At 9:30 am, I attended a seminar that discussed how to begin a godly relationship with a guy. Starting at 10:30, I participated in church. One of my friends returned some books that I had lent her for a paper and on my way home, a couple walking down the street commented on the large stack of books. I cheerfully told them that I was coming from church (nodding at the Bible on the top of the stack) and that I had lent a friend the others (lifting up the stack of books in my arms). As we talked, I found out that their daughter is considering attending the grad school where I got my masters and that she wants to work where I do. Wow! God works in mysterious ways - even among strangers out on the streets of the Hill :)
This afternoon, I worked through two loads of laundry while reading material about baptism. I'm in the process of seeking membership at a local church, but the subject of baptism has come to be a necessary pausing point in that process. This church is Baptist and I was baptized as an infant. If I want to become a member of this church, I will need to be baptized as a believing adult. If this goes against my conscience, the church offered to plant me in another local Gospel-preaching church (Presbyterian or Methodist, I think?). The elder with whom I spoke about this told me to educate myself on the matter, pray, discuss it with my parents, and then make a decision based on what I feel is supported by Scripture and my conscience. So, I'm working on that. I'm not in any rush to make a rash decision. I definitely don't want to be baptized just out of the desire to join a certain church. If I am baptized as a believer, I want it to be for God's sake and in obedience to Him - not out of fear or love for men.
This evening, I was back at church for the evening service! During the evening service, prayer topics are shared and prayed for, hymns are sung, and a short message is delivered. After returning home, I finished the last load of laundry, washed the dishes that piled up over the course of the week, and am now on the laptop. It was quite a full day, but a wonderful day!
The message this morning was on Conversion.
1. What does it mean to be converted, to become a Christian?
-It's the act of turning away from sin and turning to Christ in faith. (Acts 20:21)
2. How does this happen?
-We're called to repent of our sins and believe in Christ. (Isaiah 55:7, Mark 1:14-15)
-God must give us these gifts of repentence and faith. (John 6:44, Deuteronomy 30:6, Matthew 16:15-17, Ephesians 2:4-5)
-God uses means to give these gifts. (John 17:20, Romans 10:14)
3. Why understanding conversion is important:
-For our church (Matthew 5:13) the church should shine as something beautiful and different in the world
-For our own assurance (2 Corinthians 13:5) it provides believers with confident, right assurance of salvation
-For our identity (Colossians 2:13, 2 Corinthians 5:19, Romans 6:11) it gives believers a right perspective for life
-Eternity depends on it