Are You Converted
Acts 9 and the Conversion of Saul
This week we return to our series on the book of Acts. Throughout the year, we have preached that the Book of Acts is, in fact, a record of the Act of the ascended/enthroned Jesus. In chapter 9, Jesus enters the centre stage in the conversion of the Saul. Once a murderous Pharisee, after meeting Jesus Saul becomes an unstoppable preacher of the gospel.
In reflection upon his conversion, here are few thoughts.
In reflecting upon his own conversion, Paul writes,
“And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16)
Paul’s conversion is an example for all of us. An example of just how patient, powerful and gracious our God is. No matter how wicked we are or have been, Jesus is willing to confront us and change us. He will forgive and he will restore.
Thus, Paul conversion challenges our faith in God. Do we believe that he is able to forgive and restore you? Do you believe he is able to forgive and restore your unbelieving spouse? After all, when you consider Saul’s conversion, he was not seeking God. Jesus sought him. And so our prayer ought to be,
“Lord in your great patience, save “(add a name)”. Although he/she is not seeking you, confront him/her with your Lordship and bring him/her to their knees.”
Secondly, in reflecting upon Saul’s conversion, we ought to ask ourselves are we really converted? In Jonathon Edwards, 'A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections', or the modern English version, 'The Experience That Counts', he jots down a number of tests to determine whether a person truly knows Christ as Savior and Lord. Many other Scriptures do the same thing (2 Corinthians 8.8, 2 Corinthians 13.5).
This is Jonathan Edwards list,
1. Conviction of sin is a mark of true conversion
2. Humbling of pride
3. A recognition with obedience to the Lordship of Jesus
4. A transformation from spiritual blindness
5. Seeking the LORD in prayer
6. Fellowship (and love for) with God’s people - emphasis mine
7.A life under the power and control of the Holy Spirit (bearing the fruit of Him)
8. A new purpose and direction in life
Thus the challenge from 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NET) —
5 Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you—unless, indeed, you fail the test!
May He grant you insight into Christ and into your own hearts,
More in Pastoral Blog Posts
November 2, 2017"Letters from Jesus to the Churches" - Concord Sermon Series
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July 24, 2017Christ for all of Life - Sermon Series at Homebush Bay