Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Why do any choose to follow Christ?

A great Christian friend of mine tagged me in a note asking for thoughts on how one is converted to Christianity. I thought the discussion totally worthy of some attention and posted the following thoughts:


What a most wonderful subject, brother =). Before I offer my thoughts I wanted to say thanks for bringing this up because it has been the focus of my mind and my heart for a few weeks now. Even more so, however, Christian people need to be reminded of our conversion and ought to be concerned about such things as the (whuh oh, here’s a fancy phrase =)) Ordo Solutus … the Order of Salvation. My understanding of the Ordo Salutus has changed over the years and has, as a result, greatly impacted my life.

As a Christian, the way in which sinners are converted to Christianity continues to affect me.

I’m not sure I can put a number of “steps” together describing how I view the conversion process, but I think I can handle scribbling down some bullet points.

(1) First, I believe that because of the Fall of Adam every single human being will not and cannot make positive advancements towards God and the gospel. The Scriptures teach that men are willfully in rebellion against God, and are in fact called God-haters. We are all children of wrath by nature and love our sin, and we are dead to the things of God. Were the choice of salvation left to unregenerate sinners, we would always choose to remain in our sin – every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

(2) Why and how does anyone believe? Because of the work of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit raises sinners from spiritual death to spiritual life. This then produces faith. Faith does not produce regeneration to newness of life, but is rather a gift from God that comes naturally to the one who has been born again. Just as Lazarus naturally came forth after Jesus raised him from the dead, even we, after having been raised to life will naturally have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(3) The Holy Spirit uses means to accomplish conversion. He does not just transfer information into someone’s brain and –POOF- they believe that information. No. God sends preachers to boldly and clearly proclaim His gospel in every land. This means that there are certain things one must comprehend before they can believe: God, sin, Hell, grace, the gospel, etc.

(4) God always convicts the sinner of his sin so that he recognizes his great need of a perfect savior. It is this point that has really struck home for me as of late … that a true conversion is one which involves a sorrow, worry and a hatred for their sins. The sinner’s heart ought to be greatly troubled by their wicked ways, so much so that they wonder how they might be redeemed from the wrath to come. The answer is found in Jesus Christ, and is plain to those the Holy Spirit causes to be born again.

(5) My final thought is this: an individual may wrestle with the gospel because of particular circumstances, arguments, religious beliefs, or other various perspectives. But the God of the Bible is a perfect Savior, and He saves to the uttermost without our cooperation. When He grants saving grace to someone and calls them out of the tomb he cannot help but come forth in believing expectation because it is in their new nature to do so. And no amount of false beliefs can stop God’s mighty hand. This means that God receives all the glory for it. Truly, salvation is wholly of the Lord our God.


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