Beginning the Christian Life


Since “Conversion” is so closely related to “Repentance”,
attention should be given to what the Scriptures teach about it.


1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (KJV)

1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.

So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

What is the meaning of the word “Conversion”?

The Greek word translated “convert” is “epistrophe.” 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?

Necessary to entrance into the Kingdom

  • Matthew 18:3 – – “Verily I say unto you except ye be CONVERTED, and become as little children, YE SHALL NOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.”

Saves from death

  • James 5:20 – – “He which CONVERTETH the sinner from the error of his way, shall hide a multitude of sins.”

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 unto God … showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and TURN to God…”

Necessary for blotting out of sin

  • Acts 3:19 – – ” Repent ye therefore, and be CONVERTED, that YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT…”

What does it involve?

Acknowledging the Divine Lordship

  • Luke 1:16 – – “And many of the children of Israel shall He TURN to the Lord Their God.”
  • Acts 11:21 – – “And the hand of the Lord was with them; and a great number believed, and TURNED UNTO GOD.”
  • Acts 9:35 – -“And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and TURNED TO THE LORD.”
  • Acts 15:19 – – “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the gentiles are TURNED UNTO GOD.”

Turning “from darkness to light”

  • Acts 26:18 – – “To TURN them FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT …”

Turning “from the power of Satan unto God”

  • Acts 26:18 – – “To TURN them….FROM THE POWER OF SATAN UNTO GOD.”

Turning from the “vanities” of “idolatry”

  • Acts 14:15 – – “Ye should TURN from these VANITIES unto the living God.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:9 – – “Ye TURNED to God FROM IDOLS to serve the living and true GOD.”

Can Christians be converted?

The Apostle Peter

  • Luke 22:32 – – “When thou art CONVERTED, strengthen they brethren.”


Repentance and Conversion illustrated.


Luke 15:11-24 (KJV)

11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:

12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The change of mind (vs. 17)

  • “When he came to himself”
  • “I perish”

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”

The performance of the will (Conversion) (vs. 20)

  • “And he arose” (He left the old life.)

  • “Came to his father” (He started the new life.)