Once God opens one’s mind to understanding (Ephesians 1:18, Hebrews 6:4), and draws that person to Christ (John 6:44), growth begins with the purpose of bringing the individual to repentance (Acts 11:18). Upon repentance (Acts 2:38) and with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior by the person, with baptism, and with “the laying on of hands” by the ministry completed, the individual is now justified before God and is sanctified by God for a very special purpose.
It is true that numerous miracles have been exacted through God’s intervention in this person’s life as God’s calling to His Way is effected. Many would say that this person is saved and Heaven is assured to him as a reward. But the Scripture tells us something totally different.
Peter tells us to “Repent therefore and be (become) converted… ” (Acts 3:19). What is intended by this statement of Peter?
God has been very gracious to one He has brought this far toward conversion. But this is just the beginning of the Christian’s journey in this New Way. Peter tells us that during the remainder of this special journey one must “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). We must overcome the sinful nature and the way of life that perpetuated that nature and begin walking in a “new way” of life, as described in God’s written Word. Jesus Christ shows in John 15 that a Christian must grow to the point of producing much fruit by virtue of the way he lives his life as he learns to apply the truths of God’s Way in what he does.
God is most interested that those He calls grow in His Way. He gives them, in addition to His Truth and His Spirit, the Church composed of like-minded brethren, and a ministry established to teach and to assist in the perfecting of the saints, so that they have every opportunity, if they apply these Truths, in their effort to “come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
This process of growing and overcoming is the process called conversion. It is a way of life — a process the effects of which will last throughout eternity!