Thursday, March 22, 2007

Conversion--Event or Process?

Some of you may remember the explanation of sanctification that we learned in Sunday School, Training Union, etc.--"We have been saved, we are being saved, we will be saved." Since sanctification seems to be another way of saying "converted" or "saved," this might be a helpful way to look at the previous topic from another perspective. Salvation is not just an isolated event in time, but an on-going process.

In a very real sense, all who have named the name of Christ are still in the process of being saved. No matter how one first entered onto that path, the work has started, and the work of becoming more like Christ goes on from day to day. It is not finished yet; I would say that it will not be accomplished until "the day of Christ Jesus"--either His return or our leaving this life.

So if we are in the process of being saved, what contributes to that process? First, worship--both private and corporate. As we come close to God and God comes close to us, we gain not only new understanding, but a better understanding of grace as well.

Second, love for our neighbor. What's this got to do with salvation? In one of John's epistles, we find the comment (my translation), "If you can't love the brother you can see, how will people know that you love the God that you can't see." Love for neighbor--in word and deed--is a sign that we are somehow different than we were and are becoming more than we were. Indeed, we might say that love itself is a process--a day to day walk--rather than an event.

What are some other signs that salvation is at work in your life?

1 comment:

Cory said...

I would think an obvious indication of our salvation would be the fruits of the Spirit. The work of salvation is one of transformation that involves the sewing and reaping of Jesus and his identity in our lives.

P. S. I thought this was a relevant essay by Richard Kauffman of The Christian Century.