Repentance (3)

CONVERSION

Since "Conversion" is so closely related to "Repentance", attention should he given to what the Scriptures teach about it.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE WORD CONVERSION?

The Greek word translated "convert" is "epistrepho". It is also translated "turn", and when used in connection with repentance and faith, means "to turn from the wrong way to the right way".

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?

a. NECESSARY FOR TO ENTRANCE INTO THE KINGDOM

Matt. 18:3 - "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

b. SAVES FROM DEATH

James 5:20 - "Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins."

c. BURDEN OF APOSTOLIC PREACHING

Acts 26: 18-20 - "to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God,. . . First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God . . . "

d. NECESSARY FOR ERASING OF SIN

Acts 3: 19 - "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out,. . . "

WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?

a. ACKNOWLEDGING THE DIVINE LORDSHIP

Luke 1:16 - "Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God."
Acts 9:35 - "All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord."
Acts 11:21 - "The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord."
Acts 15: 19 - "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God."

b. TURNING "FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT"

Acts 26:18 - "to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, . . . "

c. TURNING "FROM THE POWER OF SATAN TO GOD"

Acts 26:18 - "to open their eyes and turn them .... from the power of Satan to God .... "

d. TURNING FROM THE "VANITIES" OF "IDOLATRY"

Acts 14:15 - ".... We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God,..."
1 Thess. 1:9 - "how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God."

CAN CHRISTIANS BE CONVERTED?

a. THE APOSTLE PETER

Luke 22:32 - ".... And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

REPENTANCE AND CONVERSION ILLUSTRATED (Luke 15:11-24)

a. THE CHANGE OF MIND (vs. 17)

"When he came to himself"
"I perish"

b. THE DECISION OF THE WILL (vs. 18,19)

"I will arise and go to my father"
"I will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before Thee".

c. THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WILL (Conversion)

"And he arose" (He left the old life).
"Came to his father" (He started the new life).

Study Questions for Lesson No. 4

  1. What is the meaning of the word conversion?
  2. Is conversion essential to salvation?
  3. Can one be in the Kingdom of God without being converted?
  4. What happens when one is converted?
  5. Describe the conversion of the Apostle Peter according to Luke 22:32.
  6. Describe repentance and conversion with the use of the story of the prodigal son.

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