A conversion closely associated with the Cross is an overwhelming love for the Holy Scriptures.
And rightfully so. In the Scriptures we discover who it is who saved, redeemed, and purchased us from before time. We see how he has laced himself and intertwined his essence through the hearts of the prophets, sages, and saints of old.
We are empowered to live, we gain an eternal perspective to life, and its fruitfulness breathes into every arena of our life.
When a new convert opens the pages of a Bible he or she is immediately met with the Spirit's personal Presence - so much so is that it's almost as if the whole book has been written exclusively for him or her! Some have coined the Scriptures a "personal love letter from God." Pages drip like honey with love, wisdom like water infiltrates the soul, and pathways - decisions in life - become illuminated with the Holy Spirit.
Almost immediately after I was converted to the Cross I made a beeline to the Holy Scriptures. I studied them and felt God's love, experienced the mystery of his wisdom, and got glimpses of eternal life in heaven. There were times the stories of Jesus seemed to lift off the page and embed themselves in my heart. They were so intense - so alive - that I'd weep as if I was right there, seeing and experiencing everything I was read.
The only problem was I was reading a translation of the Bible that was horribly difficult to understand.
"If people had a more contemporary translation of the Holy Scriptures they might fall in love with Jesus and see him as he really is," I thought.
I had an idea. Every night I would get home early, light a candle, sharpen my pencil, open my notebook, and beginning at the beginning, translating the Scriptures so they'd make sense to the person on the street. I'd begin at Genesis and go right on through to Revelation.
"So more people would know how cool Jesus is," I reasoned.
While it was a great discipline it was short-lived. And here's why: One night I was with some friends and mentioned I had to get home early to continue my mission.
"Your 'mission.'" They asked, "What mission is that?"
"I'm translating the entire Bible," I responded, matter-of-factly.
"The Bible? You're translating the entire Bible?" Eyebrows widening, "Tell us more about that."
"Oh yes. You see, if there was a better translation out there - one easier to read than this one," holding up my Bible, "I think more people would come to Christ, don't you think?"
An awkward silence ensued. One of my friends broke the silence, clearing his throat. "Bill, something like that has already been done."
"Sure, there's loads of Bibles everywhere, all with different translations."
"In the Christian book stores," they laughed. "They even have them in foreign languages."
"'Christian book stores?'" I had no idea. "You mean there are actually bookstores for Christians?"
And so it went.
Needless to say that marked end of the Blomquistian Bible. (I did get about half-way into Genesis though!)
... the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
I know many people who have spent their entire live's marveling at their conversion to holy Scripture, and how it's living words have taken root in their heart.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
So much so that they become experts of the three languages of the 66 books of the Bible. They teach, they parse, and they open up the deeper mysteries of their conversion to countless others like you and me.
That the power of conversion!
While other conversions are essential for salvation, intimacy with God, serving others, and so on no other conversion speaks to essential moral anchorage needed in our culture gone adrift today. The words of Jesus are no less true today than they were yesterday. In the Scriptures we see the heart of God revealed through stories like the prodigal son, we experience the movements of God through the Spirit through the prophets, descriptives of Pentecost and the early church, and we get a keen sense of our place in God's redemptive plan, purposes for our life. We also learn of his holiness, his absolute sovereignty across the universe, his horrific judgement of sin (upon humans and angels alike), and the promise that - whatever goes down - his heart of mercy towards us will always outweigh his desire to judge. (James 2:13)
Finally, we learn what love is. We learn that love is a four-fold passion that transcends all boundaries. We see love as relentless, ongoing, and sacrificial. When one is converted to the Scriptures their entire worldview begins to shift. Their minds come alive with the mind of Christ. Their hearts become softened, washed, and refreshed with the Spirit of God.