
It is not that we have gotten conversion all wrong, but that we need to grow in our understanding of conversion. How have we gotten conversion right?
(i) We believe that conversion is the salvation of the soul
(ii) We believe that all men must be saved
(iii) We believe that Jesus is the only way to be saved
There are evidences of these things:
(i) We pray for lost people
(ii) We invite lost individuals to church
(iii) We hand out tracts
But where do we need to grow in our understanding of conversion and forgiveness of sins?
(1) We confuse “new” with “nice” in some of our teaching
Lori Loughlin school bribery scandal....transition…a man was speaking to his friend about his two adult boys. He was worried about his sons. They were “nice” boys. They weren’t into drugs; they both were married and had good relationships, had both graduated college, were both athletic, ambitious, charming young adults. They were raised in church, learned their Bible lessons in SS, were active in youth group, each prayed the sinner’s prayer, were baptized…etc They were just all around “nice” young men.
The worry came because now, as adults, they’d basically left Jesus behind. They didn’t abandon the name “Christian”. Neither of the seemed to have the slightest interest in Jesus Christ. This man continued to say that the more he watches their adult lives unfold, the less confident he is that they even know Jesus at all.
Being converted and receiving forgiveness of sins is not the same as learning to be “nice” or moral. - Moral people who are nice do NOT necessarily have God with them. [THOUGH NICE IS VERY APPEALING]
When someone turns back to the Bishop and Shepherd of their souls, they become a new creature. Instead of allowing this to be an evidence of their salvation, we immediately begin to teach them a brand of morals for Christian living.
Nicodemus presumes that he is able
Nicodemus presumes that God would accept what he may be able to do
A domesticated view of God, much like those who think they can tame lions
There is a presumption here that religion is about helping us become better people. We assume this because we confuse being “nice” with our need to be “new”.
A young man was living an insecure life. He was afraid that God would send him to Hell, so he began making deals with God. “God, if you don’t send me to Hell, I will quit drinking, start reading my Bible, and going to church...” The assumption here is that religion will help him be the better person that God will accept.
If an atheist can duplicate the teaching and preaching we are giving about the Christian life, then we may be teaching “nice” instead of “new”.
What are symptoms of this confusion?
(i) professing converts from evangelistic campaigns are nowhere to be found
(ii) members treat church as optional - to be balanced with sports leagues and vacation houses
(iii) when giving and attendance fall far short of the membership numbers
(iv) when volunteers are hard to fund unless it’s a social event...
“…the problem is not our evangelism technique, or poor leadership, or uninteresting worship services, or bad volunteer management. The problem may well be our practical theology of conversion.” - Michael Lawrence
(v) we condemn the world’s sins more than our own
(vi) we put sins in a hierarchy, and tolerate some sins (especially our own) more than others.
(viii) we sing songs of prayer and praise and not of confession
(ix) we describe our own sins as “mistakes”
(x) we use Bible stories to teach children to be good rather than to point them to the Savior....”be like David” not “you need a new and better David, who is Christ...”
What we need is real conversion. , , A radical change must occur in us. The Bible uses the words, regeneration, new creature, transformed…but it never uses the word “reformation” for this change.
A letter came to a missionary which said, “Why, of course, Pastor, I believe in the resurrection; but let’s not get carried away.” How can someone not get carried away if this is true? “If there is not some wonder about the glory of God, there should be some wonder about whether a true conversion has happened.” - M.S.
(1) Application to the Lost:
(a) Conversion begins with God. , The Kingdom of God is the rule of God. God is the only true God and He rightly deserves and demands to govern the lives of His creatures. - He’s not a domesticated house cat.
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
(b) Conversion can only happen as you see your standing before this holy God. , , - forgiveness
That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
(c) Conversion can only happen through the means that God has prescribed - , - the “gospel of the kingdom”
(d) Conversion requires that your repent and receive Jesus as your Lord -
To the Christian:
(i) Conversion will be evidenced by a new desire for Jesus Christ -
Jonathan Edwards described the Christian as a regenerate person who has been given a taste for God. He has tasted honey and now has a sense of its’ sweetness.
(ii) Conversion is not a Christian who prays, tries hard…etc A true convert is one who has been transformed by God’s grace.
The the Church:
(i) Conversion gives us a heart for God’s people - , , .
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
(ii) God’s people (the church) should be a community of “new creatures” not merely “nice” people.
Are you “new” or merely “nice” - Have you truly been converted?
Do you have have a taste for Jesus? Is this your hearts desire?
As a Christian, has your understanding of “conversion” matured?
If so, what will this mean for your commitment to brothers and sisters in Christ?
If so, what will this mean for how you identify true conversion? Will you just emphasize the “nice” or will you emphasize the “new”?
(2) True conversion results from no accidental means
(3) True conversion results in cause for assurance