About conversion, the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). To change a lost sinner into a “new creature” requires the same creative energy that originally brought forth life (John 3:3, 5; Romans 6:5, 6; Ephesians 2:10). It is a supernatural operation outside the human experience.
Conversion takes place when the Spirit of God works on the heart of a man gently as the invisible wind yet the effects are plainly seen and felt. Christ said to Nicodemus, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). God’s Spirit creates a new being in the image of God and the life will bear witness to the fact.
The Test of Discipleship
In order to test your conversion, ask yourself: Who has my heart? Of whom do I love to talk? Who has my love? If you are Christ’s, then your thoughts are with Him. All you have and are is dedicated to Him. And you do desire to reflect His image and do His will.
Those, who become new creatures in Christ Jesus, will bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22, 23). The things they once hated they now love, and the things they once loved they hate.
Thus, true repentance will always bring about reformation. If the sinner, confess his sins, gives back what he had robbed and loves God and his fellow men, he may be certain that he has passed from death unto life.
Loving obedience is the true sign of conversion. The Scripture says, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 5:3; 2:4). Instead of freeing man from obedience, it is faith that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which empower us to obedience.
We do not earn salvation by our obedience; for salvation is the free gift of God, to be received by faith. But obedience is the fruit of faith. “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him” (1 John 3:5, 6).
Obedience is not a mere outward compliance to God’s law but is the service of love (John 14:15). The law of God is a manifestation of the great principle of love to God and man (Luke 10:27), and hence is the basis of His government in heaven and earth. God in the New Covenant promises, “I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” (Hebrews 10:16).
If we abide in Christ, our thoughts and actions, will be in line with His will as revealed in His holy law. John wrote, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” (1 John 3:7). Righteousness is defined by the standard of God’s holy law, as expressed in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17).
Jesus declared to the ruler, “if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” The ruler said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:17-19). True conversion is shown by loving obedience to God’s law (1 John 5:3).
In His service,