A Guide to Christian Theology - Lesson 36

Conversion and Faith

In this lesson, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the concept of God's Kingdom as presented in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. You will learn about the historical and theological significance of the Kingdom, as well as how it has been interpreted and applied throughout Christian history. By examining various biblical passages, you will explore how the idea of God's Kingdom has shaped Christian theology, particularly in the areas of eschatology, social justice, and the role of the Church.

Gerry Breshears
A Guide to Christian Theology
Lesson 36
Watching Now
Conversion and Faith

I. The New Messianic Kingdom

II. The Prince of the World, Satan

III. The Second Coming

  • In this lesson, explore the significance of systematic theology, blending academic insight with personal devotion. Learn to interpret biblical texts, understand how theology shapes beliefs, and fortify your faith against deception. This study fosters personal, biblical, and responsible theological growth, vital for spiritual development and discipleship.
  • Learn diverse ways to tackle theological questions, focusing on Holy Spirit baptism. Understand deductive, inductive, and retro-abductive methods. Acts 17:11 and Acts 15 show how community perspectives contribute to nuanced theological discussions, promoting unity amidst differing viewpoints.
  • This lesson provides insights into theological certainty levels, categorizing beliefs into "die for," "divide for," "debate for," and "decide for," highlighting essential doctrines, divisive issues, passionate debates, and less crucial matters, while underscoring the significance of understanding diverse perspectives and theological terms across different Christian tribes.
  • Explore general revelation through creation and conscience (Psalm 19, Romans 1). Responding leads to God, though not salvation alone. Special revelation possible. Diverse salvation views, favoring knowing Jesus. Seared consciences don't always void salvation.
  • Gain deep understanding of special revelation: history, divine acts, and communication revealing God's character and redemptive plan via Messiah. Lesson highlights Bible's key role, conveying God's nature, guidance, and transformative power, emphasizing ongoing divine-human communication.
  • This lesson delves into the concept of divine inspiration in Scripture, citing 2 Timothy 3:15-16 and 2 Peter 1:16-21. It explains "God-breathed" as a term highlighting God's creative influence on words, rejecting mere concepts or dictation. Inspiration involves human authors, their personalities, and styles, conveying God's message to the entire church.
  • In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of God, including their definitions, biblical support, and implications and applications.
  • In this lesson you will gain insight into the Bible's clarity, sufficiency, and authority, and the Canon.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp a deep understanding of God's character. His foremost quality is compassion, like a mother's love. He's gracious, patient, loving, faithful, and forgiving, extending favor even to the undeserving. Yet, He's just, not sparing the persistently rebellious. This lesson dispels misconceptions, urging contemplation of God's profound blend of love and justice.
  • This lesson delves into holiness via Isaiah 6, emphasizing dedication over separation from sin. It challenges misconceptions and calls for church reform.
  • This lesson delves into the fundamental characteristics of God, particularly the Trinity, emphasizing God's essential relational nature within Himself and its biblical implications, while also addressing theological controversies and highlighting the complexity of the Trinity.
  • This lesson explores different approaches to knowing God, inspired by Thomas Aquinas, discusses the doctrine of immutability, and highlights how God can change in his attitude and actions based on biblical evidence, emphasizing the value of in-depth Bible study and open dialogue in understanding God's nature.
  • This lesson covers key theological concepts: sovereignty, election, and free will. It explores differences between Calvinist and Wesleyan-Arminian views on God's sovereignty, impacting God's plan and human responsibility. Emphasis on defining terms to prevent disputes. Speaker is a "Calminian," blending Calvinism and Arminianism for a balanced perspective. Valuable insights into theological complexities and scripture interpretation.
  • Exploring various theological views and problematic issues surrounding the concept of providence, we will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of prayer in providence, as well as the compatibility of God's sovereignty and human responsibility.
  • You will gain knowledge about anthropology and its biblical foundations, creation of human beings and the image of God in humans, fall and sin and their implications on human nature, redemption and sanctification, and human destiny and eschatology, including views on heaven and hell and the return of Christ.
  • This lesson offers valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of providence and its profound implications for our comprehension of God's role in the world.
  • The lesson touches upon various types of suffering, categorizing them into six different types: moral evil (e.g., rape), natural evil (e.g., cancer), persecution, sharing the suffering of another, punishment for sin, and suffering caused by the devil.
  • Learn to discern God's will by cultivating a Christ-like character, living by moral principles, seeking counsel, embracing uniqueness, and praying. It's about aligning with your long-term happiness and godly desires, offering a balanced approach to life decisions.
  • Explore Jesus' nature and incarnation. Learn how He balanced divine and human attributes, challenging traditional views. Reflect on His mission and ours, empowered by the Holy Spirit, bridging divinity and humanity.
  • This lesson delves into the incarnation of Jesus, explaining his dual nature as both God and man during his earthly mission, supported by Old Testament, Gospel, and epistle references. It acknowledges the complexity of his divinity and humanity, even after his ascension.
  • This lesson explores Jesus' dual nature, divine and human, delving into emotions, knowledge, sin, and his role as the Second Adam, offering theological insights.
  • Learn about Jesus' life and mission, challenging traditional beliefs like the virgin birth. Explore his spiritual journey, resurrection, and more, fostering critical thinking and alternative perspectives.
  • This lesson provides a comprehensive examination of atonement, its various dimensions, and the theological concepts surrounding it.
  • Learn about the Holy Spirit, baptism, and its role in Christian faith. Understand diverse perspectives on its workings in believers' lives, emphasizing its incorporation at conversion and empowering influence, supported by biblical insights.
  • Gain insight into the relationship between spirit baptism and conversion, the various terms used in Scripture, and the importance of ongoing fillings with the Holy Spirit for special ministry tasks, character, and as a command for all believers.
  • This lesson explores the role of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. It challenges traditional definitions, proposing that any ability empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in ministry is a spiritual gift. The primary gift is the Holy Spirit himself.
  • Learn about the theological debate on spiritual gifts like prophecy and miracles. Explore four perspectives: cessationism, continuationism, functional cessationism, and word of faith. The instructor, a continuationist, emphasizes discernment and scripture while promoting respectful dialogue among believers with differing views.
  • This lesson explores the Bible's view of humanity, emphasizing humans as God's unique creation, made from dust and breath, in His image. It delves into human origins, our role as covenant partners, and the interaction between spirit and body, supported by biblical passages, offering a holistic perspective on being human in God's eyes.
  • This lesson redefines humans as image-bearers of God, emphasizing the role of reflecting divine attributes in all work, gender equality, and growth in Christ-likeness. It promotes dignity for all, with potential for deeper reflection as faith matures.
  • In this lesson you will explore the origin of sin, rejecting dualism in favor of a Christian perspective where sin arises from the choices of morally responsible creatures. The lesson introduces the idea of a pre-creation rebellion by Satan, emphasizing that humans are called to engage in spiritual warfare by doing good and promoting Shalom in the world.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the nature, marks, purpose, structure, and sacraments of the Church and learn about the different views and definitions used to define it.
  • This lecture discusses the leadership offices of a church, including eldership, deacons, and church members, and how they function according to biblical principles of polity, which prioritize following what the Bible prescribes, closely following what it describes, and using wisdom and being Spirit-led in matters it is silent about, all with the aim of effectively sharing the Gospel and achieving unity and focus.
  • In this lesson, you will explore baptism's significance, modes, and theological perspectives, and learn its role in church membership, unity, discipleship, and spiritual growth.
  • This lesson provides an overview of the historical, biblical, and theological aspects of Communion, including practical considerations for its practice.
  • You will gain a good understanding of death and its theological implications, including the biblical view of death, consequences of death, and resurrection and the afterlife. The lesson covers the definition of death, cultural views, and the portrayal of death in the Old and New Testaments. You will also learn about the physical and spiritual consequences of death, as well as the Bible's teachings on resurrection and the afterlife.
  • From this lesson, you gain insight into the biblical concept of God's Kingdom, its significance in Christian theology, and its impact on eschatology, social justice, and the Church's role.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into eschatology, examine biblical perspectives, explore key events like the Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium, and Final Judgment, and learn the significance of eschatology for today's believers.
  • By studying the eternal state, you gain insights into the new heaven and earth, resurrection, judgment, and eternal life, deepening your understanding of Christian hope and assurance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial role of church leaders, their essential qualities, and the challenges they face, while discovering the importance of support and encouragement for their growth and effectiveness in ministry.
  • In this lesson, you gain an understanding of the nature of Scripture and learn to interpret the Bible within its historical, literary, and canonical contexts while addressing challenges in biblical interpretation.
  • This lesson delves into the structure and authority of a church, examining different leadership models and emphasizing the overarching role of scripture as the final authority, while also highlighting the need for congregational involvement in decision-making processes and the unique nature of the apostles in early church leadership.
  • Learn Dr. Breshears' local church leadership principles: focus on equipping, inspiring, empowering, unifying, exemplifying, caring for, overseeing, and shepherding members. Rooted in biblical teachings, emphasizes servant leadership. The lesson discusses congregational decision-making, women in church leadership roles with respect for differing views.
  • Learn about church leadership principles, roles of elders and deacons, active membership, mutual commitment, gift utilization, and clear processes in this comprehensive lesson.
  • This lesson explores sacraments, focusing on baptism and diverse theological views. Baptism signifies a profound commitment to Christ within a believer community, emphasizing understanding and promptness post-conversion.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp the essence of baptism, its questions, and debates. Discover belief's role, its confession, and the link to repentance and faith. Explore diverse views on baptism performers, methods, and locations. Gain insights and wisdom for informed baptism decisions in your faith community.
  • From this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of Communion, also known as the Lord's Supper or Eucharist. It will provide you with insights into the controversy surrounding its terminology and the theological background of Communion, primarily focusing on 1 Corinthians Chapters 10 and 11. You will learn about various theological perspectives on the real presence of Christ in the Communion elements and explore different viewpoints on the frequency, leadership, eligibility, and practical aspects of Communion. Overall, this lesson will equip you with the knowledge to better understand and participate in the Communion meal.
  • This lesson delves into two ends: individual death and the end of the age. It explores human death, material and immaterial aspects (Ecclesiastes 12:7, Genesis 3), fear, loss of autonomy, cremation, death determination, rewards, and urges preparation to meet Jesus, facing the undeniable reality of death.
  • Learn about the Kingdom of God, its aspects, Christ's return interpretations, and key concepts like inaugurated, Messianic, and millennium kingdoms. Emphasizing humility and mission in theological debates, it prepares you for insightful discussions on Christ's return and tribulation.
  • Learn about Christian views on heaven and hell. Hell is punishment for those who reject Jesus; heaven is eternal bliss with Him on a renewed Earth. Explore differing views respectfully.

Understand the core topics of systematic theology, from what we know about God to the future state of humankind. Special emphasis is given to such topics as Christ, salvation, the church, and the future.

A Guide to Christian Theology
Dr. Gerry Breshears
Conversion and Faith
Lesson Transcript

Well, as we think about this aspects of salvation, which begins, Clare, back with the election, goes through grace we've talked about. There are a couple of things that happen, and I think of it as the conversion in the conversion package. So conversion, and again, I've got your handout in front of you here. Conversion is that voluntary change in response to the divine initiative in the gospel of grace, in which one turns from self and Satan, which is repentance, toward Christ, which is faith, embracing him as savior. And what it does is it focus on the change of fundamental values from loving sin and self to loving God in his ways. So the conversion piece. In the package of conversion, it's voluntary and if you're more Calvinist, you do it because you want to as God's done his regeneration in you already. If you're more Wesleyan or Arminian, it's voluntary because it's a choice where I have contrary choice and that's a difference in different tribes.

But in either case it's voluntary, it is an action on the part of the person in response to the divine initiative of grace. So God has to begin the work with the call to salvation and I think a gracious work in us. But the repentance and faith are the two things. So if I look at Acts, chapter two, this is one of the conversion packages things, sorry, Acts, chapter two, and I look at what happens here 2:37, when the people hear his preaching, Peter's preaching, the people heard this, they were cut to the heart. That's a conviction, probably killing the Messiah was not a really good idea. They're cut to the heart. That's the beginning. The call to conversion, proclamation of the gospel, they're cut to the heart. There's a conviction.

They said to Peter, "Brothers, what shall we do?" Now that's a confession of need. What am I going to do? I'm convicted that I have a need. I'm now saying I have a need. What shall I do? And that I think is confession. And then Peter says this, he says, "Repent and be baptized. Every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for forgiveness of your sins. You'll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." There's a lot packed in there, but it begins with repentance. So what I want to do here is talk about repentance and what does that repentance mean?

In English, repentance means to be sorrowful again. That's what the word repentance, if you look at it actually means, it means to be sorrowful again. I don't think that's what repentance is about. I mean there's a piece of sorrowful, but this is a place where the English word and the allotment behind it is misleading. So let's look at a story. It's Luke, chapter three. Luke, chapter three. I mean, there's so many fun stories. This guy John the Baptist is out in the valley. I mean, it's really funny when I look at different translations, when I look in all the English translations, it calls him John the Baptist. When I look in the Dutch translation, it's John the Dipper, because they actually translate baptism instead of transliterating it because it means John the Dipper. But no English translation makes it John the Dipper, which I just laugh about. Anyway, he's preaching this wonderfully encouraging message, you brood of vipers and that kind of stuff. But look at verse eight, look at verse eight. This is critical in understanding what repentance means. Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Now, the produce fruit is behavioral change. Is that what repentance is? The answer's no, that's not repentance. That's the fruit of repentance. Repentance, the Greek word there is metanoia, change of mind. And metanoia, the idea there is change of basic values. And if you change your basic values, your behavior will change. We read repentance and in American understanding, repent means change your ways. But see, that's not the Greek word, this makes it clear that the change of behavior is the fruit of repentance. Change of behavior is fruit of repentance. And then they ask him, "Okay, what do you have in mind here? What should we do?" Anyone who has two shirts should share one with who has none. Anyone who has food share, to do the same. Tax thief, what should you do? Don't collect more than you're required to do. Soldiers, what should you do? Don't exhort money. And now he's talking about the fruit of repentance, but repentance, a change of values.

One more passage, Acts. Acts 26, verse 20. This is Paul in front of Herod Agrippa, and he's giving his testimony. King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First those in Damascus and Jerusalem, all Judea, then the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. So repentance results in change of behavior. This is Acts 26:20. I preached they should repent and turn to God. And the definition of repentance is turn to God. It's a change of direction, it's a change of allegiance. So they've been... Fundamentally, if you go back to verse 18, I preached to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God that they may receive forgiveness. So the repentance is turning from darkness to light, from Satan to God. That's what repentance is, a change of basic values and allegiances. And in verse 20, he unpacks that further, they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate the repentance by their deeds.

So the understanding repentance as I see it, and this is common, it's not unique to me. It's not change of behavior. Change of behavior is a result of repentance. Repentance itself is a change of basic values and basic allegiance. So I turn from Satan to God and that's where he is.

Now, place that I'm a little more unique, going back to Acts 2:38, when they said, "Brethren, what should we do?" Peter replies, "Repent and be baptized." Now if I wanted to mess with you and I won't today, but I should, I would say, do you have to be baptized in order to get forgiveness of sins? And you all would know except now you're becoming suspicious of my innocent questions. And my answer is yes, you do have to, because in my understanding, both repentance and faith are whole person actions, not just heart actions. Remember when I was talking about nature of person, I talked about interacting duality, body plus spirit. I think we are representing the defective anthropology when we make repentance and faith only a matter of the heart. The attitude of my heart is trust God. The attitude of my heart is change of allegiance. I think it's a whole person thing.

So I'm going to say that the biblical way to be repentant is to be baptized. Now our theology does not lead that and all kinds of people repent without being baptized. But I think the biblical thing is a whole person action. Repent and be baptized is not just a heart attitude but also the action and the action involved biblically is being baptized. So I think repentance, the whole person action, done in verse 41, where he's talking about faith. Those who accepted his message were baptized. So acceptance or faith or trust is also a whole person action and the biblical way to show to be fully repentant and fully trusting is baptism.

Now we don't do that for a whole lot of reasons and it has a lot to do with the Reformation, the rejection of Roman Catholic sacramentalism, which I'm full on board for rejecting Roman Catholic sacramentalism. But I think again, we've thrown the perennial baby out with the bathwater and we've said no, repentance and faith, and many times we've don't even do repentance, it's only a heart action, and I don't think it's complete until it's a whole person action. And we have substituted lots of things for baptism, the most common substitute is a sinner's prayer. It's still a whole person thing. We want you to pray with your mouth, which is a whole person thing. But we've substituted the sinner's prayer in place of baptism, which I think is the biblical way of doing things.

Now I know this is really, really... Kerry, you're going crazy. We no longer believe you, we won't trust anything else you say. But what I'm going to say is read what it says. Repentance is paired with baptism. Faith is paired with baptism. We've separated them because of rejection of Roman Catholic sacramentalism, which I'm very much in favor of, but I think the biblical completion of repentance and faith is baptism. We have substituted the sinner's prayer as the completion, which is not a bad thing, it's just not the biblical thing. And we've devalued baptism and made it an optional thing to do later if you feel like it, kind of thing almost. And I think that's a mistake.

I also think that conversion, my analogy is, I don't know, I'll get myself in trouble, but it's okay. I'm on camera. Nobody will see it. I think to me, baptism is to Christian life as wedding is to married life. It seems to me that baptism is to Christian life biblically, as wedding is to married life. And I think wedding, which I'm going to do here soon, be a part of with Eric and Cynthia as I record this, if they decide to move in together right now and say we're married in our heart, we love each other, it's all okay, we'd all say, no, it's not okay. You got to have a wedding first. How come? Because you're saying before God, family and friends and very concrete, full person things, we are committed to each other. And you receive the blessing of, in this case, Pastor Terry, Thomas Terry and me with him. But he'll be the one who will pronounce them husband and wife. And without that you should not be living together. And I'm full on board with that.

We need some premarital before we do that. And I think in terms of repentance and faith, we need some premarital, if you will, because I think people make emotional statements in the moment, that is not a heart thing, it's not an action thing. And we're telling people because of an emotional, I don't want to go to hell type thing, that you're saved and they're not. So conversion, to me, repentance and faith, the two aspects of it is a whole person action. And what you're doing in responding to Jesus saying, take up your cross, well, what he says to the disciples, leave your nets, repentance and follow me. That's faith.

And I think that's where it should be today is when we're doing evangelism, we're having people consider, I'm making a commitment to follow Jesus. I don't know what that means, but whatever it means, I'm going to go there. So the question I ask in baptism among other things, who is Jesus? Who is Jesus to you? Do you renounce all other spiritual authority in your life? And do you commit to following him all the days of your life? Those are the four questions I ask in baptism. Those are traditional. They're not unique to me by any means. Who is Jesus? Who is Jesus to you? Do you renounce all other spiritual authorities in your life? Will you follow Jesus all the days of your life? And not knowing what that may mean, but I'm in. I think that's the repentance and faith of conversion.

And it's not that I have to turn over a new leaf. In fact, I'm pretty radical on that level because I think people are desperate, sinners can be baptized while they're still doing desperate sin and not recognizing his desperate sin or maybe not ready to give it up yet. But they're saying, "I want to do the Jesus thing and wherever he leads, I'm going to go." I'll baptize them while they're still practicing bad sin. No, you can't do that. They got to quit sinning first. I believe that's a justification thing, not a sanctification thing. As a part of repentance and faith, it's actually a whole person act. Repentance and faith are whole person things. And the biblical way of doing that is baptism. We typically do sinners prayer instead. Again, sinners prayer is not a bad thing. I just think we have to do the biblical thing. So that's what I think as I think about repentance and faith.

Repentance is that turn, it's a change of values from self and Satan to Jesus and God and it results in change of behavior, that's a sanctification piece, not the justification piece. So I absolutely believe you do not have to do good works in order to be saved. But what I would say is that while you're saved by faith alone, the faith that saves is never alone, which is I think Luther's phrase initially, I'm not sure. Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is never alone. Because what happens there, and we'll do this in the next lesson, next episode, it seems to me that the two pieces that come out of conversion are justification, regeneration, both. But at this point I'm talking about the conversion piece. So repentance means change of basic values and allegiances that always will result in good works, but that's a subsequent thing and I think it's a whole person action.

Now, same thing for faith. Where is the archetypical faith statement in scripture? Well, the one that's quoted and done regularly is from Genesis 15. And I actually start back in Genesis 12 because we see it happen. Genesis 12 is where God's pushing restart with the Abrahamic covenant. All peoples of the earth will be blessed through you. But he says this, he says, "I want you to go into another land", and I'll show you when we get there. So God says, "Let's go." Abraham says, "Where we going?" God says, "I'll show you later." Okay, here we go. I'm putting a little extra in the story.

So everyone went, Lot went with him, Abraham is 75 years old and he went. And where did he go? Well, verse five says he went to Canaan. Okay, there are Canaanites in the land. Now I've already said it and you may know it. Who is the spiritual authority? Who is the spiritual being in charge of Canaan? Baal and Ashra. They are the gods of Canaan. Okay, so Abraham goes into Baal land. Baal is the authority there. And if you're smart, what do you do when you go into Baal land? You do sacrifice the Baal to introduce yourself and say, "Hey."

So Abraham goes into Canaan, Baal land. He should do a sacrifice to Baal to say, "Hey." Just to show respect, to know this is your territory. What does he do in verse seven? Genesis 12:7, if he's smart, he goes into Baal land, he does a sacrifice to Baal and says, "Hey." Just a basic term of respect, when you go into somebody else's area. What he does do there, he built an altar there to Yahweh. And in verse eight, nine, he goes south aways. He builds an alter to Yahweh and calls on the name of Yahweh. So what he's doing, he's calling on Yahweh in Baal land where it may get you killed.

I think that's the basic statement of faith, which is a statement of loyalty to Yahweh even in Baal land where it may get you killed. So I think of dimensions of faith, this is the first dimension of faith as I think about it, is loyalty to Yahweh among the competing allegiances in our life. When I think of faith, a key dimension is loyalty to Yahweh among the competing calls for allegiance. In that world, Baal was a huge command. In our world we don't have open worship of other spiritual beings, but we certainly have allegiance in our life. And I'm going to be loyal to Jesus when there are many other authorities calling for my allegiance. That's the first dimension.

A second dimension of faith is in Genesis 15, he's now in Canaan. He's been there for 10 years or so. He's rescued Lot. They've done the Sodom thing there, a lot of stuff. And God says, "I'm your shield, your very great reward." Abraham says, "By the way, Lord, where's the kid? You promised me an offspring. My wife is 75 years old now. I'm 85, she's 75, more or less. And if you haven't noticed, God, 75 year old women do not have babies. And some guy from Damascus is going to be my heir. Where's the kid?" Now I think he says it respectfully and he says it to God, but he's like, "Where's the kid?" And he says, "You've given me no children. So shall my household will be my heir?" So the word came to him and he says, "Nope, this man is not your heir. A son who's your own flesh and blood will be your heir. Look out the sky." Okay, so looks up. Yeah, a lot of stars out there. And God says, "If I can make stars, I can make a baby."

I'm giving my interpretation of the story. Abraham believed God, literally Abraham amens God. And God says, that is righteousness. That belief, that trust is righteousness. So it's [foreign language] is the word there. And if you do your work [foreign language], it means consider or so what it's doing, this is misinterpreted and say Abraham believed God and God credited the alien righteousness of Jesus to him. Then you've got to walk with God for 10 years before you get Jesus's righteousness. This is a real problem. This is not crediting the alien righteousness to him. This is saying that trust is righteous. That's the character of faith that I credit, that I impute Jesus's righteousness to.

So I was talking about the nature of faith, that's how Paul uses in Romans chapter four, he says that kind of faith is what gets you the forgiveness of God. But that kind of faith says, I'll believe God even what makes no sense at all. Do 75 year old women have babies? No. My pretty wife is 72 and she's so done with having babies. Yeah, done. But God says, I can make stars. I can make a baby. Abraham amens God, trusts his word, trusts his promise. And God says that kind of trust is righteousness. And I think that's the character of faith. Two basic dimensions of faith. One is loyalty to Yahweh, even in Baal land where it gets you in trouble. The other is trusting God's word even when it makes no sense.

Now, in Christian faith what that means is a crucified guy is actually the Lord of the universe come in the flesh. Now we're so inoculated with Christianity, we don't notice how ridiculous that is. Messiah is not some dude that gets crucified. Messiah is the guy who comes and crushes the enemies. Read Daniel 2, read Psalm 2. And that's the thing that is just astounding, is a crucified guy is the Messiah who is savior of the world. Now be sure that's the first coming and second coming to come where he will crush the enemies. But faith, repentance, is change of values and allegiance. Faith is being uniquely loyal to God and trusting what he says even if makes no sense.

Thus my baptism questions, will you commit to following Jesus all the days of your life, even if makes no sense? That's the commitment to trust God. So that's when I think of conversion, the two pieces, repentance, change of values and allegiances, which will always be followed by change of behavior. And trust and loyalty, faith or accepting his word as it's done in Acts, chapter two. And I think both of those are whole person actions. So there you go. Have we got you converted yet or are you ready to crucify me? Question.

I'm want to go back to the relationship of conversion and baptism.


I was talking to a pastor once and I asked him, I said, "So you preached an evangelistic sermon. Guy gets 20 rows back, convicted of the Spirit, repents, trusts God, he's coming down and he falls down dead of a heart attack before he gets to the baptismal. Will he go to heaven or hell? And the pastor said, hell." Probably true to say, I'm assuming that's not what you're saying.

That is not what I'm saying. Yeah. Same kind of thing, the thief on the cross, he's actually not a thief. He's actually a terrorist. They don't crucify thieves, they crucify people who resist Rome. The guy on the cross, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." "Today, you'll be with me in paradise." He didn't have to get baptized. Listen, you're dying on a cross for Jesus. You don't have to be baptized. But if God does a miracle, gets you off the cross, we're going to baptize you. You can't say that a thief in the cross is the norm. It's extraordinary, the guy that dies, and this is baptismal salvation, you have to be baptized to be saved. And I don't think that's the case, but the norm is repentance is a whole person action and baptism is a biblical way to be the visible side of that. But I'm not going to say people are going to hell if they do a sinner's prayer instead, but I do want to change our theology. So yeah, you can be saved, Bill, yeah.

On that very same topic, I can't get my accordance to work on my computer because I would've looked it up, but every time the word repentance, is baptism always used?

No, repentance is not always used with repentance because many times repentance is a Christian work, as Christians repent of misleading things-

Okay. Conversion, repentance.

But when you look through Acts where it's used there, it's in a context consistently of baptism. Yeah, baptism is a part of the conversion package in Bible, whether you agree with all the things I'm saying or not, it's consistently a part of the conversion package. That's the only thing. The fundamental thing I want to do is get rid of this whole idea of what really counts is your heart. Your body is no biggie. And that's unfortunately very common in the we're saved apart from works. Do whatever you want with your body. It's your heart that matters. And no, it's whole person all the way through it seems to me.

I believe in interact duality, foundational to every aspect of the Christian life. And I'm trying to be consistent in that. And I think conversion, whether you put baptism there or not, is a whole person action on both repentance and faith. That's what I want to stand for as opposed to the semi-platonic thing that I grew up with, it's their spirit that counts. Your body is a sinful and to be thrown aside. We're a whole person and sanctification is a whole person thing.


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