A Question Regarding Conversion

An individual once asked, “What is essential to conversion?” New Testament conversion is begun by the sinner being taught the Word of the Lord (Acts 8:29-39; Acts 17:1-3; Acts 18:24-28). David tells us, “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” (Psalm 19:7).

The law of the Lord is the Word of God by which the sinner is made a believer, but a sinner is not converted at the point of faith! Conversion is something that happens after faith (cf. Acts 2:41). In Acts 11:21 we read, “A great number believed and turned to the Lord.” Their turning followed their believing.

Some religious folks have insisted that “faith” and “faith only” causes one to be saved, but not according to the inspired Scriptures. In fact, the very act of “coming to God” must be motivated by "faith" (Hebrews 11:6). Hence, unless one is saved before coming to God, he is not saved at the point of faith!

Nor is repentance proof of conversion. In fact, it’s just the opposite — conversion follows repentance (cf. Acts 2:38; Acts 2:41). In Acts 3:19 we read, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” One might repent and never have his sins blotted out, but one could never have his sins blotted out without repentance! The matter becomes very clear in Acts 2:38, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.

The conversion or change that takes place in one’s spiritual status is effected when he puts on or is clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27 NIV) in the waters of baptism (2 Corinthians 5:17; Gal. 3:26-27 NIV; cf. Romans 6:3-4). Examine every conversion in the New Testament book of Acts, and note that every conversion was effected in the very same identical manner — there was faith, repentance and baptism into the body of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

Some questions we must ask ourselves then is: Were we truly converted? or did we “join the church of our choice”?

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets