By J. David Coates
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raise him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” [Romans 10:9)
Throughout much of Christianity this scripture is recognized as the plan of salvation. The Thompson Chain Reference Bible specifically identifies this scripture as the plan of salvation in a nutshell, so to speak. Yet, we must recognize that Paul wrote these words to established believers in the Roman assembly. Actual conversions of groups and of individuals are only recorded in the book of the Acts of the Apostles.
Late in the earthly ministry of Christ, Jesus said something to Peter that opens a door of understanding concerning the conversion of believers. The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan bath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for you, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” [Luke 22:31-32). This He said to Peter on the night that Jesus was taken to be crucified. Evidently, even at this time, Peter was not yet converted.
As early as Luke chapter nine, Peter made a confession of faith that Jesus was the Christ (See Luke 9:20). Matthew recorded that Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Peter received this faith by spiritual revelation, yet he was not converted.
Peter was converted on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost fell upon one hundred and twenty believers in the Upper Room. Immediately after receiving the Holy Ghost baptism, Peter stood with the eleven Apostles and strengthened the brethren when he identified the fulfillment of Joel 2:28 for 3,000 people that had gathered. God was pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh. That’s what it took to be converted in the Apostolic era and that is what it takes to be converted today. What a joy it is to experience the Holy Ghost baptism.
The Above Material Was Published By The Illinois District News, April 1998, Page 5. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.