Second Conversion | The Cross
Updated: Mar 13, 2020
Life in God begins with a very-hard-to-swallow first step: buying into something we call The Cross.
Ever since the Garden the shedding of blood has been HUGE in the reawakening of relationship between God and man. Once a person recognizes how far he or she has fallen short of the righteousness of God and veered outside the realm of any possible relationship with him, a hard look at the nailed body of Jesus on the cross is the beginning this essential conversion.
You need to weep with those weeping. You need to feel the splinters of wood digging hard under his nail beds, you need to know all he went through because of his radical love for all.
This conversion has at least three elements in order for it to take.
A realized inability to make it into God's Presence on your own. This is casting all onto the all sufficient sacrifice of the Lamb (1 Peter 5:7) and trusting in his work of redemption on your behalf. He knew you wouldn't be able to get saved on your own. So he did it. We become alive by vicariously embracing his death.
A gracious acceptance of his forgiveness which flows into the deepest fibers of who you are (Acts 2:38). Remember the time you physically hurt your brother and he still carries those scars? Or how about that those abortions you were so hot on at the time? What about your cancerous attitudes of hatred against various ethnic communities or all the sleeping around you did before, during, and after marriage? These are behaviors. But forgiveness through the Blood of the Cross goes way beyond that. Christ's forgiveness goes to the heart of the matter. It gets under the covers and restores our soul. When things are restored on the inside, all will go well on the outside.
Finally, conversion to the Cross produces an intentional difference in how you do life. It goes like this: You have been brought to your knees at the foot of the cross and have humbly received his indescribable gift. As you get up you begin to see the world differently. You see others who (like you were) are enslaved with the chords of sin, alienated from the greatest love known, and lost and dying in their ignorance of the Life. Not only do you acquire God's heart of love towards others but you become surprised at the way you no longer judge them, condemn or wish them ill harm. You now see all sinful behavior actually as forgivable (from Hitler to the abortionist, the abuser to the terrorist) and indicative of their sorrowful state outside of Christ. You realize you have been forgiven much so that extends to everybody. You may also develop a life-long passion to share, write, speak, pray, illustrate, create - however the way you're wired - Jesus' outstretch arms to the world around you.
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (Hebrews 9:14)
Some are so enamored with the Cross and God's gift of Jesus to a disinterested world that they've rearranged their entire lives' to share this Good News with others. These are called evangelists. They hold up signs with "John 3:16" at NFL games. Their idea of fun on Friday nights is going down to the boardwalk and getting into conversations with strangers about Jesus. Contemporaries like Billy Graham, Aimee Semple McPherson, Billy Sunday, Reinhard Bonnke, Sheila Walsh, and the like have been so heavily drenched at the Cross that have dedicated their life to drenching others with that same love of God. (Luke 12:48)
Regardless, the Cross stands high above any other action in history and fully receiving its work of reconciliation into your heart converts will not only convert you to live his Life in this world but it will prepare you to live eternally with him in heaven.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)