By Jeff Arnette
A change has taken place!
From the power of Satan to the power of God.
Anyone who has repented and submitted to Christ in baptism has made the greatest choice this life can offer. A person whose faith is real and whose repentance is genuine has truly died, in a spiritual sense, to the old life of sin.
Symbolically, he has died, been buried with Christ, and resurrected to walk in a new life (Rom. 6:3-4). They have become a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). All previous relationships, everything that makes up the old life should fade into extinction until all that remains is a new person created in the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). The true convert to Christ has been “born again”, “born of the water and the spirit” and now walks in “a new life” (John 3:3, 5).
For the mind and the soul, conversion to Christ is a vast change. It is a change from having “no hope” and “without God in this world” to being a new born child of God (Eph. 2:12; Gal. 3:26-29). When one truly obeys the gospel of Jesus Christ (which is God’s power of salvation) he has been delivered from the power of Satan, the kingdom of Satan, to the power and kingdom of God (Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13).
To be delivered from the power of Satan, from death and darkness, and translated (placed within) into the kingdom of God’s dear Son; is to be a recipient of God’s greatest act of love. It is a miracle with eternal possibilities (Rom. 8:12; Col. 1:13). Everything about the New Testament conversion to Christ is miraculous and amazing.
Faith, for example, is a form of courage that cannot be measured. It is “assurance” and “conviction” that we need to approach a holy God (Heb. 11:1-6). It is a courage that dares to step out into the unknown simply because God exists. A courage that places all its hopes and dreams in God’s precious promises.
Repentance (Mark 1:15; Acts 3:19) is also a profound and significant new reality for the Christian. Only a person who has been remade in the image of God can have the power to truly repent. It is the freedom to reverse previous choices. The power needed to submit all your life to Jesus Christ and simply follow him.
Confession of faith in Christ as the Son of God is also a priceless privilege (John 12:42; Rom. 10:9). When we do this as an honest and open profession of our choice it strengthens us and the church. Confession is a constant reminder that we have believed and committed to living for Jesus for the rest of our life (Heb. 13:5).
Baptism in water, for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16), gathers together and reflects for us, the truest meaning of faith, repentance, and confession in a new symbolic way (Rom. 6:1-14). It shows ourselves and others that we have died to sin and self and have resurrected to a new life of submission to God.
Each of these (faith, repentance, confession, and baptism) are great by themselves but even greater is the fact that they place us in Christ (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3-4). There is no other way into Christ and no condemnation to those who are safe and secure in him. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:1-2).
- Jeff Arnette preaches for the Central Haywood church of Christ, Clyde, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://centralhaywoodchurchofchrist.com