As a Christian, is there a difference between a testimony of Christ and conversion?
To me a testimony of Jesus Christ is a belief that Christ is the son of God, but conversion or being converted means that you have not only been baptized by one having the authority to baptize, but that you have committed your life to keeping the commandments of Christ and living your life so as to be more and more like him in every possible way.
Many acknowledge that Jesus is The Christ, while far fewer seem to strive to live Christ-like lives. Does a difference between "having a testimony of Christ" and "being converted to Christianity" have that same distinction in your mind?
I am so sorry to throw the proverbial cat among the pigeons (By the way, were there pigeons interacting with cats in the Proverbs?), but you state that Christians “committed their lives to lead their lives in keeping the commandments of Christ and living their lives so as to be more and more like him in every possible way”.
Let me state that they are not the “commandments of Christ” but, really, the commandments of God. Christ was simply the messenger and he came to let people know what those rules really are.
Please note, it’s usual to capitalise He when referring to Jesus.
I am a Muslim, and in Islam, Jesus is referred to as Jesus Christ and also the Messiah, so, believe me, I have nothing but respect for Jesus. I’m not being negative about Christ.
I agree that I should have said "the commandments taught by Jesus Christ."
I guess the question would be, Twilight Lawns, do you believe Christ? He made Himself to be God's Son, on the same level as God, so do you believe He is Who He said? Christians believe Jesus Christ is God's Son, part of the Godhead, able to save us.
I've never seen it put this way. I grew up in a Southern Baptist Convention Church, and to this church a conversion was the moment the person accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior. It had nothing to do with anything else. We were then taught that we would want to be baptized and live our life in a Christian manner as a follow-through. A testimony of Jesus Christ was when we stood up and gave our witness to others as to what we had experienced. The testimony was not limited to one subject. It could be of our conversion; how Christ had worked in our life, or something as simple as how calling on the Lord in a time of trouble helped work our way out of the problem.
It is possible that different denominations have different definitions of "testimony" and "conversion". That is why we call them "denominations", but that is what my church believed.
More than just semantics, however, a person may be called "a Christian" and even believe they are a Christian, but without being born again a "new man" in daily practicing the Christian faith, their life cannot bear testimony of actual conversion.
I was responding to your literal question, not sermonizing. A friend who is a practicing Baptist agreed with me on the Baptist definition.
Demas, this seems like a rule of some sort. What is the source? The bearing testimony part.
If it is strictly a Bible interpretation -- I understand but it sounds like a religious dogma.
Testimony to me just means bearing witness. Anyone could witnes
yes eric , we know you do not believe there are any "rules" and you prove it frequently
1Jn 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
This is a hard teaching for those that want all inclusiveness
I completely agree with what you said. A testimony is just believing in Christ, conversion is changing your life to be like Christ.
Conversion is an initial, one time action, that involves a decision to accept Jesus Christ as one’s Lord & Savior. This conversion is either squashed or a continued development in someone’s life; like a branch either connected to the vine or breaking off… one has this continued new life and it shows if they are 'connected to the vine'. There is an ongoing tending to the life of the branch, and it involves living a life to the Lord. A testimony is either revealed in life being lived out, what is seen in someone’s life (like the Fruits of the Spirit being revealed for example), or is someone telling something about God’s work in his/her own life (it might even be God’s work in the life, or situation, of another). Baptism is the outside demonstration of an inside work; it is our identification with the life, death, and resurrection of Christ… it does not save us, but shows others the definitive resolution of our decision to follow Christ for the rest of life (and for eternity).
I will take issue with your false statement from the churches of men , since you did not explain the truth. ANY and ALL CHristians have the AUTHORITY to baptize and are in fact commanded to baptize those they bring into the kingdom.... The "church leaders" are not to usurp this authority, but in the churches they usurp this and the place of Christ because they try to stand between man and CHrist. Scripture says the HEAD OF MAN IS Christ. no man has the authority to say otherwise.
I think you have become distracted by taking issue with the Church. The main issue is not the baptizer, but the Church often has baptisms done by church leadership. Scripture says Christ is the Head of the Church. The Church is the Bride of Christ.
you are talking about the ch.urches of man, i about THE church of Jesus Christ. The scriptures say the head of man is CHRIST not some man made institution . scripture is supreme not mans kingdom.
That has become the tradition of men, like most everything else that goes on in the building. Your disciples of men not Christ. The problem is not what Christ is head of, the problem is believing that the traditions of men is the church.
Again, if you believe the Church of Christ is not related to the Church that men attend and lead then you have been duped. Scripture shows how there are leaders and various parts of the Church, and that we are to meet together as the Church.
Without this interpretation what were Peter and Paul doing. Leading no one nowhere? Of course there is structure in churches. Hatred of all churches is just plain not helpful for an understanding.
Not agreeing with the teachings of man should not infer hatred. Christ, nor Peter or Paul implied "why can't we all just get along". In fact their teaching are exactly opposite. Almost everything outside the gospels was warnings. Now is time to heed.
It is men who are taught by men in the denominational seminaries of men that have been duped and indoctrinated into believing that man-made traditions of organized religion within man-made named buildings is the body of Christ.
elafoe 1 minute ago
eric & Soj - the pattern you are following is that of the OT temple that was part of the law and died with Christ, Except for men that want to ensnare God's people for their personal gain. God's people understand He is with us
The NT reveals the beginning of Christ's Church. Also, why would you think God would not use an organized Church? Do you think He is disorganized? Does He want us to individually interpret His doctrine on our own? He uses man to spread His gospel.
You don't understand because of your indoctrination. The NT reveals the beginning of Christ's Ekklesia who are living stones. The organized temple system with their denominational traditions of men in named buildings are contrary to Scripture.
Jesus Christ declared himself in his local synagogue, and repeatedly taught in the temple, obviously having nothing against either. The commercialization of the temple stirred his righteous anger, and wasn't a small part of the vendetta against Him.
How many epistles of the New Testament were written to churches?
Eric there were many but they were all written by Paul, not Jesus. Jesus didn't write anything...or he did and it is hidden from us.
They are like Haman the Agagite, not really speaking for the King but their deception builds their own gallows. What they have will be given to those that have not. No hirelings to watch His sheep. The building is man's way not His. 501 c 3 Gov ran.
The epistles were written to a locality of believers in a particular area, or city, but the church clergy believe that Paul's words are meant for indoctrinated pew warmers in their denominational man-named buildings. The blind leading the blind.
Not all gathering of people in a building to worship together is bad. This blanket approach of reproach is not beneficial to anyone. If it is not hate, I would like to see what is.
It seems evident that there are those who feel people gathering in Christ's name must be against His will. It may be that people do not want accountability; perhaps it feels more freeing to interpret Scripture & not have it questioned by leadersh
Both of you twist my words as that is not what I have said. It is easy to claim to meet in Christ's name, but all one has to do is look at the sign on the building. Typical clergy men with their paper certificates. Well come and question my articles!
Sure, not every church is of The Church, & not everyone who says they are a Christian truly is one. However, there are true Christians & there are many churches that are of The Church. The Church, as an organized body, is God's idea. Please s
Jesus destroyed the temple and the way things were done, God's idea. Man rebuilds the system. God is not building His Ekklesia in Babylon, you have to come out from among them. You don't pick which building is correct, He destroyed that system.
Jesus Christ did not destroy the temple. The Romans destroyed the temple. Christ was referring to the temple of His body. Our own bodies are the temple for our souls. Contention is not of the Lord.
Jesus did not use ONLY a building to preach and share his words. Remember the Sermon on the Mount and the place he preached at where they fed so many people. He was out of doors for most of his sermons and teachings.
Paul tells us what to do when we (the church) come together. in 1 Cor 14:26---. And it sure isnt what happens in the churches of men. there are so many false christians because they choose to follow man rather than understand scripture themselves
Cel what you said does not make any sense. Scripture is made by man and then you say to follow scripture but then you do not go by the words of man?
I would surely like an explanation of this by Charlie.
My belief is that scripture is not made by man. It is written down by man but the source is God or His instruments. Yes there are scribes that lie just as there are those that twist the written word for personal gain. Pray we do neither.
Rich, That is true but then why did those scholars "think" it best to leave half or more of what Jesus did and spoke Out of the Bible? Why does the Catholic Bible have more books than the KJV? Everything is inspired by God and we just wite it down.
eric & debra --THE SCRIPTURES ARE NOT of man. IF YOU BELIEVE THAT they are , AND YOU SAY YOU DO then i will not waste my time further on the discussion
Debra, I don't know but notice that despite all the versions, additions, subtractions, the Gospel some how makes it into all the translations, that holds true through time. If we have that the rest He will help us with.
The attack on the Church as an 'organization' does not make sense. How is it that men wrote down the words of God, but men cannot meet together as the Church which God created? It is an instrument for Christians to work together for God's purposes.
Charlie I missed that a few days ago. I contend that all writings are of men. Some are divinely inspired. Gatherings can be divinely inspired also. If we learn here --- who is to say this gathering of writers is not a church fitting.
Eric- yes this is a meeting of the church the way we have been interacting. nothing like the churches of men where a man usurps the place of Christ and teaches his beliefs. We are to find truth
I think there are "churches" out there that hold to the same truth. But we are in accord here. Vigorous interaction between minds seeking some truth with the help of others and the HS and scripture. Does it get any better?
eric-- keep thinking that. I have no hope for that. I have found some that say yes but when you try to do this and step on their pet cow you will be "asked " to leave for being "contentious or some such church excuse. truth is not welcome
John Marshall, I have looked into the question you asked and can find many references to Jesus having said the he and God were one; that to see him was to see God; that forgiveness of sins was within his power, as it was God’s. But at no stage can I
Paul; wrote of the church and its organization in 1 Timothy Chapter 3, and this about Jesus Christ and about God the Father: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, ..."
Twilight, I think you meant to repost this under your original comment, but either way we can correspond about it. I believe you were cut off. Please repost your comment. These comments are limited, so perhaps you were cut off by comment limitation.
Rich kelley profile image73
Rich kelley says
We are called to be disciples, not converts. We are told to make disciples not converts. Disciples of Christ. Converted implies something is finished and that is far from the truth, we enter via the narrow gate and then run the race to the end to receive the prize.(on a narrow path)
1Peter 3:15-16 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
The only authority I know of to baptize is Christ and He will do it with fire. Being baptized with water can be done with anyone, implying authority is needed is a teaching of man not the disciples that walked before us. The disciples of Christ didn't call each other Christians, that is what the none believers call those that were disciples of Christ.
Today everyone is a Christian and very few are actually disciples of Christ. The longer we are disciples the more we will look like the Master.
Conversion is something that a man made denomination does. The disciple will not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your their minds in Christ. I vote for a testimony of Christ.
A testimony is a witness to what you have experience of the spiritual kind. A conversion is what is done to a person to join a certain dogma or doctrine and live by their rules.
Jesus said, and MANY disregard his teaching on this, said that your body is the TEMPLE. He also said that Teh Kingdom of God is WITHIN you. He also said that all the laws are in our minds and hearts. He also said that FAITH is not in a church or a church or in a book or book of books but in yourself. Nothing is OUTSIDE of your self, your body or your thoughts or your deeds. Christ-Like is to live with a conscious and know the consequences of our thoughts, actions and deeds.
Where and when did He communicate this: " He also said that FAITH is not in a church or a church or in a book or book of books but in yourself." I like it and want to know the source.
Faith as in a Mustard seed. Mustard seeds are not tiny at all. He did not preach out of a book. The Bible he did not have. When two or more are gathered together He did not specify a church. No trust or faith in oneself will get you nowhere fast.
"Faith" "Your Faith" is used many times by Jesus. He also said faith comes from God. To each is given a measure of Faith. What we do with it makes a difference.
Christ taught in the 'Church' of the time, He came to fulfill the law, His bride is the Church, Acts also reveals the beginning of the Church as we know it. Accepting Christ is the start, but one needs a healthy environment to grown in spiritually.
Soj, He never said that. That was Man who said that he was the Bride of the Church. How can one be a bride of anything if he didnt like it in the first place? He also said that he puts brother vs brother, father vs son n so on. Healthy enviro??
Debra Allen, the same Bible you make reference to with Christ's words, written by God's inspiration, refers to the Church as the bride of Christ. Jesus pitting brother vs. brother, etc. is regarding the fact that many will not accept him as Lord.
john marshall--- your theology degree has not the truths of scripture, turn it in for one that teaches the truths of the church of Jesus Christ
Charlie, not sure what you're talking about. Though a theology degree is not necessary to know truth it has been helpful in understanding a better approach towards the things of God. Debra, 2 Tim 3:16-17, Eph 5:25-33, Matt 10:24-39. Hope that helps.
Ephesians says the Assembly. It does not say the Church. They are different. I use the Young's Translation which is before KJV.Mathews, I am not sure what you are getting at with those verses.
Debra, read the verses. They are about: the inspiration of Scripture, the Church as the Bride, and the 'division' that Christ brings (in the context within the text). The word Ekklesian is Church, from 'just as Christ also loved the church' Eph 5:25.
SoJ, I read the verses. How do you think that I came up with the question I just asked? The church and Assembly are NOT the same thing. An ass. is not a Religion ir denomination. Am ass can be 2 or more people of all kinds Ideals and beliefs.
Ekklesia is the Church. I'm not sure why the idea of the Church is under fire. Why is this idea wrong or 'off' to you?
Church today means a denomination or a single mindset. Assembly is all denominations fro two people to many that want to hear what Jesus spoke. His was not into converting, while today's churches do are fervent in converting as possive of others.
Jesus told his disciples, "if you love me, feed my sheep." That means go and spread the word about me and your salvation. He wants all to come to Him.
Debra, just b/c one is a part of a denomination doesn't mean that one believes all others are bad, or not part of the body of believers. There are many denominations who have the same goal. Also, shouldn't we bring people the good news, 4 conversion?
Real congregations are cool they bring a synthesis of believers together and they work hand in hand to formulate the best they can to have wonderful services and support each other and others.
I have tried to pay attention here and something seems clear. "Testimony" and "conversion" are just ordinary words to be given their ordinary meaning and not some meaning given them by a denomination or church.
Testimony is the relating of something witnessed and conversion is the act of being converted. There are witnesses and there are converts and many times they are the same people.
"My wife's conversion happened without her ever reading any scripture and she gives her testimony about her conversion" -- that sentence makes perfect sense and is the sense about conversion and testimony.
The term "testimony of Christ" literally would mean Christ giving testimony. If someone or church has given it an alternative meaning, well good for them. I can give my testimony about Christ and how he has worked miracles in my life. But I cannot give testimony of Christ only He can do that. Someone could write it down and then read it, I suppose and that could be "testimony of Christ".
I assume this is a group think notion. And that it means giving testimony about the conversion to believing in Christ and how that occurred. If that is what it does mean then it is a fantastic notion and just fine someone gave it a special phrase/term. In that case one would be the great story and the other would be about the new life in Christ.
I think that is a great and accurate set of distinctions. It allows that a person could have, even bear, a testimony about Jesus Christ and not be a convert to Christianity for their failure to live a Christian life.
Big difference between saying and doing. This causes separation in "professing" believers. We do lots of saying with the keyboard, if our actions reflect His written word then we are on the correct/narrow path. We need actions louder than our words.
Great response...terrific flow of thoughts...thanks for the focus/perspective and where it brought me...glad you took the time to share !
Tony, thank you for uplifting words of encouragement. I have to remember to do that more often.
What a most interesting perspective you are investigating.....to me, a testimony of Christ is the explanation/expression of the "relationship" you are personally having with Him...and a conversion (converted) to Christianity is a commitment to/with the believing community, to lift Christ through the chosen life-style of the denomination/family you are committed to in your worship and biblical stance on God's Word . To make it simple in focus : Relationships are with/in Christ - Conversion is to the life-style of the institutionalized community/church.......regardless , I'm hoping you all the best in your search/understanding....also , baptism is an outward sign/statement of ones faith to the believing community rooted in God through the person of Christ (membership into the Body of Christ - Christianity) .
There are four gospels: the gosel according to...., according to...., etc. From them collectively we know what Jesus Christ meant when He said to "be even as I am." I feel I have been told to live my life that way in order that I can know Him.
Minus act, there are 22 books correcting peoples action, after they had been preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Tweaks/adjustments for Those that have fallen from their first love. Doers not just hearers of the word.
tony committed to a church of men instead of the kingdom of God is far from a csriptural truth. There is not one scripture to support such a philosophy
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