Is a Person Converted if Their Life Does Not Change?

Thursday is for Discipleship

Transforming Conversion“A conversion is an experience of deep continuity and discontinuity. Although through conversion we are certainly not called to abandon the world or escape from it–Jesus insists on this in his prayer of John 17 (see v. 15)–we nevertheless recognize that there is a profound discontinuity between the values and mores of the world and those of the reign of Christ. The whole process and experience of conversion is one of moving out from under this foreign authority and moving under the reign of Christ, the cosmic Lord and head of a new humanity (cf. Col 1:13-14)

Transforming Conversion: Rethinking the Language and Contours of Christian Initiation, Gordon T. Smith, (Baker, 2010), 33.

Is a person converted if their life does not change?

5 thoughts on “Is a Person Converted if Their Life Does Not Change?

  1. You are asking if a person is changed (converted) if their life does not change? If not my life, then what changed?

    Or are you asking if a person is a believer if their life does not change? No, they are not! Their belief is superficial, in the head, not the heart. There is no fruit and without fruit, there has been no conversion (change). The empowerment spoken of in Acts 1:8 is a change that creates a witness and is a statement of fact. I became a new person in Christ Jesus, I changed and the process is not finished. I am being transformed from one degree of glory into another.


  2. Changed behavior is the outward expression (evidence) of the internal belief (conviction) and a changed heart. No evidence – No conviction.


    1. John and Karl,
      My heart always sings when either of you appear in the comments, because of my affection and respect for you both. John, Karl is my brother. Karl, John is a friend I have met here many times but only once in the flesh. [Twice now.]

      Completely agree with both of you. A converted man or woman is a man or woman being transformed. Salvation happens in a moment, conversion/transformation takes a lifetime, but it will surely come if the faith is truly set on Christ. This isn’t to discount that many may have a long process to the point of salvation.


  3. Jonathan Edwards’ “Religious Affections” is a must read on this question. Wish Pastor Edwards had been around to follow up with majority of Billy Graham Crusade “decisions” without lasting change. That’s why Jesus commissioned us to make disciples, not just decisions or ‘converts’.


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