Module 1:  Conversion and Calling

Without question, the most dynamic spiritual force in the Church is the Spirit-inspired and illumined Word of God, the Holy Scriptures. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we affirm our deep belief in the creative, convicting, converting, and calling power of the Word of God. To understand the wonderful blessing of conversion and calling, we will need to critically evaluate the place of the Word of God in the Church. This module highlights the dynamic power of the Word of God to both convert the lost, and secure the called into the full will of God. We begin with a discussion of how the Bible understands itself to be in fact the very Word of God, inspired by the “breath of God,” the Holy Spirit. Through his ministry through the Holy Scriptures, we understand that the Word of God plays a pivotal role in the regeneration of the lost person; through the Word, the Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Word of God coverts us; it is a word that brings new life, and that is synonymous with the Gospel of Jesus. It is the Word which causes us to be “born again,” to experience the washing of regeneration, and renewal of the Holy Spirit, producing in those who believe very concrete signs of God’s renewing power. Finally, we will see how this Word calls us out of darkness into new life in Christ. We will explore the concept of (metanoia), that is, repentance toward God, and to faith (pistis). The Word of God produces faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior who saves, delivers, and rescues the believer from the penalty, power, and presence of sin.

 

Course Details

Lesson 1: The Word that Creates
Lesson 2: The Word that Convicts
Lesson 3: The Word that Converts
Lesson 4: The Word that Calls

 

Course Description

Conversion and Calling

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we affirm our deep belief in the creative, convicting, converting, and calling power of the Word of God. To understand the wonderful blessing of conversion and calling, we will need to critically evaluate the place of the Word of God in the Church.

Our first lesson, The Word that Creates, explores the nature of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God. We’ll see that God’s own perfect integrity guarantees the absolute trustworthiness of the Scriptures. Furthermore, we’ll discover how God created the universe through his Word, and how he identifies himself completely with the Word in Jesus Christ. Being the means by which the Holy Spirit creates new life in those who believe, we prove to be disciples by abiding in Jesus’ Word. As members of the Church we receive the Word together in community, the same which provides us with the ultimate purpose of the created universe, which is the glorification of Almighty God.
In the next lesson, The Word that Convicts, we’ll look at how God’s Word convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Word teaches that sin is universal in scope and corrupting in its character. The Word of God also convicts regarding righteousness, revealing God’s perfect righteousness and our moral inadequacy. And, it convicts regarding judgment, instructing that God will judge Israel and the nations, the Church, Satan and his angels, and all the wicked dead by his just determination. God’s Word also convicts us of the truth–of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God, and the integrity of his Word through his messengers, the prophets and the Apostles.
Lesson three, The Word that Converts, concentrates on the power of the Word of God to produce new life in the believer. This Word that converts is synonymous with the Gospel of Jesus; it is the good news of salvation which causes us to be “born again,” to experience the washing of regeneration, and renewal of the Holy Spirit. The Word produces in we who believe concrete signs of God’s renewing power. This same Word that creates new life, sustains us, provides spiritual nourishment, causes our growth, and enables us to defend ourselves against the devil’s lies.
Finally, lesson four, The Word that Calls, explores the concept of (metanoia), that is, repentance towards God, and to faith ( pistis). Faith in Jesus Christ is the way that God saves, delivers, and rescues the believer from the penalty, power, and presence of sin. As we turn from sin to God in Christ, the Word leads us to receive God’s new nature (regeneration) and become incorporated (adopted) into the people of God (to the laos of God) by grace through faith alone. The Word that calls us to salvation also calls us to discipleship (as bondslaves of Jesus), to freedom (as redeemed children) and to mission (to make disciples through our witness and good works).
Truly, the Holy Scriptures are a Word that are profitable for teaching, correction, instruction, and training so that God’s person might be completely equipped for any task (2 Tim. 3.16-17). May God bless you as you explore the richness of his God-breathed Word that creates, convicts, converts and calls!

Reading Assignments

Lesson 1: Reading Assignments

By the conclusion of this lesson, you should have read the following:

Geisler, To Understand the Bible Look for Jesus, pp. 7-52.

Lesson 2: Reading Assignments

By the conclusion of this lesson, you should have read the following:

Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, pp. 60-75.
Geisler, To Understand the Bible Look for Jesus, pp. 53-87.
Packer, God Has Spoken: Revelation and the Bible, pp. 63-113

Lesson 3: Reading Assignments

By the conclusion of this lesson, you should have read the following:

Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, pp. 305-323.
Geisler, To Understand the Bible Look for Jesus, pp. 88-123.
Packer, God Has Spoken: Revelation and the Bible, pp. 114-125; 134-170.