Change!
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he who comes to God must believe that be
is, and that be is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. [Hebrews 11:6}

0 Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his
steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
{Jeremiah 10:2}]

Therefore let all the house of Israel know for sure, that God has made that same Jesus, whom
you have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their
heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Then Peter said to them, Repent and be immersed every one of you in the name of Jesus
Christ in order to obtain the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are afar off, even as many as the
Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying, Save
yourselves from this crooked generation. {Acts 2:36-40}

Conversion

Once you believe, you need to be converted!. To be converted is to be changed, to be
transformed. The change is in three areas:
1) A Change of Mind
2) A Change of Action
3) A Change of Relationship

The first two changes — of mind and action —  are  accomplished  by the individual with the
help of God; then the last change is accomplished by God with the help of the individual.

1) A Change of Mind: Faith

There  is   a   difference   between believing in the existence of God and in the Sonship  of
Jesus,  and  being a believer and a disciple. The difference is between mental
acknowledgement and faith.

Faith acknowledges the reality of the Biblical facts and trusts the promises, obeying the
commands. (At another time we will discuss the gospel as being contained in: facts to be
believed, commands to be obeyed, and promises to be received.) Faith is essential in being
acceptable to God.

Without faith it is impossible to please him, far he who comes to God must believe that he is,
and that be is a rewarder of those •who diligently seek him. {Hebrews 11:6}

Faith is acquired by listening, and learning the word of God.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God {Romans 10:17]

It is, to a certain degree, taking God at his word. If God says it, it is true. If God says he will do it,
he will. If God says to do it, it should and will be done. It is allowing God's word and will to
shape your mind, heart and soul. That is far different than merely believing in God, as does the
devil. The devil rebels against what God says; faith embraces and treasure his word, his will
and his commandments.

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

A man first thinks about what he is going to do, then he does it. If the mind is preoccupied with
the will of God, that is what the man will do. As his mind is transformed by the will of God, so
will his action show what God's will is. The mind of the man who would change must realize
that it is not to this world he is to conform, but the will of God (the Holy Bible) which is to
transform him into something better, something nobler, something more spiritual — a living
sacrifice.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living
sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to
this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that
good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. {Romans 12:11^2}

Then he will be changed into the image of God, and the image of Christ. There will be a
reflected light that will show who he belongs to, who he follows, who he worships. He will be a
Christian (Christ-like), a disciple, a saint.

Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds: and have put on
the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him who created him: where
there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor
free: but Christ is all, and in all. {Colossians 3:10-11}

You make the decision to believe and to have faith. You make the decision to redirect your
thoughts and affects.

Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed on him, IF YOU CONTINUE IN MY WORD, then
are you my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.
(John 8:31-32}

2) A Change of Action: Repent

As the mind is transformed, and the knowledge grows, the individual will change his action
and repent. Repentance is not being sorry for what you done. Repentance is a change of mind
that results in a change of action. It is realizing you have done wrong, and now you are going to
do right.

Repentance contains two parts:
Quit doing what is wrong;
Start doing what is right.

Too often,people think of repentance only in terms of quitting certain things. What they do then
is create a vacuum in their lives which is filled; but usually with something it shouldn't be. God
and Jesus have not only asked us to quit doing evil, they have asked us to do good.

Repentance means quitting the bad habits, but also creating new good habits. Too often, we
think of repentance in terms of what shouldn't be done, and what has to be quit. It's all "Thou
shalt not's" and no 'Thou shalts." However, Christianity is not a religion of quitting, it is a
religion of doing. Sure, there are things that are not to be done; but, there are also things which
should and must be done. It is not passive, it is active.

Repent therefore, and be converted, that your stns may be blotted out, when the tones of
refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord- and he shall send Jesus Christ, which
before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of
all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all bis hofy prophets since the -worldbegan.
[Acts$-.19-21}

This change of action is not optional. You either change your ways, or you pay the price. Your
choice.

And toe times of this ignorance God winked at, but now be commands all men everywhere to
repent: because be has appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness
by that man whom be has ordained, giving assurance to all men, in that be raised him from the
dead. {Acts 17:30-31}

Repenting is not difficult. It is a decision that you follow through on. You decide, "I'm not going
to let my anger get the better of me; I am going to control it." And, do it. You say, I am not going
to lie; I am going to tell the truth." And, do it. You say, "I am not going to steal; I am going to
work." And, do it. It is not that difficult. You have help. You have the help of Jesus. You have the
help of God. You have the help of fellow Christians. But, you are the one who makes the
determination to do it. You are the one who makes it work.

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you from now on do not walk as other Gentiles
walk in the vanity of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the
life of God through the ignorance wot is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who
being past feel have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with
greediness. But you have not so learned Christ: if so be that you have beard him, and have
been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off concerning the former conversation
the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts: and be renewed in the spirit of
your mind: and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and
true holiness. Wherefore put away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are
members one of another. Be angry, and sin not: do not let the sun go down on your wrath:
neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him tabor, working
with bis hands the things which is good, that he may have to give to him who needs. Let no
corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying,
that it may minister grace unto the bearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, by which you
are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor,
and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be kind one to another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ s sake has forgiven you.
{Ephesians 4:17-32}

3) A Change of Relationship: The New Birth

A change in mind transforms the mind and the will to obedience to God. A change in action
transforms the life into one of service to God and to man. But, neither changing the mind, nor
the action, forgives the sin which has been committed over a lifetime. Neither a change of
mind, nor a change of action, brings one into Christ: only being born again accomplishes that.

He came unto bis own, and bis own received him not. But as many as received him, to them be
gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on bis name: which were
born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God... {John 1:11-13}

Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you except a man be born again, he
cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus says to him, How can a man be born when be is
old? can be enter the second time into bis mother's womb and be born? Jesus answered,
Truly, truly, I say to you, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is
spirit. Marvel not that I said unto you, you must be born again. The wind blows where it wants,
and you bear the sound of it, but can not tell where it comes from, and where it goes: so is
every one that is born of the Spirit.

The new birth is not a matter of what we do, it is a matter of what God does. It is not a decision
of our will, but a decision of the will of God. We are not born into a relationship as a son of God
when we enter this world from our mother; we are born into a relationship as a son of God as a
result of our faith and the operation of God. Being born of water and Spirit is not optional. You
either change your relationship, or you pay the price. God's choice. You don't determine where
or how you are born again; God has determined that. You submit.

For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been
immersed into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond
nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are
Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to me promise. {Galatians 3:26-29}

It is impossible to born again without faith in Christ Jesus. It gives us the power to become the
children of God. For as we put on Christ we become heirs of the promise of salvation given to
Abraham. As we are immersed, we put on Christ. Immersed, we are in Christ.

And you are complete in him, who is the bead of all authority and power: in who also you are
circumcised with the circumcision made without bands, in putting off the body of the sins of the
flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in immersion, wherein also you are risen
with him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead.
{Colossians 2:10-12}

In Christ, we are complete. The old body of sins has been put off. We no longer wear the old
clothes of sin. Those have been cut off our bodies and thrown away by the circumcision of
Christ: buried with him in immersion. It is in this burial that we have faith in the work of God. It is
not what we do, or have done in which we have faith; we have faith in what God has done, and
is doing. We have faith in the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross to pay the price for our sins. We
have faith in the ability of God to forgive and to forget. We have faith in the promise of God that
all our trespasses and sins will be put off by this circumcision. It is not our work we have faith
in, it is the work and operation of God.

Do you not know, that as many of us as were immersed into Jesus Christ were immersed into
bis death? Therefore we are buried with him by immersion 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of bis death, we sbaube also in the
likeness of bis resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body
of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin. Now if we be dead with
Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the
dead dies no more: death has no more dominion over him. For in that he died, be died to sin
once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God. Likewise also figure yourselves to be dead indeed
unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. {Romans 6:3-11}

The new birth is the bring forth of the new man. It is the putting off and the rejection of the old
man. The old man of sin is buried. The old man of sin must die. As long as we are still carrying
around the old man of sin, we are not born again. But, in the likeness of his death, burial and
resurrection we know that the old man is gone, we are freed from our sin, we shal live withhim,
and arise to walk in newness of life. We are born again: a new man, a man of righteousness, a
man of holiness,
a servant of God, a son of God.

He who believes and is immersed, shall be saved; but, he who believes not shall be damned.
{Mark 16:16}

Conclusion

Change! Transform you mind by the word and will of God. Transform your action and quit doing
what is wrong, and do what is right. Allow you relationship with God to be transformed when
and where God has said. Allow faith to blossom into repentance, and culminate in the burial of
the old man of sin in baptism and the arising of the new of righteousness to serve God.

And now, I commend you to God and to tire gospel of his grace, which is able to build you up,
and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. [Acts 20:32}
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