103.0 The Spiritual Awakening:
Again, our first perception of God's redemptive effort, the place that it really begins to touch us, consciously, is the point at which we start to sense the drawing of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said in John, chapter 6, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him..." As the Holy Spirit draws us to Christ, we start to become more God aware.
And, this Spiritual pull unfolds in many varied forms including providential encounters along the way with godly people and/ or media forms of different sorts. Or, it may be the inner rising of recrimination or guilt of some kind. The divine drawing may sometimes involves insecurity, curiosity, desperation, or an awareness of need or inner emptiness. Again, there are many ways that this divine "tractor beam" defines itself.
Nevertheless, if all goes well, at some point, the "Conversion Chemistry" becomes right. Our mental, emotional, and real circumstances all align, under this "divine meddling" in an effort to bring us to a time of perfect personal clarity.
And this clarity affords us the "Conversion opportunity." In this time of real, divinely-furnished truth, we find ourselves actually able to honestly respond to God's relational overtures - if we sincerely choose to do so.
It is in this time that we are finally able to rise above the satanic delusions to clearly see an accurate comparison between the self-determined life-approach and the Christ-led life-approach. And, in this moment of true clarity, we are finally, then, honestly free to choose as we will between those two life-approaches.
103.1 - The Nature of the Conversion Moment:
If we do choose to embrace the Lordship of Christ, then that moment becomes our "Conversion Moment." It is in this moment that we are "converted" from our own dark delusions of self-sufficiency to the authentic enlightenment of divine truth. And this conversion moment involves two important elements.
It involves "Repentance," which is simply a sweeping change of heart. And, it involves "Redemptive faith," which, in its final analysis, is really a specific kind of humility. It is that humility which is expressly defined by a surrender of control.
In Christian Redemption, repentance is a complete philosophical turn around on the deepest governing level of our core person. And, this profound change of heart is enabled, as described above, by the clarity afforded during the time of the conversion opportunity. It is during this divinely arranged time that one is able to actually see the true wrongness of "the Broad Way," that self-directed life-path, which most in the world choose to follow.
Redemptive faith, on the other hand, is the humble release of control over one's life to the Lordship of the Living Christ. And again, it is the clarity of the conversion opportunity which also affords the believer this ability to see the true rightness of embracing the Christ-directed life-path to gain His always loving and beneficial oversight.
103.1a - The Conversion Motion:
As a practical matter, repentance and faith might be very accurately thought of as two sides of the same coin.
That is, these actions essentially occur simultaneously as two facets of the same "Conversion Motion." So, it goes like this. As we experience that reversal of our view regarding the self-guided life-approach, we turn away from that approach (repentance). But, that same motion turns us humbly to the alternative approach, the Christ-controlled life (faith).
Another way to express this life-changing pivot is that we give up our personal sovereignty as an act of repentance, even as we are giving over our personal sovereignty to Christ as a humble act of soul saving faith. So, in practical terms, this "conversion dynamic" is, indeed, essentially, one soul saving motion with two facets.
103.1b - The Archetypal Conversion Example:
We can see a perfect example of this "Repentance/ Faith Dynamic" framed in the words of the apostle, Paul, in the New Testament.
In the moment of Paul's conversion from his own darkened understanding to God's true enlightenment in Christ, Paul, asked, "Lord, what would you have me do?" (Ref. Acts 9:6) This very simple question is truly fashioned from "redemptive bedrock." It rises starkly from the pages of the New Testament as a shinning monument to the true conversion dynamic.
This question clearly indicates to all, those two indispensable things which are so completely requisite to the authenticity of any and every conversion. Paul's example, in these few brief words, leaves no doubt that the proper response to God's redemptive love is simply to lay aside our own life-agenda and humbly embrace that of Christ.
And, it is precisely when we truly do these things, that the salvation of our soul occurs - and not before. The divine pardon only happens when we truly turn from our self-determined course and humbly turn to a true embrace of Christ's authority over our life.
It is only at this point that the benefits flowing out of the sacrifice which Christ made on the Cross are applied to one, personally. It is only at this precise point that we are pardoned from the consequences of our previous self-sufficient attitude and lifestyle and reconciled to God through the Dying Christ.