Walter Hooper says that CS Lewis was “the most thoroughly converted man” he ever met.
This observation implies a conversion process—and that idea is outside my normal thinking about salvation. When I speak of conversion, I do so in the past tense.
Several years ago I stopped by the First Baptist Church of Okmulgee, Oklahoma where I made my profession of faith in Christ. I asked to examine their records of decisions made, found my name, noted the date, and marked the anniversary of my salvation as a recurring event on my calendar.
On March 17, 1962, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, I got saved.
If you read Lewis’s account of his salvation, it was a process. He moved from atheism to theism, i.e. from not believing in God, to believing in God, and with that belief he literally bowed on his knee to his new ruler in 1929. He refers to this event as his conversion, more precisely his conversion from atheism to theism. It wasn’t until 1931 that he became a Christian. For him, this was marked by his conclusion that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. He moved from theism, i.e. God exists, to being surprised by the joy of a personal, close, true, and viable relationship with God incarnate.
I know that the One who lives in me is greater than the one who slinks around me.
My salvation was similar, minus the step from atheism to theism. I’m betting your experience is similar. Technically, there is a transformative process in moving from lost to saved, dark to light, and death to life, but this conversion isn’t the process Mr. Hooper is referencing when he says that Lewis was the most thoroughly converted man he ever met.
By “thoroughly converted,” Mr. Hooper means that CS Lewis, a) thought carefully about whether or not his faith was true, and given that it was, what that truth meant, and then b) he lived each day determined to implement his conversion more thoughtfully and thoroughly than he had the day before.
I know I am converted. My desire is to live my conviction consistently, i.e. thoroughly converted.
If you ask me if I believe I’m converted, I answer with conviction, “Absolutely.”
If you ask whether I doubt my conversion, I say, “I don’t doubt the fact of it, but I struggle to implement the implications of it.” Stated differently: I’m confident in my conversion but struggle to live guided by that confidence.
I’m reminded of the man in Mark 9:24 who cries out to Jesus, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
My sincere desire is to live like the man you say I am. I believe I am converted, please help my unbelief that is manifested when I live otherwise.
I know I am converted and that this salvation is as secure as the finished work of Jesus Christ. I know I am as accepted by God as Jesus is. I know that this world is not my home. I know that the One who lives in me is greater than the one who slinks around me. I know that the One who holds me will never let go and that the One who promised never to leave me alone won’t. I know that I am in His hands—along with my wife, my children, my house, my dog, my money, my car, my bicycle, my fly rod, my mortgage, my investments, and all the rest whether tangible or intangible—and nothing can take me from His grip.
Father, I know I am converted. My desire is to live my conviction consistently, i.e. thoroughly converted. Please help my unbelief, and thank you in advance.