A Two-Stage Conversion to Christ

Mark 8.22

Christ’s healing of a blind man, uniquely accomplished in two stages, was designed to show how spiritual conversion frequently involves a phased discovery of what separates us from God, and Christ’s method of uniting us with Himself.

 And he cometh to Bethsaida, and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

And we’re thinking of a two-stage conversion to God, illustrated in one of the healing miracles of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Now we touched upon this some 18 months or so ago in a morning service, and I’d like to visit this event now and look at it in greater detail, because there is so much here for us. There’s a striking connection also with our thinking just recently on Exodus, chapter 14, where there were seen to be two elements, two stages, in conversion to God, illustrated at the time of the crossing of the Red Sea.

Well, conversion to God – what is it? How should we define it? Well, it’s an experience of being brought into union with the living God. That’s what we mean by conversion. The experience of coming into conscious union with God himself. It’s a life-transforming experience. It’s something which when you undergo it, well, it is a conscious experience. We call it a crisis experience, because it’s generally speaking something that happens in a short phase of time. Well, generally speaking, it is a crisis experience. We are unconverted, we are not in communion with God, we do not know him, and then something dramatic and wonderful happens in our lives. That’s conversion. And the separating factor between ourselves and God is removed. That separating factor, of course, being twofold. It is the barrier of our guilt, because we are all guilty before God, guilty of sin, and it is also, the other part of this, is the imparting to us of essential spiritual life so that we can interact with God. Without conversion, we are unforgiven, we are condemned, we are under God’s judgment, and we have no spiritual faculty through which to communicate with him and to understand him and to sense his power and his goodness.

And conversion comes about by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ equal with God the Father, second person of the Trinity, who in amazing love came into this world and became our representative, our sin bearer, and entering into a human body and a human personality took upon himself the punishment of all human beings who would ever be saved, who would repent before God, who would know this experience of conversion. It is only by faith in him and what he has done and his atoning death that we can know conversion.

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