True conversion consists in the restoration of a man or woman to the state of Adam before the fall. Salvation doesn’t consist in paperwork or declared righteousness. It’s a real change from sin and death to righteousness, innocence, and life. When God removes a person’s sin, he also removes his wrath. Now, peace and harmony exist between the new convert and God.
God and man participate together in this. On the human side, a sinner truly repents and completely and joyfully surrenders everything to Jesus. In this place, the Holy Spirit meets the repentant sinner and supernaturally births him or her as holy person who never existed before. The saint is separated from idols and joined to the living God of heaven.
True conversion is immediate. Instead of gradually growing out of sin and selfishness, we confess and forever renounce all of it. Conversion costs everything. But, because we so prize Jesus and his new life in us, it’s a great joy to pay everything.
You may say, “I was born a sinner.” But, are you still a sinner? Have you been restored to the image of God–the holy innocence of Adam and Eve before the fall? Is sharing the beauty of how Jesus has changed you–and calling others to Jesus–the great joy of your heart?