What Conversion is Not

At times it is helpful to define things by describing what they are not.  Theologically this is very helpful, especially in crucial matters like conversion.  The following is adapted from the 9Marks article “What is Conversion?” and it lists out what conversion is not:

A one-time event with no implications for how we live: Conversion does happen at one moment, and it is a moment of radical change. Life should look different thereafter. A new battle begins.

A journey with no destination: Conversion may be preceded by a long process for some, but it always involves a committed decision to repent of sin and trust in Christ, which is the immediate result of God giving new life to a spiritually dead sinner.

Optional: Acts 17:30 says that God commands all people everywhere to repent. Conversion can never be forced, but it is absolutely necessary in order to be saved.

A conversation: While Christians should communicate the gospel humbly, our goal is not merely a pleasant exchange of information. We must call everyone to repent of their sin and trust in Christ for salvation.

Saying a formulaic prayer: Conversion certainly involves praying, but we must be careful not to tempt people toward placing their trust in some special set of words.

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