Once I was lost … and now
I am found!
And the difference is the Gospel.
Once I was dead … and now I
am alive!
And the difference is Jesus.
Once I was blind … and now I see!
And the difference is the good
news of God's love.
Once I was enslaved … and now
I am free!
And the difference is God's rescuing
mercy.

Sermons and Prayers of Walter Brueggemann

After the new birth, you will love with all your heart, soul, and mind your neighbor as yourself. The new birth is a change of direction and change of affection. It's a union of the soul with Christ. Christ comes to you through the Holy Spirit and you become a partaker of God's life.
Billy Graham, quoted in Richard Wightman Fox, Jesus in America

You can become a Christian in a moment, but not a mature Christian. Christ can enter, cleanse, and forgive you in a matter of seconds, but it will take much longer for your character to be transformed and molded to his will. It takes only a few minutes for a bride and bridegroom to be married, but in the rough-and-tumble of their home it may take many years for two strong wills to be dovetailed into one. So when we receive Christ, a moment of commitment will lead to a life- time of adjustment.
John Stott,Basic Christianity

Christian conversion recognizes that we become God's children, members of his family, by grace and adoption, not by nature. Those who are converted, therefore, find that they must answer not only to God, but also to and for the community of the faithful.
James P. Hanigan in Theology Today

Certain moral changes will take place immediately in the life of the new convert. A moral revolution without will accompany the spiritual revolution that has occurred within. As the evangelists tell us, even the cat will know it when the head of the house is converted. And the grocer will know it too.
A.W. Tozer, We Travel an Appointed Way

Converts must become known as peacemakers. We must follow the leadership of the One who was willing to bear the cost of making peace in a hostile world.
Jim Wallis, The Call to Conversion

However much we may wish it otherwise, when we receive the Spirit at conversion, divine perfection does not set in, but divine "infection" does! We have been invaded by the living God himself, in the person of his Spirit, whose goal is to infect us thoroughly with God's own likeness.
Gordon D. Fee, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God

Related Elsewhere:

Past Reflections columns include:

The Outpoured Spirit (May 03, 2004)
He Is Risen (April 08, 2004)
Jesus' Cross (March 15, 2004)
Lenten Inventory (Feb. 25, 2004)
Following the Star (Dec. 23, 2003)
Advent (Dec. 10, 2003)
Wisdom for Ministry (Nov. 10, 2003)
Discerning God's Will (Oct. 6, 2003)
Work and Vocation (Sept. 17, 2003)
Bumper Sticker Theology (July 30, 2003)
Songs from the Soul (July 8, 2003)
Walk Humbly (May 28, 2003)
Mercy (May 8, 2004)
Cross and Resurrection (April 16, 2003)
Justice (March 18, 2003)
Sex, Love, and Marriage (Feb. 14, 2003)
Mountaintop Spirituality (January 23, 2003)
Word Made Flesh (December 20, 2002)
Desert Springs (November 25, 2002)
Matters of the Mind (October 16, 2002)
Bumper stickers (August 6, 2002)
Preaching (July 18, 2002)
Prayer (June 24, 2002)
Suffering and Grief (May 20, 2002)
Writers and Words (April 18, 2002)
Crucifixion (March 28, 2002)
God's Mission (February 13, 2002)
On Enemies (January 8, 2002)
Life After Christmas (December 26, 2001)
Love & Marriage (November 13, 2001)
The Word of God (October 22, 2001)
Leadership (October 11, 2001)
Suffering (September 13, 2001)
Change (August 14, 2001)
Living Tradition (July 18, 2001)

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

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