In the previous blog I described, without exaggeration, the dramatic conversion I experienced on 26th April '74. I had done just what the Bible says we must all do to find a personal, intimate relationship with God. He tells us...
'You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.''
I had died to myself. I'd sold out completely to the Lord Jesus Christ and was ready to live no longer for myself, but for Him.
Since then I've heard a conversion experience described in different ways but
to my mind, each has its limitations, especially in light of my own experience.
For me it was ...
MORE THAN 'ACCEPTANCE'… it was Absolute Abandonment
Over the years I've often heard becoming a Christian described as 'accepting Jesus'. But then this could easily be misunderstood in terms of simply making a form of intellectual ascent. In other words accepting the reasonableness of the gospel message in the same way that I 'accept' that the world is round. In my own case I've much preferred to use the Biblical term 'receive', when used to confirm that Christ Jesus has come into my life by His Spirit.
'...to all who received him... he gave the right to become children of God...'
'...just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him...'
For me it was also...
MORE THAN 'COMMITMENT' . . . it was Complete Capitulation
Conversion has also been popularly referred to as 'making a commitment'. But again for me this is an inadequate term as it can imply that one has committed oneself to a particular cause such as veganism or to a political party. On the other hand, becoming a Christian is far more than that.
For me it was also...
MORE THAN 'TRUST' … it was Unconditional Surrender
It's a very familiar form of words that's used these days when the gospel is preached. Those yet to become Christians are urged to 'trust Jesus for salvation'. And yet again, to my mind, this is way too vague a concept to truly describe what the Bible calls 'new birth'. But please don't get me wrong, having become a Christian we need to exercise trust in the Lord each minute of every day. It's an essential element in the whole process of sanctification. But I can completely 'trust' that a No 25 bus will take me to the centre of Edinburgh? It might break down. The driver might be taken ill, etc etc.
Well, I'll leave you to make up your own mind on all this. But at the end of the day it won't matter so much what terminology we use but rather the sincerity, or otherwise, of our hearts and minds... and only the Lord will know this for sure, after all...
'Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'
1 Samuel 16:7