Does Conversion Always Produce a Change of Affection and Behavior?

Making Better Disciples

J.D. Greear, who I have much respect for, had a post the other day that I had a slight disagreement with. The post was titled, “Am I Really Saved?”  He shared how a mentor had helped to settle in his mind that he really had believed in Christ by directing his heart to 1 John 5:10-11 (… he who has the son, has the life…). While I have no doubt that J.D.’s mentor appropriately applied the verse to J.D.’s situation, I don’t think it can be ripped from its context and applied to every situation. Here’s a slightly expanded version of what I wrote:

Your friend had a lot of wisdom and what he shared with you that day in college was a great and particular word tailored for your need and appropriately applied to and by you. At the same time, John’s epistle is specifically written to address the issue of those who say they believe but really haven’t. In other words, 1 John 5:10-11 have the larger context of the first four chapters as an informing backdrop. We must allow those chapters and their very challenging content to inform what it means to believe. To not do so is to run the risk of being dangerously reductionistic when applied to all situations and to communicate a false sense of security to those who may not have savingly believed.

“Salvation is given as a gift and it is earned entirely by Christ.” Amen. Believe and be saved. Amen. But believing is evidenced by a life, however imperfectly, of behavior and affections changed by that belief.

Question: Does conversion always produce a change in the affections and behaviors?

2 thoughts on “Does Conversion Always Produce a Change of Affection and Behavior?

  1. Conversion=something changed. If not affections and behavior, what was it? Does the new man in Christ Jesus look just like the old man?

    I don’t think so. Something got tweaked and tweaked and tweaked and … In my case, it will be 33 years of continuous tune-up in just a few more days. Hallelujah.


    1. John,
      I praise God for you brother. I love your concise and penetrating wisdom. For any of you church planters who live anywhere near New England and in particular, Vermont and New Hampshire and New York, you ought to call John up and take him to lunch and drink deeply of his love, wisdom and experience. You won’t have any regrets. John, I hope you get some free lunches!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.