Christian Hedonism changes how we think about conversion. Listen to Matthew 13:44, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found” — finding the kingship of Jesus for your life — “which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” That’s a picture of conversion, isn’t it?
“Conversion to Christ not only means believing the truth, but finding a treasure.”
I’m sure there are people in this room now who are not Christian — truly Bible-believing, born-again lovers of Jesus. What does that mean? It means not only believing truth, but finding a treasure. So, evangelism becomes not only persuasion about truth, but pointing to a treasure — a treasure that’s more valuable than anything you have. That’s conversion.
The Holy Spirit does something and, suddenly, Christ is attractive, beautiful, glorious, sufficient, needed, a magnified Savior, and the soul is honoring that by a growing sense of “You’re enough. You satisfy me. All that stuff I’ve been living for, it’s just getting weaker and weaker.” This doesn’t happen all at once.
First Peter describes the new birth, and then if this rascal chapter break would get out of the way at chapter 2 — just forget chapter breaks, right? They really get in the way, especially between chapter 1 and 2 of 1 Peter. Oh my, that’s a bad one. Just get rid of that chapter break, and it goes right into telling you how you move from new birth to growth: “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation — if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2–3). And all that’s relating back to “You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). Shame on you, chapter break.
We have to see what it is to be born, and then to grow, by desiring the milk of the word, which helps you taste and see he’s really good. And that’s how you grow. That’s the fight. So conversion is the discovery of a treasure that is more valuable than anything (Matthew 13:44).
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