I See Dead PeoplePosted: June 3, 2012
I’ve thought quite a bit over the last few months about what an extensive and dramatic change is made when a person comes to Christ. It’s really quite shocking to see what the Bible actually says about conversion when contrasted to what many “Christians” in our culture say it is (often by mishandling Scripture).
Sometimes the problem is not that what people say about conversion is untrue, it just that it is incomplete. For instance, one often hears that when Christ comes into our lives, our lives get “on track” and life’s greatest questions are answered. We hear that Jesus has a wonderful purpose for our lives and that by believing in him we can start fulfilling it. Our lives can go from meaningless to meaningful. And somehow at conversion, we change from bad people to good people.
Some of these comments have roots in the truth, but none of them encompass what conversion really is. The Bible says that conversion is not some kind of self-improvement method. Believing the gospel is not primarily an event in which one gains meaningful knowledge. And is certainly not an event in which a bad person becomes good. The Bible says that at conversion we go from dead to alive.
You see, even a person without a purpose is alive. Even a person who has spiritual questions is alive. Even a person who is “off track” is alive. And even a bad person is alive. But the Bible is clear – when you do not know Christ, you are not truly alive. You are dead.
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked.” Ephesians 2:1-2
Did you catch that? If you are a Christian, do not kid yourself by looking back at your pre-Christ “life” and think that to any degree you had it together. Christ did not “improve” you. Your vision did not go from 20/30 to 20/20; you were blind. You were not just unchurched and you were not simply rebellious. You were dead. And only God can raise a life.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” Ephesians 2:4-5
That’s good news.
Lastly, note who the responsible party is for this miracle: God. Christians, there is no room for arrogance. You did not raise yourself from the dead. And if you are a non-Christian reading along, I write as the recipient of a gift, not as an earner of divine favor. The gift of life is one that you can receive by faith in Christ.
Just remember, Christ did not improve your quality of life. He gave you life when you previously had none.