God’s word can, indeed, change a bad person to a good person. Through God’s Word, the Holy Spirit moves into our hearts and transforms our entire way of life (Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We are converted—restored to the relationship God intended us to have with Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Conversion happens when we trade our old sin nature for the new nature Christ provides (Romans 10:9). As we confess our sins, turn away from it, and seek His ways, our entire life changes (1 John 1:9).
This new nature is not the product of moral virtue presumed by some to be inherent in man, and requiring only growth. There are thousands of so-called moral men who are not Christians. The new nature is not merely the product of a desire, or even of a purpose to do right (Rom. 7:15–18), of accepting certain doctrines, or even of sorrow from sin. But it is the result of the supernatural element introduced into a man by the Word, which results in His change. Thus are we created anew in the likeness of Christ, adopted as sons and daughters of God, and set on a new path ( John 1:12). We are made partakers of the divine nature and are granted eternal life (2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5:11, 12).
The conversion miracle of change is done by God and freely given to all that ask by faith. Faith is placing your life into the hands of someone you cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” But even that faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). God gives us the faith to believe in Him, but we must receive it and act on it.
The new believer is not born a full-grown, mature Christian; he first has the spiritual inexperience and immaturity of infancy. But as a son of God he does have the privilege and opportunity to grow up into the full stature of Christ through a daily process of divine change (Matt. 5:48; 2 Peter 3:18).
In His service,
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