Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 13, 1966
NUMBER 23, PAGE 9c-10a

Three Changes In Conversion

Oaks Gowen

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

"And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.)

Conversion is the process of turning to God. Man was at one time suited for the communion and fellowship with his Creator but "changes" took place in man which separated him from God. Hence, the need of "conversion" or "turning" to God. The changes involved in the alienation of man were:

1. Change of Mind. God told Adam and Eve if they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they would surely die. But the devil contradicted this truth by saying, "Ye shall not surely die." (Gen.3:1-7.) Here was an appeal made to the woman to change her mind and attitude -- yea, her belief.

2. Change of Will. The preacher (in the case, the devil, and by no means was this his last effort at preaching, ) persuaded Eve to change her will toward what God had said--and she resolved to eat of the forbidden fruit.

3. Change of Relationship. When Adam and Eve finally did eat of the fruit of the tree which had been forbidden them, their eyes were opened. For the first time in their lives, they were made immediately aware of their nudeness. As shame filled their consciences, they were driven from the Garden and the sentence pronounced: "Dust thou art; and unto dust shalt thou return." (Gen. 3:19) They were then alienated from God.

All who are alienated from God today have experienced in their own lives these three changes: 1) Change of Mind, or a change in belief; 2) change of Will, with corresponding changes in conduct; 3) and change of Relationship with God. In the process of returning to God each of these changes must recur in order for the alien to establish again a favorable relationship with his Creator. Let us take a look at them.

In the fullness of the times, Jesus Christ came and offered his body as a living sacrifice for the sins of the world, and effected the way of reconciliation with God. (II Con 5:18; Eph. 2:16; Col. 1:21.) In order for man to be reconciled with God, these changes must take place:

1. Change of Mind. A preacher of righteousness comes to the alien and preaches the Gospel of Christ wherein is the will and righteousness of God revealed. (Rom. 1:16-17) This is done in order to change the mind, or the belief, of the alien. "Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe." "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Acts 15:7; Rom. 10:17.) The gospel is to be preached to every creature in all the world in order to change their minds so man will accept God's gift unto men.

2. Change of Will. Man is to be moved, with the story that never grows old, to godly sorrow for his sins against God, then he turns from the ways of the world unto the way of holiness (II Cor. 7:9,10). This is repentance. The sinner is both willing to hear and obey the gospel of Christ.

3. Change of Relationship or State. Sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:1,2; Eph. 2:1-3). As long as one is under the power of Satan, he is in the devil's kingdom. (Col. 1:13-14.) The sinner must be delivered out of the power of darkness, and be translated into the kingdom of light. The one act that accomplishes this in God's scheme of redemption is baptism. Now before you reject this as being the case, allow me to cite the proof of this position: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Rom. 6:3-4.) "For by one Spirit we all were baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." (I Cor. 12:13)

Dear reader, are you in need of conversion? Why not begin now the process of "turning" to God by perfecting the above three changes in your life? Change your mind and your will in order that God may change your state.

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