Saturday, January 16, 2010

That Sounds A Lot Like a Conversion…

This is a short post, but includes a long list at the end.

Some people would say that this sounds a lot like the difference between having faith and not having it at all. But I believe there were many signs to demonstrate that I truly believed in Christ and had faith before this happened. It seems to me that I was a genuine Christian, but I was also stuck in a shallow state of sanctification that I needed to be pulled out of. I have known other Christians who seem to have been through the same process or are still struggling with it. It is important for Christians to think about when faith actually begins and how we can know if we are truly alive in Christ or just deceiving ourselves like the Pharisees who persecuted Jesus and the Early Church. You need to be sure that you really know God, not just some imitation you have created for yourself to justify your way of life or make you feel important. But for the moment my purpose here is to encourage those who already believe in Christ who are nevertheless still struggling with satisfaction and yearning to experience the abundant life that Christ promised.

I also want those who may read this who don't believe Christ is their Savior to see just how extraordinary and powerful the pleasures of knowing God can be. If what you read is moving you, then I encourage you to take a Bible and literally ask God out loud to show you whether Christ is the answer. As you listen for Him, read the passages below and see what happens in your heart and mind. No one can explain quite how faith happens - it's a spiritual thing - but this is the way many people have found confidence to believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is.

"but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear." Isaiah 59:2

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus… ." Romans 3:23-24

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1

"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

"if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." John 3:16-18

"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12-13

"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us. …" 1 John 3:16

"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus… ." 1 Timothy 2:5

"He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross."
Colossians 1:13-20

"For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'" Romans 10:13

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

"yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified." Galatians 2:16

"'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.' And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house." Acts 16:30-32

"these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20:31 (which means there is more to see if you keep on reading!)

Scripture quotes courtesy of this excellent online Bible website: ESV Bible Online

I also recommend: Bible Gateway (many, many different versions can be searched)

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