Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
-2 Corinthians 5:17 (CSB)
As we reflect on Ephesians 2:1-10, it is impossible to understate the radical change brought in the life of a person who has been united with Christ. Death or life. Under Satan’s rule, seated with Christ above all rulers and authorities. Following the cravings for our sinful flesh, doing the good works prepared in advance for us to do. Yet, somehow I often encounter people who have very unbiblical ideas about their conversion. While I am sure there are more misunderstandings than I know of (or you would care to read about) it seems two particular errors are prevalent. First there are those who are sure that they were “born a Christian.” That is they are thoroughly convinced that there was never a time where they were not following Jesus. This of course flies in the face of Ephesians 2:1-3. We are born children of wrath, we must be born again to become children of God. The second very unbiblical idea about conversion that prevails is that of uncertainty. And let me be clear about what I am describing here by saying what I am not referring to. What I am not meaning by uncertainty about conversion which is dangerous error is the sort of thing which can beset anyone who believes in what they cannot see. Garden variety doubt, the stuff of moments and seasons where we need someone else to point to something outside of ourselves to validate our new status as God’s children is not unbiblical (in fact the letter of 1 John was written for just such occasions). Rather, the unbiblical and dangerous kind of doubt about conversion is the person who cannot point to any sort of conversion experience and by observation (their own and others) shows no marked difference in how they live. Essentially this is someone who “prayed a pray” or has simply “gone to church their whole lives” but has never been converted. If God makes you alive with Christ that is noticeable!
And this is my point. Conversion is just that, a dramatic shift in who you are. I once was blind but now I see. I once was dead, now I am alive. I once was lost, now I am found. I once was without hope and without Christ, now I have Christ and in Him a hope that never dies. If you cannot say these things in reflecting on your life, some serious introspection is required. Biblically speaking, you cannot be a Christian unless you’ve been converted. If a person is born again, that new life starts impacting every aspect of their existence until finally, one day everything that belonged to the “old life” is gone and the new life has fully come!