Calvary Road Baptist Church


First Corinthians 15.1-2

It has been almost nine years since I first formally and thoroughly dealt with the subject of decisionism from this platform. This morning I will once again thoroughly review the approach to evangelism that some people erroneously label “easy believism,” but which is rightly labeled “decisionism.”[1]

When I first preached on the subject of decisionism, I divided my comments into three time frames; our church’s past ministry, our church’s present ministry at that time, and what I then envisioned our future ministry would someday become, by God’s grace. Each of those time frames allowed me to consider the message that is preached here at Calvary Road Baptist Church, the methods that we employ here at Calvary Road Baptist Church, and the results we have seen through the ministry of Calvary Road Baptist Church. Since the founding of this church, the message at Calvary Road Baptist has always been simple and straight- forward. Jesus saves. Calvary Road Baptist Church has always been a church in which the simple gospel is preached in an attempt to make much of Jesus.

Nine years ago, I purposed that our church would continue to be that same type of church. To date I believe we have, by God’s grace, succeeded. This church seeks to lift up the Savior. However, the methods used to accompany the ancient message over the course of my first 8 years as your pastor were methods that I came to see were not as consistent with the truth of the gospel as they might have been. My methods at that time were, sadly, identical to just about every other pastor’s methods. Since then, my own personal study and observations along the way over the last nine years have only reinforced my conviction. What I now know to be new measures, those evangelistic innovations practiced by even the most fundamental Baptist churches and pastors, have not proven to be as useful in communicating the truth of the gospel, as were the efforts of godly men centuries ago.

For example: I used to rely upon large numbers of trained workers to deal with folks at the altar when they came forward during the invitation. But implicit in the training of such personal workers is the unconscious assumption that everyone who comes forward during an invitation has been spiritually awakened, is under conviction, genuinely wants to be saved, and is really only in need of someone to lead him in prayer. Does that assumption jibe with scripture? No. Such an approach does not agree with what the Bible clearly teaches about a sinner’s depravity. Such a method of trying to get sinners saved, therefore, is inconsistent with our ancient message.

Another example: I once strongly encouraged so-called “soul winners” to go out and knock on doors and to try to win to Christ in the space of a few minutes whoever they encountered at the door. But upon much reflection, Bible study, prayer, and the experience gained by knocking on many thousands of doors, I no longer believe that there is any real likelihood of winning a sinner to a saving knowledge of Christ in that fashion. Oh, getting professions of faith is quite easy, but real conversions using that approach are almost nonexistent.

From time to time, there are those who are converted the very first time they hear a clear presentation of the gospel. Thus, so long as a preacher preaches the gospel, whether he is a decisionist or not, some rare individual who responds under such preaching will be genuinely saved. However, in the vast majority of cases, it can take weeks of dealing with sinners before they are spiritually awakened, before the Holy Spirit convicts them, and before they have sufficient understanding of the gospel to simply trust Jesus in a saving way. Therefore, because most here in southern California, and I suspect throughout the Bible Belt in the United States, already think they are saved, they will usually answer “Yes” when asked if they are saved, even when they are lost. For that reason, I no longer just walk up to someone and ask, “Are you saved?”

Evangelizing sinners is a far more complex and time consuming matter than simply asking someone a question or reciting the Roman’s Road to him. Keep in mind that the people we are dealing with are in some ways not as those Jesus and Paul dealt with, who were Jews who had a lifetime’s exposure to the Law of God, or if they were Gentiles had been taught in synagogues before they heard the gospel. Dealing with those already exposed to the demands of the Law, our Lord and the apostle Paul could usually go directly to the spiritual state of sinners with the solution to their problem, which is the gospel.

However, in our day we are dealing with so many who have no concept of personal sin, and no concept of a personal God, all the while being very susceptible to persuasive techniques and the power of suggestion. This means that we have people who will do whatever you want them to do, but without really getting them saved in the process. So you see, the method we once employed here at Calvary Road Baptist Church, while being very persuasive toward getting decisions and professions of faith, was not really consistent with the ancient message.

I could go on and on, but what I seek to convey is this simple truth: It is possible to have a correct message that is somewhat distorted by wrong methods. Or rather, it is possible to employ methods that do little to ensure that the correct message has been properly communicated to, and understood by, sinners. That was this church’s approach in days gone by. We used what I have come to understand to be relatively new methods, which did not really get many sinners saved.

To prove the error of the methods you have but to look at the results. Those of you who were here then remember people supposedly converted under sound preaching and unsound methods of ministry, both before my arrival and since my arrival as your pastor. Those so-called converts proved themselves to be quite inconsistent in church attendance, almost completely refusing to tithe with any consistency, turning out to involve themselves in the work of faith only rarely, having no particular love for strong preaching, having a most anemic prayer life, completely unable to discern with any degree of reliability who was saved and who was lost, and bound up in a pattern of misplaced loyalties that oftentimes resulted in them choosing to subsidize their loved one’s sins rather than side with the Savior and stand for what is right.

I could teach and preach on tithing until I was blue in the face, but the giving stayed the same. I would cajole and urge folks to go soul winning, but turnout was always sparse. I could call prayer meeting after prayer meeting with only a handful showing up to pray. I could teach and preach, and even lead by example, in this matter of dealing strongly and in godly fashion with sin in the camp. But folks would usually proceed to undo the impact of my actions by the way they would accommodate and encourage a loved one’s wickedness after a sufficient amount of time had passed, supposing I guess that time cleanses away all sins.

All these things happened because we had a mostly unconverted congregation. Perhaps we had a higher percentage of converted people than most churches, but there were still far fewer saved people than anyone might have imagined. Then, beginning in earnest about ten years ago, we began to implement an intensely personal and thorough approach to evangelism, copying those Baptists and Puritans of long ago in this respect, which has brought us to where we are today.

The messages that I preach today are much like the sermons I have always preached. The immediately recognizable differences from the date of my arrival here 20½ years ago could be summed up thusly: First, I now typically separate the exposition from my sermon. Used to be, I would mix the two together in a Mulligan stew. Now I teach the Christians with an exposition and, after a congregational hymn, I preach to the lost folks. Second, I preach harder against sin than I did before.

As to our methods, we are still somewhat in transition. I use three rooms to deal with folks after I preach, so I can try to discern who is spiritually awakened, so I can look for signs of genuine conviction, and so I can work to clear away as much confusion and distortion as possible so that sinners might see the simplicity of the gospel. Additionally, it should be noted that while only a few in our church participated in our evangelistic outreach years ago, almost everyone currently participates in our Saturday night outreach. And what is our objective? Our goal is to bring people into the church house where they can examine our lives and our lifestyles, where we have an opportunity to lay the foundation of truth upon which the gospel can be set before them, where they can hear a clear and uninterrupted presentation of the gospel, and where they can then have the opportunity to be dealt with in an optimum setting when they are ready. By the way, this is the way sinners used to be dealt with long ago.

What are the results of using what we have discovered to be the ancient methods together with our ancient message? The results generally fall into three categories:

Some of you were exposed to decisionism when you were younger and had a very jaundiced view of Christianity. Nevertheless, you came in, were initially surprised by the fact that no one twisted your arm to make a profession of faith, and you started listening. Then, when the Spirit of God convicted you of your sins, you were drawn to Christ.

Others of you had an evangelical background and have been in church for years. You are not yet converted, but you have begun to see the difference that exists between a superficial profession of faith in Christ and real conversion. Perhaps you will be saved someday, but it will be as the Spirit of God thoroughly convicts you of your sins as you hear God’s Word preached.

Then there are those of you who were supposedly already Christians, since you were already here at Calvary Road Baptist Church, but you were living quite unspiritual lives. I am happy to report that some of you seem to have been genuinely converted since then, when you were carefully guided to Christ. Now you are witnessing to folks, tithing, faithfully attending church, separating from sin and unbelief, and generally showing the new life in Christ.

Along with new folks who have come in and gotten converted, you are now acting like many of the older members should have conducted themselves years ago. Perhaps, in time, more of our unconverted church members will stop robbing God, will stop making excuses about why they do not go out evangelizing, will begin to see the glory of prayer, and will begin to see that it is a great privilege to stand on the Lord’s side, no matter who might be offended and put out by it.

I would say that, right now, we are about ¾ of the way in the transition of our methods of ministry, from blurring the message we have always preached, to sharply focusing the message we have always preached. As the ratio of converts to lost people in our congregation gets larger over time, we will no doubt still see church members being genuinely converted from time to time. Moreover, it will be obvious. Genuine converts get and keep jobs. Genuine converts begin tithing. Genuine converts seek to reach the lost for Christ. Genuine converts begin praying. Genuine converts certainly faithfully attend every church service. Genuine converts crave stronger and stronger preaching. Genuine converts exhibit a heightened sensitivity to their own sins. Finally, I think the example of the Ethiopian eunuch is sufficient to expect that genuine converts are eager to enter the baptismal waters to publicly testify of their conversion, and to become a part of the body, which is the church.

What about our future? Our future looks both bleak and bright. As our culture sinks more deeply into this religious apostasy we see around us we will find, more and more, that so-called “Christians” will become more vicious and antagonistic toward us, will accuse us of being unloving and judgmental, and will fault us for being somewhat different. Some of you folks have already been persecuted by unsaved family members, and by others who claim to be Christians. Others have loved ones who may not persecute you, but are decidedly opposed to this pastor and this church. What can be said to counter their opposition but to observe that those who oppose you never stand against sin, never really serve God. It has always been this way. Since Jesus’ time it was this way. So, that is the bleakness. It is to be expected. Jesus said, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also,” John 15.20. So, continue to pray that those who oppose us will see the light in your life and come to Christ.

The brightness will be determined by your commitment to both a Biblical message and Biblical methods. As we become more experienced and skilled in bringing sinners in, we will see a corresponding increase in the number of genuine conversions. Those genuine converts will stick, and will grow, and will reproduce, and will live right, and will stand against the darkness. If you are converted, of course, you will, too.

Here are some of the results you can already see at Calvary Road Baptist Church. Converted members trust God enough to generously give tithes, and offerings beyond that. What a ministry God is giving us as men and women are converted and stop robbing God. Our men are developing into prayer warriors, and our women are becoming passionate intercessors. What miraculous answers to prayer we see, and what power will fall upon the preaching and teaching of this church in answer to your prayers.

Friends, I would like Calvary Road Baptist Church to someday have a profound influence on all of Los Angeles. Because of the nature of the Christian faith, far beyond what can be accounted for by our numbers, we will stir the hearts, minds, and consciences of multitudes. Folks will be saved who may never come to our church, but who will have been reached because of what God will do through this ministry. Otherwise anemic ministries around us will be stronger because of the impact of our members on members of those churches, prodding others by our convictions and our determination to serve God more faithfully.

Our young men and women entering the university system can not only learn what they need for their professional lives, but will also be able to challenge the high priests of humanism in their own classrooms. I look forward to the day when professors from Cal State LA, professors from USC and UCLA, and professors from Cal Poly in Pomona come to our church with our young people who sit in their classrooms. From there our members will move out into the professions here in Los Angeles.

Remember how the apostle Paul had converts among those of Caesar’s household? Well, whether it is local and regional government, the professions, or academia, that is what I see the Calvary Road Baptist Church doing, by God’s glorious grace, influencing many and plucking some lost souls as brands from the fire. However, for that to happen then, there have to be some more things happening here and now, even though we are off to a good start. You few members who are holdouts need to get with the program. Members who do not give? No good. Fix that problem. Staying home on Saturday nights? Again, no good. Allowing some unsaved scheduler at work to keep you from coming to Sunday morning and Sunday evening church? No good. You are no man’s slave, therefore you should serve Christ and not man.

Let us work together to reach lost people for Christ. Sensitive when I direct your public prayer? Grow up and toughen up. We are soldiers of the cross, and as such, we are supposed to endure hardness. Make sure you are not the one who drops the ball and makes our entire church spiritually sluggish. Do not be the one whose sin against God results in Him withholding blessings from all of us.

Here is what you need to do. If there is any area of your life where you are having a problem, come and see me. Let us see what God’s Word says the remedy is. By the way, it will be tough, it will be hard. But He will give you grace to do His will, if you are saved. Therefore, for Jesus’ sake, let us each make the personal decision to be and do what God wants us to be and do. Amen?


Turn in your Bible to First Corinthians 15.1-2:

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

I remember how it was with me. I was in church with my parents, all the way in the back of the auditorium. During the invitation, I went forward. I do not know why. I remember nothing of the sermon. The altar worker said nothing memorable to me at the front, but the pastor baptized me the next Sunday night. I thereby became a church member, but I was lost. I had believed in vain. But for the moving of God in my life to confront me with my own sinfulness some 11 or 12 years later, I might never have trusted the Savior. What would have happened if I had not stepped off into real bad sin, showing myself to be lost? I might have died and gone to Hell thinking myself a Christian.

This is how she said it was with her. She was convicted of sin. She found Christian people loved her. However, she was told to accept Jesus into her heart to be saved. For decades convinced she was saved, it was only her gradual slide into obvious wickedness that led to her being convinced that she was lost and had believed in vain. Is she saved now? I do not think so. She left before I could guide her to Christ.

He was raised in church. He heard many fine Bible preachers and teachers. Then, when he heard a wonderful preacher and responded to the invitation, he went forward and professed Christ. However, since then he has never held a good job, never lived up to his obvious potential, never demonstrated faithfulness, never consistently tithed, and never enjoyed success in marriage and child rearing. Is he saved? Did he believe in vain? Who knows? He thinks his wife is not saved, but what about him?

What is the problem? It used to be called easy believism. A better description of it is decisionism. It leaves people just as lost as they were before they made their decision, but it convinces them that they are saved. How so? They made a decision for Christ. They accepted Him as their Savior. They asked Jesus to come into their hearts. They prayed a prayer. They did what the brochure said to do. However, they believed in vain.

Whatever name you put on it, it is the Speedy Alka Seltzer approach to dealing with sinners. “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is.”

· No more sinners agonizing over sin for hours or days.

· No more the unconverted wrestling with God all night, before coming to Jesus and finding peace.

· No more dealing with sinners the way the godly men of old dealt with them, with wisdom, with insight into their true nature, with disdain for the popularity or the quick fixes that left sinners lost.

No. Nowadays we must do things quickly.

We must use sound bites to deal with sinners.

There must be a formula to plug in and crank.

Moreover, should someone feel uncomfortable with his sin we must make him comfortable as quickly as possible.

Mustn’t allow the Holy Spirit to deeply convince a soul of the misery of sin.

Mustn’t allow God to gradually deal thoroughly with a man.

Oh, no.

It must be done quickly, rapidly, superficially, so the soul winner can take credit for it, so he can say, “I did this wonderful thing. I led this guy to Christ.”

As well, using this approach, the sinner can say, “I have decided to follow Jesus.”

Decisionism. This plague has overtaken all of the Baptist fundamentalists, just as it had previously overtaken every other part of Christendom. Because of decisionism, most Christians are lost. Because of this blight called decisionism, you may be lost. I say this because decisionism will curse your soul to Hell with its vain belief.

It will curse your soul to Hell because of what it is based on.

Two things:


Consider this wrong view of sin. The modern day Christian views sin as some unfortunate thing, some unpleasant mistake, some lapse that carries with it only mildly irritating consequences. Sin is not thought by anyone these days to be horrible, to be tragic, to be fatal, to be destructive, to be immoral, to be unthinkable, to be repugnant, to be nauseating, or to be defiling.

There is no longer any stigma attached to any kind of sin.

Everyone knows an unwed mother.

Everyone knows a bastard child.

Everyone knows a Lesbian.

Everyone knows a homosexual.

Everyone knows a drunkard.

Everyone knows a drug user.

Everyone knows someone who has disfigured his body with piercings, with tattoos, and with scars. In addition, because sin is no longer thought to be particularly sinful, such things pass by without notice.

There is no sorrow.

There is no heartache.

There is no grief.

There are no consequences of sin recognized in the lives of any of these tragic figures.

Where is the compassion for those who are murdered in their own mother’s wombs?

Where are the tears for the little boy who, because his mother was a selfish little tramp who pretended to be sensitive and selfless (while actually having the morals of an alley cat), will have to grow up without a father?

No one to teach him how to throw a ball.

No one to teach him how to be brave.

No one to teach him how to worship God.

No one to teach him how to be a husband and father.

Or the little girl born to the woman who confuses lust with love. What chance does a little girl have whose own mother is not chaste? What chance does a little girl have whose father is absent and not married to mommy? She will forever think that sex and lust legitimizes a relationship that is forbidden by God. Moreover, when it comes time that she considers the rightness or wrongness of her mother’s behavior, she will side with her mother against God and refuse to admit the sinfulness of sin. Maintaining this position, she will live, die, and go to Hell.

Oh, decisionism thinks that sin is wrong. They believe that sin is a bad thing to be avoided. However, if you actually commit sin, it will not affect the relationship. It is not as if your parents will actually do anything when you commit serious sins. It is not as if your friends will actually object to your disloyalty to the Savior. They will frown, they will be sad, but they will understand. Nothing will in any way be affected by your sin. That is decisionism’s view of sin.

Now, consider God’s view of sin. Sin is so bad that for a single sin Adam and Eve were forever banished from the Garden of Eden, were condemned to a life of toil and hardship that would end in physical death, were condemned to pass on their sin to their children, and were condemned to the heartache of knowing the damage they had done to themselves and to their descendants.

Sin is so bad that God created the lake of fire for sinners to spend eternity in.

Sin is so bad that not one single person with the stain of sin on his soul will ever enter God’s heaven.

Sin is so bad that not one single person with the stain of sin on his soul will ever stand in the presence of God for any reason except to be cast into the lake of fire.

Sin is so bad that the universe was cursed because of it, mankind is cursed because of it, and God has been wronged by it.

Sin is evil, malignant, wicked, selfish, destructive, defiling, nauseating, contagious, degrading, debasing, poisonous, discouraging, disgusting, and polluting.

Emery Bancroft compiled a list from the Bible of how man in his sin is described by God. In the Bible, you in your sin are compared to

an adder for his venom,

an ass for his stubbornness,

a bear for his cruelty,

a cankerworm for his destructiveness,

a dog for his uncleanness,

a dragon for his desolateness,

a fox for his cunning,

a leopard for his fierceness,

a lion for his ravening,

a moth for his frailty,

a sheep for his stupidity,

a spider’s web for its flimsiness,

a swine for his filthiness,

a viper for his poison,

and a wolf for his ferocity.

My friend, every part of your nature is affected by this contagion called sin. No wonder Hell awaits you should you die without Christ.

How can you, if you are in your right mind, not be overwhelmed with sorrow over your own sin, brought low in despair by the sins of your loved ones, and enraged to fury by the sins of mockers and revilers?

Nevertheless, decisionism would have you to be nice and always remember to understand. God understands. He understands that you are wicked, and hateful, and selfish, and obstinate. And I understand. I understand that somebody has to stand on God’s side. I will.


Consider this wrong view of salvation.

Decisionism perfectly understands how unreasonable it is for someone who is saved to be expected to attend church faithfully, to tithe, and to give up liquor, to quit smoking, to give up your live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, to give up your good job making or selling or renting pornography at the local video store. After all, a guy has to have a life. Right?

Decisionism knows that you have to live in this world. So, what is wrong with short skirts and halter-tops? What is wrong with going to the beach and experiencing its virtual nudity? What is wrong with going out to nightclubs and brushing up against strangers while exposing you to moral filth? After all, you have to show your wares in order to get a woman, or a man. Right? Besides, decisionism recognizes, you have a right to have a good time.

Additionally, decisionism knows perfectly well that you can maintain your testimony even in the worst situations. Singing in a bar does not mean you drink. Working as a bar maid does not mean you are part of the booze traffic and drunk driving problem. In addition, what is wrong with actually driving a beer delivery truck, for crying out loud? Hey, I know a Christian who only delivers Playboy and Penthouse magazines. He would never read them. However, if you do not have a job doing questionable things, then it is perfectly okay to work on Sundays. After all, you cannot expect a Christian to be so unreasonable as to insist on having Sundays off. Amen?

Thus, decisionism sanctions a type of Christianity which is not peculiar, which is no different from unsaved living, which requires no sacrifice, no alteration of lifestyle, no requirement to choose between living for God and living in the world.

With decisionism, you can have it all. You can claim to be a Christian, but never go to church on Sundays, never go soul winning, never do any of the things faithful Christians do. So what? Christian professional athletes do it all the time. Right? Your brand of Christianity argues that no one has to go to church and that you can be just as good a Christian at an NFL football game as in your church auditorium. Isn’t decisionism’s brand of Christianity wonderful?

But what about God’s view of salvation? God gave up His Own Son to die on the cross for your sins, the Just for the unjust that He might bring us to God. But for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there would be no ground for salvation. Therefore, you can understand why God is just a wee bit touchy with regard to this thing called salvation, and why He calls on His Own to give up things for Him.

When a sinner comes to Jesus Christ by faith, his sins are washed clean by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Saved by the blood of the crucified One! He has a new name written down in glory. He becomes a new creature in Christ. Old things are passed away and all things are become new. His life is now hid in Christ.

Salvation, real salvation, the kind God is familiar with, is salvation from sins. That means your attitude toward and behavior with regard to sins forever changes. You are freed from its power. You are loosed from its bonds. Sin has now become a hateful thing to you, something to be despised and avoided. Look and dress like those of the world who are still enslaved to sin? “Perish the thought,” the saved person thinks. Loiter around sin? “Ridiculous,” the child of God declares.

You see, my friend, the saved individual knows that he did not save himself. He knows he could not save himself. Because he has a right understanding of sin, he knows that he is completely helpless to save himself. “Dead in trespasses and sins” is what Paul told the Ephesians.

However, when that man heard the gospel, that Jesus will save from sin whosoever comes to Him by faith, he believed what he heard. Jesus did suffer, bleed, and die to wash away sins. In addition, from where He is right now in heaven, this same Jesus will save you who come to Him by faith. He will save you from your sins. He will deliver you from your sins.

“But pastor, I believe all that stuff you just said. That must mean I’m saved.” Not necessarily. Decisionism would say you are saved, but the Word of God says that only people who have been born again are saved; only sinners who have been converted through faith in Christ are saved. Are you saved? When were you saved? How were you saved? Under what circumstances? Who presented the gospel to you? Did he present the gospel faithfully and truly? Did you respond in faith believing, coming to Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing through His blood?

Since you were supposedly converted, since you supposedly were saved, what has your life been like? Decisionism says you are a Christian no matter how you live. However, the Bible shows genuinely converted people to be different, peculiar, bold, exuberant, dynamic, obedient, godly, spiritual, humble, and new. Where are your affections? What are your hopes and aspirations? What fruits in your life show you to be a stranger and sojourner in this world, rather than some worldly and compromising fake?

Oh, my friend, please understand where I am coming from. I am not mad at anyone, I am just passionate. Moreover, do not think I am too hard on sinners. Sinners saved by grace are who we are at this church.

However, for too long I have observed folks taken in by decisionism, without really comprehending what was going on right in front of my very eyes. I now both see and understand what the problem is. By God’s illuminating grace, I have taken the measure of this form of spiritual deception and I am vigorously opposed to it because it is a soul-damning problem.

Haven’t you been hoodwinked for too long? Look at how genuinely saved people lived in the first century. Is there any likelihood that you are ever going to be willing to present your body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service? Come on, now. Be honest. The answer is “No.” Want to know why? It is because you were “saved” the decisionism way. In addition, the only real problem with that is that it is not real, it is not genuine, and you have not actually been saved from anything.

Why don’t you and I get together and take up this issue of you coming to Jesus for salvation? Let us deal honestly and openly with the matter, using God’s Word as your guide to bring you to Jesus.

You do not want to be like all those other so-called Christians you have always known and despised, who thought they were better than you were. Neither do I. I want to you to come to Jesus, to get your sins forgiven, to be a new creature in Christ, to become a real Christian.

What should you do? Just step back into the auditorium after this service, or after any service, and sit over on this side of the auditorium. I will talk to you in turn, just as I do everyone else. I will talk to you respectfully, courteously, tenderly, and appropriately. The goal? To bring you to Jesus Christ.

Be rid of this curse of decisionism once and for all.

[1] Decisionism is the belief that a person is saved by coming forward, raising the hand, saying a prayer, believing a doctrine, making a Lordship commitment, or some other external, human act, which is taken as the equivalent to, and proof of, the miracle of inward conversion; it is the belief that a person is saved through the agency of a merely external decision; the belief that performing one of these human actions shows that a person is saved.

Conversion is the result of that work of the Holy Spirit, which draws a lost sinner to Jesus Christ for justification and regeneration, and changes the sinner’s standing before God from lost to saved, imparting divine life to the depraved soul, thus producing a new direction in the life of the convert. The objective side of salvation is justification. The subjective side of salvation is regeneration. The result is conversion.

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