From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Thousands of people speak of having some form of emotional experience that they refer to as conversion but who have never been truly converted to Christ. Christ demands a change in the way we live. If a life does not conform to the Word of God, then there are reasons to doubt possessing true salvation in Jesus Christ.
Certainly, there will be a change in the elements that make up emotion when a person receives Christ as Savior. Someone who has been converted begins to hate sin and love righteousness. Personal affections will undergo a revolutionary change and devotion to the Lord will know no bounds, and love and faithfulness begin to grow.
Intellectual acceptance of Christ or an emotional experience is not enough. There must be the conversion of the will! There must be that determination to obey and follow Christ. Self must be nailed to the cross and the bend of the will toward the things of God.
Whether we are a new Christian or a person who has walked with the Lord many years, our main desire must be to please Him. Possessing Christ is one of total commitment. When a person is convicted of sin, the Holy Spirit sheds His truth in the heart of man and the face of sin is dealt with as He empowers faith to believe that Christ died in our place. When mankind opens his heart, a miracle of the new birth takes place and a new creation replaces the old creation, bringing to each redeemed soul a new beginning. Believers partake of God’s own life and Jesus Christ, through the Spirit of God, takes up residence in the human heart.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)