The Expository Files

The Conversion Formula

Ephesians 4:22-24

(PutoffOLD) + renewmind + (PutonNEW) = Conversion
In many realms of science, formulas are used to solve problems. On one side of the formula you have an problem (1+1), and on the other side of the formula you have result (=2). Together, you have an equation (1+1=2). If you take this and look at it algebraically, you might say a + b = c. This would be a formula.

In the spiritual realm, the idea of conversion can be explained in a similar manner. Oftentimes, conversion is misunderstood because it is thought of as a complex process. It is not. It becomes complex because we make it complex. Perhaps if we clear some of the mystery away from conversion by looking at it in its most basic form, we can see how to apply the principle to overcome sin in our lives.

The Bible explains conversion in Ephesians 4:22-24. "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

Thus, conversion (which is the act of turning oneself about), is achieved by simply putting off the old man, renewing the mind, and putting on the new man. If we were to put this into a formula, I guess you would say

(PutoffOLD) + renewmind + (PutonNEW) = Conversion.

Let's consider a few examples of this.

putting off laziness, renewing the mind and putting on diligence = conversion.

Another example would be
putting off the world, renewing the mind, and putting on Christ = conversion.

The same would apply

putting off anger, renewing the mind and putting on love = conversion.

Regardless of the sin, when we put off the old man, renew the mind, and put on the new man, we have conversion. This is our "conversion formula." If you leave one part of it out, you do not have conversion. If you add something to the formula like an "excuse" or an "I can't," you do not have conversion.

So, let's uncomplicate conversion in our lives, apply the formula, and become converted to Christ (Psa. 51:13; Mt. 18:3; Acts 3:19).

By Jonathan L. Perz
From Expository Files 6.5; May 1999