Someone has said that a committed Christian undergoes three conversions: “First to Christ, then to the church, and then back to the world.”
We see an example in Acts 2 and 8. With their baptism, 3,000 people declared their conversion to Christ (2:41). Then they demonstrated their conversion to the church by devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and fellowshiping with other believers. “Having favor with all the people” (2:47) suggests they were also helping others. Later, when persecution scattered them, they “went everywhere preaching the word” (8:4). This was their conversion back to the world.
Conversion is first of all a commitment to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. This brings salvation. But once we know Jesus as our Savior, it is only natural to want to join a fellowship of others who share the same faith. “Lone-ranger” Christians-people who don’t want to get involved-tend either to slip back into their old ways or become smug and self-righteous.
Although fellowshiping with other believers is vital, there is more to our responsibility. We need to return to the world with compassion, loving deeds, kind words, and warm smiles. It takes only one conversion to be saved but all three to be what God wants us to be.
Once we receive God's saving grace
New life in Christ has just begun;
Then as we study, serve, and pray,
We'll seek that others may be won. -D. De Haan
The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment; the growth of a saint is the task of a lifetime.