New Testament Conversion

The word "conversion" means "to turn around, revert, or to come again", though the word is rarely used in our N.T. The definition suggests that a person is changed they are set in a different direction. Jesus used this word in association with the forgiveness of sins, Mark 4:12.

The apostle used the word conversion in Acts 3:19, "Repent therefore, and be converted*, that your sins may be blotted out". There are many examples of conversion given to us in the book of Acts, so it is for us to study them to learn the pattern laid down by the Lord. *KJV.cp Acts 28:27, (Matt 13:15,18:3; Mark 4:12)

The great commission as given by Jesus:

Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:47.

Believe, Repent, and be Baptized.

1. Acts 2:22-41

Having received the baptism of the Holy Spirit as promised, Acts 1:4-5; and 2:1-4, the apostles were now ready to begin their great task, Acts 1:8. Peter reminded the gathered crowd that Jesus who they had crucified God had raised up, vs 22-24, 32. Now many believed he was both Lord and Christ and wanted to know "What must we do?" v 36-37. Peter replied, and set out that which must be done. "Repent and be baptised everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins ..." verse 38. Peter continued to exhort them and about 3000 were baptised that day, verse 40-41.

2. Acts 8:5-13

Philip went down to Samaria, "when they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised both men and women" v12.

3. Acts 8:26-39

We next meet Philip as he is sent to meet the treasurer of Ethiopia on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. This religious man was returning from worship in Jerusalem and reading the prophet Isaiah (53:7-8) desired that Philip should explain the prophecy to him. Philip told him the good news about Jesus and as they went on their way they came to some water, "What prevents me from, being baptised" he asked. When he confessed "I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God", Philip baptised him. The eunuch had every reason to go on his way rejoicing, v 37-39.

4. Next we note the conversion of Saul of Tarsus

Acts 9 and 22 record this event. The Lord appeared to Saul in person and told him to go into Damascus and you will be told what to do. Three days later Ananias told Saul "Arise and be baptised and wash away your sins, calling on the His name" Acts 22:10, 16.

5. Cornelius the Gentile is our next example

See Acts 10; 11:1-18. Peter is persuaded by the Spirit to respond to the request of Cornelius that he needed to hear the good news so he and his household, could be saved. Gentiles like Jews needed to believe in Jesus to be saved, 10:43. In concluding his gospel message he "commanded them to be baptised in the name of Jesus.

6. In Philippi

The apostle Paul met some women who had gone for prayer at the riverside, a certain women called Lydia, "opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul" and was baptised, Acts 16:13-15.

7. Acts 16:25-34

Having been falsely accused Paul was beaten and placed in prison in the city of Philippi, and at midnight he and Silas were praying and singing hymn. They were interrupted by an earthquake which brought the jailor to ask, What must I do to be saved He was told to believe in the Lord Jesus. Most gospel preachers stop after verse 31, but Paul "spoke the word of the Lord to him and all who in his house. The same hour of the night they were baptised.

8. Acts 18:8

"And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptised. Conclusion: Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ. Romans10:17. The gospel is God's power to save all who believe, Rom 1:16. Believers were told to repent and be baptised In the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, Acts 2:38. So those who received his word were baptised" 2:41. The Lord added to His church those who were being saved, 2:47.

Conversions in the Book of Acts

What Must I Do In Order To Be Saved?

Christ taught that in order to become a Christian, a sinner must believe in Him as the Son of God, repent of his sins, confess His name before men, and be baptized (immersed) in water for the remission of his sins.

  • Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:16
  • Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38
  • Romans 10:9-10
  • Acts 22:26

We must be content to follow the pattern set forth in the New Testament and simply be called Christians as they were in the 1st century (Acts 11:26).

Biblical Account Hear the Gospel Believe Jesus is the Son of GodRepent of your sinsConfess Jesus before Men Be Baptized 
 Jews on Pentecost, Acts 2:14-42  x x x
 Samaritans Acts 8:5-13 x x  x
 Eunuch, Acts 8:26-40  x x x  x
 Saul of Tarsus Acts 9:1-19  x x
 Cornelius Acts 10:1-48  x  x
 Lydia, Acts 16:14,15  x x
 Jailer, Acts 16:31-34  x x  x

Once you have truly heard the gospel, believed in Jesus Christ as God's Son, repented of your past sins, confessed Jesus before men and have been baptized in water for the remission of your sins; God will add you to His Church Acts 2:47. Then you need to identify with a local group of Christians and worship God on the first day of the week according to the scriptures, Acts 20:7. With the Bible becomes your only source of authority you will need nothing more to direct your new Christian life. You are now a Christian, nothing more!

We urge you to attend one of the services of the Lord's church (Matthew 16:18) and learn first hand the truth that is able to make you free from your past sins. It's that simple!

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