The Losses and Gains in Conversion

Philippians 3.7

Conversion to God is a remarkable phenomenon that altogether changes a person spiritually and morally. Here are its elements, highlighting the immeasurable gains for life and eternity, and the losses – the latter being deceptive and destructive features of life. Here is the wonder of finding Christ.

Sermon details

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ..

Now the Apostle Paul speaks rather like a merchant calculating his outgoings, his expenses, and his income and estimating his profit. He uses that kind of language, but he’s speaking of course about conversion, conversion to God, by belief in Christ as the only Saviour. Now conversion is such a remarkable phenomenon, such an extraordinary act of God in any life.

Some years ago I was speaking to a man (he was a university professor) and we were talking about the Christian faith and it was quite plain that he didn’t understand what a radical thing conversion is. He seemed to think it was something lifelong, something you had to toil at, something you had to work at rather than a sudden and astonishing act of God to change someone in the innermost being. It is the greatest, the most profound change that can occur in anyone’s experience.

It’s not like education. With education you toil from childhood, up through the elementary grades, through the senior grades, you go to university, you work and you work, all work, you’ve got to earn your results, you’ve got to toil. You come by knowledge gradually, little by little and it’s acquired over the years. Conversion isn’t like that, it isn’t something you work at, it isn’t something you earn or deserve, it isn’t something that is acquired in stages.