By Not Known
Some people become Christians by a dramatic conversion experience rather like that of the Apostle Paul (Acts 9: 1- 19). Perhaps they were living a dissolute or godless life, or were avid devotees of another faith and violently opposed to Christianity. But then they heard about Jesus and had a compelling personal encounter with him, such that they made the surrender of faith in a dramatic gesture.
Others become Christians in different ways. Some of us were born into families with Christian parents and were always raised as children of God. Through an imperceptible process, our parents’ faith became our faith until we, like the OT figure of Jacob could talk about ‘my God‘ rather than ‘my father’s God‘ (Gen 28: 13 & 21). Or perhaps others identify with CS Lewis, who speaks of simply boarding a bus to London zoo as a non-Christian and discovering that he was a Christian by journey’s end.
In our recent small groups, people have told how they became Christains by quite different and unique ways. Of course, what matters is that we have become Christan and can say that we trust Jesus as our saviour and submit to him as our Lord. How we got there is not significant.
Helping people to become Christains is a key goal for our church. It relates to our share in God’s local and global mission of making followers of Jesus Christ. This is why we have overseas mission projects and local efforts such as outreach services and Basic Christianity courses. We want to see people convert to Jesus
Conversion is the start of a journey, not its end. We see this rather vividly in Paul who soon began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues in which he had once denounced him. Alongside this, we see an ongoing work of personal change in Paul as his whole life was brought under the saving rule of Jesus and indwell by the Holy Spirit. This change is called sanctification.
While our conversion stories may vary, the sequel is common ground. Every Christian person is meant to go on to a life-long process of sanctification and Christian service. Sanctification will look the same in all, but service will vary with the gifts and calling of each one.
As we study Paul’s converstion today, Let’s all examine ourselves for the marks of our commitment to Christ. Let’s all press on beyond conversion to sanctification and service.