The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
Conversion is turning or returning of a soul from sin unto the Lord. It is the voluntary surrendering of ourselves to God.
To convert something is to turn it or change it. The word is used of a believer (Peter) returning to Christ in Luke 22:31-34 after Jesus predicts his (Peter’s) denial and his repentance. That is, he would come back to his former stand, he would have a change of heart. The word convert is used several times in the Scriptures of a sinner coming to God for salvation. I believe conversion consists of repentance and faith. The former is a turning from sin and the latter is a turning to God. Conversion is not justification or regeneration which are acts of God that are done for those who are converted but is an act of man by which he is enabled to perform by God’s divine mercy and grace.
The verb (epistreho) is sometimes rendered in the New Testament, “to convert” and sometimes “to turn”.
The Necessity of Conversion
According to Acts 3:19, our sins being blotted out is based upon our repentance and being converted. “Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out...” According to the context, this sermon was preached by Peter in Jerusalem to show the hearers the need of salvation through Jesus Christ and their need of conversion. In Matthew 18:3, the Lord himself said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” Also, in Acts 15:3, as the apostles spoke of the conversion of the Gentiles, there was great joy among all the brethren.
The Requirements of Conversion
In Matthew 18:1-4, the Lord Jesus Christ uses a little child as an object lesson to illustrate how an individual is converted. Remember, the discourse itself is a just rebuke to his disciples on the question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?”
Childlikeness is essential to conversion and hence to entrance into the kingdom of God, (not childishness). Children are normally characterized by certain qualities that lead us to Christ and true conversion:
A. Simplicity: Children are free from passions. Their lives are not complicated as our adult life.
B. Humility: Innocence, destitute of pride.
C. Forgiving: Children normally do not hold grudges nor remain angry with each other.
D. Trusting: Children easily put their faith and confidence in adults, especially their parents.
E. Submission: They are prone to follow the lead of an adult.
The point I am trying to make is this, if we are to be converted, we must, simply by faith, put our trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. We are to humble ourselves before a righteous and Holy God and receive his forgiveness and then submit ourselves under His authority. By the way, one sure sign that a person has received and experienced the forgiveness of God is their ability to forgive others (Matthew 6:12, 14-15).
Examples of Conversion
Many today claim the name of Christ but are they truly converted and born again? For example, I heard this story that in 1954 a well known evangelist held a crusade in London and there were at least three thousand who made professions of faith. The organization kept records of these people and after ten years decided to do a survey. What was found was amazing. Only seventeen (17) of those people could be found who were serving God. The question must be asked, “Who was truly converted?”
The scriptures gives us several accounts of true conversions:
#1. Acts 9:13-22, when Paul (Saul) was converted there was a change in his life and from there on no one had to beg Paul to go to church and serve God.
#2. Acts 8:34-40, 10:44-48, according to this passage, Cornelius and the Eunuch were converted. No one had to beg them to be baptized. They willingly submitted to this ordnance with joy.
#3. Acts16:13-15, says that when Lydia was converted no one had to plead with her to love the brethren for God had filled her heart with love.
#4. Acts 16:27-34, says that the Philippian Jailer was converted and once again, no one had to beg him to be baptized and testify for the Lord Jesus Christ.
#5. Luke 19:8-10, after Zacchaeus was converted no one had to beg him to tithe.
Please read the chapter and see the change in Zacchaeus’ life. Also, the scriptures show that the Thessalonian converts turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. (I Thessalonians. 1:9)
Why are there so many today that say they are saved, but there is no change in their life? Maybe the answer lies in the fact that they have not truly been converted.
In conclusion, will you be converted? Will you please turn to God and put your faith and trust in the fact that Jesus Christ died for your sins at Calvary? That He was buried and rose again on the third day? If so, God will save you today.
“The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul...”
“...and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”
“Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one
convert him. Let him know, that he which converteth
the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul
from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
“...lest any time they should be converted, and their sins
should be forgiven them.”
“...and should be converted, and
I should heal them.”
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523