There is a difference between a church, the gospel, and the Savior, Jesus Christ. You might be saying to yourself, “Of course, that’s obvious.” But, do our/your actions, behaviors or even words support that?
A church is an institution. A Christian church, for example, would have a purpose of “pointing people to the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Being converted to that church would mean you believe that church can effectively point you to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel is a holistic set of doctrines, principles, and gifts. The gospel (doctrines, principles, gifts) of Jesus Christ, for example, would have a purpose of “pointing people to Jesus Christ for salvation.” Being converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ would mean you believe that the gospel message effectively points to Jesus Christ for salvation.
The Savior, Jesus Christ, is a glorified and authorized being with the purpose of offering and bestowing salvation. Being converted to the Savior, Jesus Christ, would mean you believe Jesus Christ is the only authorized source that can offer and bestow salvation. You see Him as the only one capable of offering pure truth and personalized guidance through life’s challenges and also back to His presence. It means the Savior is your prophet and you are seeking His counsel at all times and discerning and reconciling the philosophies of men with the pure truth of the Lord.
Being converted to a church might be good or might even be considered a good start so long as it leads you to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Being converted to the gospel of Jesus is better. Being converted to the Savior, Jesus Christ is best.
We might ask ourselves, or specifically, you might ask yourself, to what degree am I Christ-centered or converted to Christ? After all, “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16-17).
To ponder our fruits, allow me to share samples of comments made in Sunday testimony meeting. The comments in each column represent the type of conversion a person may have. Each row, going left to right, represents a similar topic. Compare and contrast the substance, depth, and power of each type of conversion.
|SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST
|“I am thankful for my calling in Young Men’s. I am thankful for the young men program and the experience I have to serve as they (the young men) teach me so much.”||“I know that God has revealed eternal doctrines and principles that work in the lives of these young men and are teaching them so many important lessons.”||“I personally testify and witness that the Savior, Jesus Christ is my personal Savior and has the power to offer me salvation. He is my guide in my personal journey. I testify He will do the same for each young man that turns their life over to the Savior beginning with repentance.”|
|“I am thankful for the prophet so that he can give us revelation.”||“I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It teaches me to seek personal revelation and a relationship with the Savior.”||“I personally testify and witness that Jesus Christ speaks to us personally. I witness that He speaks to me and guides my everyday life. He commands us to keep His commandments which are His personal commandments to me, and each of us. I witness that He is my prophet and I know He will guide me into His presence when I hear and obey His voice.”|
|“I am thankful for my membership in this church. I enjoy these friendships and relationships and it has a good influence on me, my kids and my family.”||“I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches love, fellowship and the blessing of eternal families. I know that living gospel principles will offer me personal blessings on my journey back to God.”||“I personally testify and witness that through my Savior, Jesus Christ, I can be sanctified and receive a remission of my sins. I testify that He offers me salvation, exaltation, and membership in the church of the Firstborn. I witness that in and through the Savior, I can inherit ‘all that the Father hath,’ including being part of His family, bearing His name, and receiving eternal life.”|
Ponder those comments and the following scriptures:
“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11).
“Wherefore, beloved brethren, be reconciled unto him through the atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ, and be presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God, having faith, and obtained a good hope of glory in him before he manifesteth himself in the flesh” (Jacob 4:11).
What is your conversion and what are the fruits of your conversion?
I invite you to come unto Christ and be converted to Him:
“Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you…Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life.” (Alma 5:33-34,62).
JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on complimentary, online Study Guides to help you learn, believe, live and teach the Doctrine of Christ. The Study Guides invite any and all to see and know this truth for themselves that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has, in fact, introduced His doctrine and He personally invites all to literally receive Him while in the flesh (mortality).
Blog posts are intended to supplement the Study Guides. Per all blog posts, seek the understanding and confirmations from the Lord in your own personal revelation. Study guides are intended to point you to both the Lord’s written word and His voice (personal revelation). These study guides will help you uncover what the Doctrine of Christ is and other essential topics that will help you in your journey to come into His presence while in mortality. All study guides are available at http://www.JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org