The positive aspects of New Testament Christianity brings needed change. As Paul, the Apostle of Christ, presented the truth of God unto the Lord’s church at Corinth he was aware that they had been changed from a life of sin and rebellion against God to that of justification and sanctification in Christ:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Sin is a horrible thing. It corrupts humanity and destroys our innocence, alienating us from the fellowship of God (Rom. 3:23). If we remain in this lost condition we will die condemned in our sins. We will stand in judgment before Christ and face condemnation in Hell for all eternity (Rom. 6:23).
Eternal life is the total opposite of a Christless and hopeless eternity. That life will be given in the hereafter to those who have obeyed the gospel of Christ, having their sins pardoned by the blood of Christ and made fit for fellowship with God. This is referred to from two different perspectives; (1) Conversion (epistrepho) translated to turn or return, and (2) to have one’s sins blotted out (exaleipho) which is translated to obliterate, erase, wipe away, or blot out.
There are two sides to Salvation: Our side in turning to God through gospel obedience and God’s side of divine forgiveness. New Testament Christianity has a specific purpose—to bring change to individuals. God does not save anyone in his sins. He has a divine plan to save individuals from their sins through the blood of Christ as such salvation is found through its purchase price located within the New Testament church (Acts 20:28).
Let us note how New Testament Christianity is designed for individuals to bring about change in their lives by conversion to truth which, through obedience to the Gospel of Christ, brings salvation from sin in God blotting out, obliterating, wiping out, erasing all of one’s sins.
There Must be a Change of Trust
When we discuss the aspect of trust we are speaking with reference to one’s faith (pistis). Faith is not a blind leap into the dark as Existentialism falsely affirms. Faith is established upon both evidence and knowledge (Heb. 11:1-4). Without faith one cannot please God (Heb. 11:6). To be saved from sin one must have faith or trust in Christ (John 8:24). While faith is essential faith only will not save (John 1:12; Jas. 2:24).
There Must be a Change of Mind
The New Testament refers to the change of mind as that of repentance (metanoia). When one repents he changes his mind about sin—he looks upon sin differently and determines to cease sinning. One can never change his relationship to God without repentance (Acts 3:19-21; 2 Cor. 7:10). Repentance is a decision to give up sin.
There Must be a Decision to Form a New Lifestyle
Conversion necessitates a turning or return to God (epistrepho), Acts 3:19. When one repents there is a change in his living (Rom. 6:14-18, 21-22; Matt. 21:28-31). New Testament Christianity demands a different lifestyle. When one never attempts to change his lifestyle scriptural conversion does not take place.
New Testament Christianity Gives a New Purpose for Living
When one is not living a life for God there is no true purpose for living. But that is not the case for those who become Christians—members of the Lord’s church. They have a true purpose for life that the non-Christian or the fallen, unfaithful child of God does not have and truly cannot enjoy (Philp. 1:21; 4:5-9).
There Must be a Change in Loyalty Producing a New Allegiance
Consider the aspect of confessing Christ as it relates to Salvation (Acts 8:26-40). That is based upon our faith in Christ and his death burial and resurrection from death (Rom. 10:9). This confession is unto salvation (Rom. 10:10). One cannot be baptized properly without making that confession.
There Must be a Change in Relationship
This change takes place when one receives New Testament baptism as a penitent, having confessed, believer in Christ. One is baptized into fellowship with the Godhead (Matt. 28:18-10); to receive salvation from past sins (Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21); to receive remission or forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38); to have one’s sins washed away by the blood of Christ (Acts 22:16); to receive the benefits of the death of Christ (Rom. 6:3-7); to enter the fellowship of Christ (Gal. 3:27); to enter into the New Testament church wherein salvation is found (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4; 5:23; Acts 2:47). If one has fallen away from Christ restoration to this relationship is made possible through repentance of sin, confession of sin, and prayer (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:6-10).