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Week3_WTFIAA_What_is_Conversion - What is Conversion But...

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What is Conversion? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Romans 6:17 INTRODUCTION A young apprentice was converted in a New England church and later indicated he felt called to the ministry. As was the custom of that day, the pastor decided to check with others to determine the genuineness of the young man’s conversion. He went to the boy’s employer first to talk with him about it. The employer pointed to a chain hanging on the wall and asked, “Do you see that chain? That chain was forged for him. I was obliged to chain him to the bench to keep him at work. He was the worst boy I had in the establishment. I could not trust him out of my sight, but now, he is completely changed. He is one of my best apprentices. I would trust him with untold gold.” The religious experience the Bible describes as conversion results in a change in the life-style of the convert. As a young woman was attempting to join Spurgeon’s church in London one day, she was asked, “What makes you think you have become a Christian?” Not understanding the related Bible doctrines of conversion and regeneration, she simply responded, “Because now I sweep under the doormat!” During the Welsh Revival among the coal miners of that land, the change in the lives of the men was so dramatic, the animals in the mines refused to obey them. The miners had formerly cursed them and abused them to make them work; the animals were not trained to respond to kind language. As the caterpillar emerges from a cocoon a beautiful butterfly, so the person who experiences conversion emerges a “new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17). Two biblical terms are used to describe this experience, depending upon the perspective of the context. When viewed in terms of man’s role in salvation, the term used is “conversion.” When considered from God’s perspective, the Bible describes it as “regeneration.” These two terms are discussed in this chapter. When we understand them and all they represent, we will better appreciate our salvation. Then as we seek to reach others for Christ, we can anticipate a similar change in their lives. DEFINITION OF REGENERATION Regeneration is the work of God through the Holy Spirit of placing in one who has been given the gift of faith a new nature which is capable of doing the will of God. The regenerated person is capable of doing the “righteous things” required by God. Regeneration results in more than eternal life, it makes possible our sanctification. Regeneration is the result of that experience which is called being born again. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
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