Conversion: Not the Christian’s Responsibility
May 16, 2008 2 Comments
I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
— St. Paul to the church at Corinth
There is a great deal of confusion regarding conversion to Christianity. Many are resistant to even hearing the good news of Christ and this should not surprise anyone given the Apostle’s words here.
I recall, with gratitude given the immeasurable grace of God, the days when my residence was in the darkness in which all men are born into, and can testify to the truth of Paul’s words.
Then there are those who take it upon themselves to be the motive force behind the conversion of the unbeliever, forgetting the clear testimony of Scripture (see above or see here) that this cannot be so in the case of true conversion, that is, the rebirth from which a new creature (in Christ) arises.
Currently reading J.I. Packer’s classic, Knowing God, and he shares the following insight,
It is not for us to imagine that we can prove the truth of Christianity by our own arguments; nobody can prove the truth of Christianity except the Holy Spirit, by His own almighty work of renewing the blinded heart.
It is the sovereign prerogative of Christ’s Spirit to convince men’s consciences of the truth of Christ’s gospel; and Christ’s human witnesses must learn to ground their hopes of success not on clever presentation of the truth by man, but on powerful demonstration of the truth by the Spirit.
The Christian’s responsibility is not to convert those around him, but to give testimony to Christ who has graciously redeemed him from the miserable natural state where he was but a child of wrath, deserving to face God’s Justice. The Christian’s responsibility is to echo the blind man’s reply to his Pharisee interlocutors,
Whether He is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!