Jesus told us that except we be converted and become as little children we shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mat. 18:3). Conversion is a process of turning. In Romans 6 Paul tells us what happens in the process of conversion and its wonderful results in the lives we live. To one who has been buried in baptism and raised as Christ was raised to walk in newness of life he says, "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 5:11). The question comes up as to how we become dead to sin. After becoming Christians the temptations are still there to go back to sinning if we let them have their way in our lives. However a great change has taken place in conversion. We die to sin in the following processes: 1. Upon hearing the gospel and coming to grips with the fact that there is one God and that Jesus of Nazareth is his Son who died on the cross for the sins of the world, we come to believe on God and Christ. In being taught that gospel we learn that God is holy and cannot fellowship men in sin (Isa. 59:1,2). Also see that God is just and will punish men who live and die in their sins. There is everlasting destruction for those who know not God and obey not the gospel (2 Thes. 1:7-9). In the mercy of God Christ came to save us from our sins (Mat. 26:28; Heb. 2:9; I John 2:1,2). We see then the awful consequences of sin and want forgiveness. Inspired men tell us that we need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ if we want to be saved (John 8:24; Mk. 16:16; Acts 16:31). When we believe on God and Christ we realize the awfulness of sin in our lives and see what it is doing to us both here and in eternity. Then we DIE TO THE LOVE OF SIN. Sin is responsible for the bad things that happen in our lives so we no longer love the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life. 2. Jesus in this gospel tells us "Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish" (Lk. 13:3). Repentance is defined in Mat. 21:28, 29 in the parable of the two sons. The father said to one "go work in my vineyard" but the son answered "I will not". Afterwards he repented and went and worked in the vineyard. What happened when he repented? He changed is mind or will about what he would do. Likewise all who repent must change their wills or determinations. This is to DIE TO THE PRACTICE OF SIN. Men determine to walk no more in those things that are sinful. They seek God's will in their lives. The goodness of God leads men to repentance (Rom. 2:4). The longsuffering of God is extended to men because God wants man to repent (2 Pet. 3:9). The great fact that all will face Christ in judgment should cause us to repent (Acts 17:30,31). 3. In the book of Romans we are told that we are justified by faith in chapters 3,4 and 5. In Romans 6 we are told how we are justified by faith. God says, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:3,4). So those who have died to the love of sin in faith, to the practice of sin in repentance, now in baptism DIE TO THE GUILT OF SIN. They reach the cleansing blood of Christ by being baptized into His death. They buried with him by baptism into the death of their sins. They arise to walk in the newness of life. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Rom. 6:6). The wonderful results are that men are freed from their old sins. As new born Christians they determine to live unto God (Rom. 6:10). The determination is "Let not sin reign in your mortal body" (Rom. 6:12). "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin" (Rom. 6:13). Christians have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine, being made free from sins and become servants of righteousness. (Rom. 6:17,18). They seek the things which are above and put to death the old sinful habits in which they once engaged (Col. 3:1-10). They have their fruit unto holiness (Rom. 6:22) and look forward to everlasting life in heaven. If they slip and sin they are ashamed of it, repent, and pray (Acts 8:22-24). The Lord is now their king instead of the Devil. THIS IS CONVERSION AND THIS IS THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
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