Christian conversion starts with the Holy Spirit bringing an inner awareness, an awaking of spiritual matters, which if responded to, results in embracing the truth, leading to transformation of thought and lifestyle as the Christian beliefs and teachings are outworked. Conversion involves repenting from sin, accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour from the consequences of sin (eternal damnation) and following Him as Lord. Through the blood of Jesus, confessed sin is cleansed (there is the need for ongoing cleansing when further sin is committed), and we are considered righteousness through Christ (2 Cor 5:21; Eph 4:24; Phil 3:9). Conversion is a personal, voluntary matter and because it is a choice, must occur after the age of accountability when the person is aware of their need to be converted.

Sometimes this is a dramatic event identifiable by date and place, for other people it is a journey of growing into the experience with no specific details recalled yet no less real. Whatever the route it involves an ongoing relationship to the Master with a lifestyle bearing a growing resemblance in keeping with the faith you claim to profess.

“Whoever claims to live in God should live as Jesus did” (1 Jn 2:6). This must come from
a heart motivated by thanks to God for the gift of salvation and not just the outward compliance to a form of godliness because of peer pressure or because it is to your social advantage to be considered a Christian. Although good works do not play any part

Are you truly converted and walking in discipleship?

in salvation, they should be an evidence of the new life within as should be an appetite for the things of God.

The essential elements of true conversion are: humility – ‘I am a guilty sinner that can’t save myself’; repentance – not just ‘sorry’ but rather a behavioural change of turning from sin and selfishness; in faith turning to Jesus the only means of salvation; obedience – evidenced by surrender and submission to His Lordship. As Christ has literally bought me, He is to be Lord of my life.

Conversion is just the start into true discipleship, which involves denying self, taking up our cross (what brings death to our self-life) and following Jesus (Mt 28:19,20; Mk 8:34). It is choosing to opt out of Satan being our master, yielding to the Jesus Christ,

The first step towards heaven

transferring our allegiance from Satan’s kingdom of darkness, destruction and death (spiritual death is everlasting punishment) to God’s Kingdom of light, liberty and life of everlasting joy and peace (Jn 10:10; Col 1:13).

At conversion the Holy Spirit takes up residence within and increasingly should be given our permission to take more control with the divine qualities (fruit of the Spirit) being evident (Rom 8:9;1 Cor 3:16, 6:19, 12:13; Gal 5:22,23; Eph 1:13). Besides the Holy Spirit, other resources available to help us live as Children of God include the Word of God, spiritual gifts, fellow believers and always-available access to the throne of God through prayer.

Conversion is a term used for those adopting non-Christian faiths too. Proselytism is the pressured attempt to get a convert from a different religion or belief. A person is sometimes termed an apostate when they have left a particular religion for another.

Conversion therapy is the term used to describe assisting homosexuals to change to heterosexuals.

See also: belief/believe, born again, change, cheap gospel, conversion therapy, disciple/discipleship, fruit of the Spirit, Holy Spirit, proselytize, repentance, salvation.