Sunday, October 11, 2015

Conversion: Bringing People to Obedience

There are some who resist the idea that ‘getting saved’ (conversion) necessarily involves a person submitting to the Lordship of Christ. There are many, many passages, however, that teach this truth, including one I’ve rarely seen referenced – Rom. 15:18. In this verse Paul summarizes his ministry as “what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience [NIV: ‘to obey God’]” (cp. Rom. 1:5; 6:16ff. & 16:26; cp. 1:8 with 16:19).

For me, it’s hard for me to think how the Bible could have put this any more clearly. For while it’s certainly true that we are saved (justified) by grace alone through faith alone (Eph. 2:8-9), it is simultaneously true that a genuine conversion brings the beginning of a new life of 'obedience to God' as this verse in Romans makes very plain. (Compare Eph. 2:10.) As J.I. Packer has written, “The proof of past conversion is present convertedness.”

Are you, and the people you care about, sincerely (though imperfectly) obedient to God (as He and His will are revealed in His Word)?

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