With true love there is true conversion. Conversion by definition is to bring over from one belief-view to another; to alter the physical nature or properties; to change from one form or function to another. All humanity is born with a corrupted mindset; it is what we receive from Adam after the fall. Through faith in Jesus we have salvation, which not only saves us from sin but makes us right with God. Receiving God’s love, forgiveness and restoration back to God, converts or changes the way we think of ourselves. We become a new creation, children of God. When we know who we are in Christ we will want to change our behavior.
The love of the Holy Spirit that lives in the true born again believer can be seen in our motivation, determination and self-control, and in the performance, accomplishments and the achieving of God’s love in the earth. God never lost sight of who we were created to be; His children and our created purpose; to reflect His love to one another and all creation.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. NIV
The beginning of the true Christian conversion is recognizing God’s Holiness and Jesus’ love for us because He paid our sin debt. This allows that same love to flow from our lives to those who are lost. God did not wait until we became right; He made us righteous, just as we cannot wait for the unlovely to become loveable. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us and while they are still sinning we must die to self and show the love of God to others.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. NIV
Conversion is the process all true believers go through after there is restoration and justification. Once we are restored to the family of God and are justified by the completed work of Christ on the cross, we begin a conversion from the old person of the current world beliefs and views, to God’s Kingdom principles and truths. The changes in our beliefs transform and alter our physical nature; we are changed from the former actions of living for self, to dying to our natural thoughts, feelings and emotions that we received from Adam’s fallen nature.
As our understanding and appreciation of God’s love for us through Jesus grows, so will our desire to please Him, to be like Him and to show His love to others. Salvation is a onetime occurrence. Once we truly accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord we are in the household of God. But conversion and transformation is a continuous process of renewing our minds to the way God thinks and a continuous process of dying to self and loving others as Christ loved us.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will. NIV
As a true believer, our spirit man is made alive in Christ and the Holy Spirit is now living in us and yet sometimes our minds, bodies and habits remain the same. This is the conflict we need to resolve in the new believer, who has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and yet their natural tendencies are to respond in their old way of thinking. Their reasoning and thoughts of right or wrong and their very conscience has been molded by this fallen world system. To change their actions they must change the way they think. To be transformed into the image of God we must change our belief system to agree and line up with His. This is done by knowing Him, the only wise God our Saviour through His written word.
Remember, it is the love of God in us that changes the way we think and see things. The love God has for us, because of Jesus, changes the way we live our lives and see others. It is not by any works of our own but the power of God through the Holy Spirit working in us. We no longer see ourselves condemned, but free. Free from pride, free from self, free to be transformed into the love of God, which is displayed by our love for others, our joy, hope and peace, that we have in our lives and for others.