Conversion
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Topical Bible Verses
Acts 3:19
Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
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Acts 2:38
Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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Acts 3:19-21
Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
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Acts 2:41
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.
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Acts 8:12
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
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Easton's Bible Dictionary
The turning of a sinner to God (Acts 15:3). In a general sense the heathen are said to be "converted" when they abandon heathenism and embrace the Christian faith; and in a more special sense men are converted when, by the influence of divine grace in their souls, their whole life is changed, old things pass away, and all things become new (Acts 26:18). Thus we speak of the conversion of the Philippian jailer (16:19-34), of Paul (9:1-22), of the Ethiopian treasurer (8:26-40), of Cornelius (10), of Lydia (16:13-15), and others. (see REGENERATION.)
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The act of turning or changing from one condition to another, or the state of being changed; transmutation; change.

2. (n.) The act of changing one's views or course, as in passing from one side, party, or from of religion to another; also, the state of being so changed.

3. (n.) An appropriation of, and dealing with the property of another as if it were one's own, without right; as, the conversion of a horse.

4. (n.) The act of interchanging the terms of a proposition, as by putting the subject in the place of the predicate, or the contrary.

5. (n.) A change or reduction of the form or value of a proposition; as, the conversion of equations; the conversion of proportions.

6. (n.) A change of front, as a body of troops attacked in the flank.

7. (n.) A change of character or use, as of smoothbore guns into rifles.

8. (n.) A spiritual and moral change attending a change of belief with conviction; a change of heart; a change from the service of the world to the service of God; a change of the ruling disposition of the soul, involving a transformation of the outward life.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
CONVERSION

kon-vur'-shun:

I. The Words "Conversion," "Convert," in Biblical Usage.

1. In the English Bible:

The noun "conversion" (epistrophe) occurs in only one passage in the Bible, "They passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles" (Acts 15:3). Derived forms of the verb "convert" are used in the Revised Version (British and American) in James 5:19, "convert," "converteth" (5:20), "converted" (Psalm 51:13, margin "return"), "converts" (Isaiah 1:27, margin "they that return"). In other instances where the King James Version uses forms of the verb "convert" the Revised Version (British and American) employs "turn again" (Isaiah 6:10 Luke 22:32 Acts 3:19), or "turn" (Isaiah 60:5 Matthew 13:15; Matthew 18:3 Mark 4:12 John 12:40 Acts 28:27). In Psalm 19:7 the reading of the King James Version, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul," has been changed by the revisers into "restoring the soul." The words commonly used in the English Bible as equivalent with the Hebrew and Greek terms are "turn," "return," "turn back," "turn again" (compare Deuteronomy 4:30 Isaiah 55:7 Jeremiah 3:12; Jeremiah 25:5; Jeremiah 35:15; Ezekiel 18:21-23; Ezekiel 33:11 Malachi 3:7). Thus "convert" is synonymous with "turn," and "conversion" with "turning."

2. In the Old Testament:

The principal Hebrew word is:shubh; other words are panah, haphakh, cabhabh, in Hiphil. They are used

(1) in the literal sense, for instance, Genesis 14:7 Deuteronomy 17:16 Psalm 56:9 Isaiah 38:8.

(2) In the later prophetical writings the verb shubh refers, both in the Qal and Hiphil forms, to the return from the captivity (Isaiah 1:27 Jeremiah 29:14; Jeremiah 30:3 Ezekiel 16:53 Zephaniah 2:7).

(3) In the figurative, ethical or religious sense

(a) from God (Numbers 14:43 1 Samuel 15:11 1 Kings 9:6);

(b) more frequently to turn back to God (1 Samuel 7:3 1 Kings 8:33 Isaiah 19:22 Joel 2:12 Amos 4:6 Hosea 6:11; Hosea 7:10).

3. In the New Testament:

The words used in the Septuagint and New Testament are strephein, and its compounds, apostr., anastr., epanastr., hupostr., and especially epistrephein. The latter word occurs 39 times in the New Testament. It is used

(1) in the literal sense in Matthew 9:22; Matthew 10:13; Matthew 24:18 Acts 9:40; Acts 15:36, etc.;

(2) in the figurative sense, in transitive form. (Luke 1:16 James 5:19 f). In Galatians 4:9 and 2 Peter 2:21 it denotes to turn from the right way to the wrong. The opposite meaning, to turn from the wrong way to the right, we find in Luke 22:32 Acts 9:35; Acts 11:21; Acts 14:15; Acts 15:19; Acts 26:18 2 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:9 1 Peter 2:25. In connection with metanoein, "repent," it is used in Acts 3:19; Acts 26:20. The root word strephein is used in the figurative sense in Matthew 18:3 John 12:40. Septuagint and Textus Receptus of the New Testament have here epistrephein.

II. The Doctrine.

While the words "conversion" and "convert" do not occur frequently in our English Bible the teaching contained therein is fundamental in Christian doctrine. From the words themselves it is not possible to derive a clearly defined doctrine of conversion; the materials for the construction of the doctrine must be gathered from the tenor of Biblical teaching.

1. Vague Use of the Word:

There is a good deal of vagueness in the modern use of the term. By some writers it is used in "a very general way to stand for the whole series of manifestations just preceding, accompanying, and immediately following the apparent sudden changes of character involved" (E. D. Starbuck, The Psychology of Religion, 21). " `To be converted,' `to be regenerated,' `to receive grace,' `to experience religion,' `to gain an assurance,' are so many phrases which denote the process, gradual or sudden, by which a self, hitherto divided and consciously wrong, inferior and unhappy, becomes unified and consciously right, superior and happy in consequence of its hold upon religious realities. This at least is what conversion signifies in general terms" (William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, 189). In this general, vague way the term is used not only by psychologists, but also by theological writers and in common religious parlance. A converted man is a Christian, a believer, a man who has religion, who has experienced regeneration.

2. Specific Meaning:

In its more restricted meaning the word denotes the action of man in the initial process of salvation as distinguished from the action of God. Justification and regeneration are purely Divine acts, repentance, faith, conversion are human acts although under the influence and by the power of the Divine agency. Thus, conversion denotes the human volition and act by which man in obedience to the Divine summons determines to change the course of his life and turns to God. Arrested by God's call man stops to think, turns about and heads the opposite way. This presupposes that the previous course was not directed toward God but away from Him. The instances of conversion related in the Bible show that the objective point toward which man's life was directed may be either the service of idols (1 Thessalonians 1:9) or a life of religious indifference, a self-centered life where material things engross the attention and deaden the sense of things spiritual (rich young ruler, Luke 18:22), or a life of sensuality, of open sin and shame (prodigal son, Luke 15:13) or even a mistaken way of serving God (Saul, Acts 26:9). Accordingly in conversion either the religious or the ethical element may predominate. The moral man who turns from self to God or, as Saul did, from an erroneous notion concerning God's will to a clear conception of his relation to God is more conscious of the religious factor. Conversion brings him into vital, conscious fellowship with God through Jesus Christ. The immoral man who is awakened to a realization of the holiness of God, of the demands of His law, and of his own sin and guilt is more conscious of the outward change in his manner of life. The ethical change is the more outstanding fact in his experience, although it can never be separated from the religious experience of the changed relation to God.

3. Mode:

The mode of conversion Varies greatly according to the former course of life. It may be a sudden crisis in the moral and intellectual life. This is very frequently the case in the experience of heathen who turn from the worship of idols to faith in Jesus Christ. A sudden crisis is frequently witnessed in the case of persons who, having lived a life of flagrant sin, renounce their former life. Conversion to them means a complete revolution in their thoughts, feelings and outward manner of life. In other instances conversion appears to be the climax of prolonged conflict for supremacy of divergent motives; and, again, it may be the goal of a gradual growth, the consummation of a process of discerning ever more clearly and yielding ever more definitely and thus experiencing ever more vitally truths which have been implanted and nurtured by Christian training. This process results in the conscious acceptance of Jesus Christ as the personal Saviour and in the consecration of life to His service. Thus conversion may be an instantaneous act, or a process which is more or less prolonged. The latter is more frequently seen in the case of children and young people who have grown up in Christian families and have received the benefit of Christian training. No conversions of this kind are recorded in the New Testament. This may be explained by the fact that most of our New Testament writings are addressed to the first generation of Christians, to men and women who were raised in Jewish legalism or heathen idolatry, and who turned to Christ after they had passed the age of adolescence. The religious life of their children as distinguished in its mode and manifestations from that of the adults does not appear to have been a matter of discussion or a source of perplexity so as to call forth specific instruction.

4. Conversion and Psychology:

Conversion comprises the characteristics both of repentance and of faith. Repentance is conversion viewed from its starting-point, the turning from the former life; faith indicates the objective point of conversion, the turning to God.

Of late the psychology of conversion has been carefully studied and elaborately treated by psychologists. Much valuable material has been gathered. It is shown that certain periods of adolescent life are particularly susceptible to religious influences (compare G. Stanley Hall, Adolescence, II, chapter xiv; E. D. Starbuck, Psychology of Religion, etc.). Yet conversion cannot be explained as a natural process, conditioned by physiological changes in the adolescent, especially by approaching puberty. The laws of psychology are certainly God's laws as much as all other laws of Nature, and His Spirit works in harmony with His own laws. But in genuine conversion there is always at work in a direct and immediate manner the Spirit of God to which man, be he adolescent or adult, consciously responds. Any attempt to explain conversion by eliminating the direct working of the Divine Spirit falls short of the mark.

SeeREGENERATION; REPENTANCE.

LITERATURE.

SeeREGENERATION.

J. L. Nuelsen

Greek
1995. epistrophe -- a turning about, conversion
... a turning about, conversion. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: epistrophe
Phonetic Spelling: (ep-is-trof-ay') Short Definition: a turning to God ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1995.htm - 6k

4258. proamartano -- to sin before
... sin already, heretofore sin. From pro and hamartano; to sin previously (to conversion)
-- sin already, heretofore sin. see GREEK pro. see GREEK hamartano. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4258.htm - 6k

1347. dikaiosis -- the act of pronouncing righteous, acquittal
... Ro 5:18. It focuses on by receiving Christ -- ie as a person is moved from
eternal "condemned" to "" at conversion. 1347 () is the ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1347.htm - 8k

1693. emmainomai -- to rage against
... Here Paul describes his -conversion behavior as deranged (acting ). Word Origin
from en and mainomai Definition to rage against NASB Word Usage enraged (1). ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1693.htm - 7k

3824. paliggenesia -- regeneration, renewal
... kingdom (Mt 19:28; cf. Ro 8:18-25); and b) the re-birth all believers
experience at conversion (Tit 3:5). Word Origin from palin ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3824.htm - 7k

Library

Conversion
... CONVERSION. TEXT: "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted,
and become as little children, ye shall not enter into ...
//christianbookshelf.org/chapman/and judas iscariot/conversion.htm

Conversion
... Conversion. A Sermon (No.45). ... God has been pleased in his inscrutable wisdom and
intelligence to work the conversion of others by instrumentality. ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 1 1855/conversion.htm

Conversion of a High Priest into a Christian Worker
Conversion of a High Priest into a Christian Worker. <. Conversion
of a High Priest into a Christian Worker Meletios Golden. ...
/.../golden/conversion of a high priest into a christian worker/

The Conversion of Zaccheus
... The Conversion of Zaccheus. Luke 19:9-10 " "And Jesus said unto him, This day is
salvation come to this house; forasmuch as he also is the Son of Abraham. ...
/.../whitefield/selected sermons of george whitefield/the conversion of zaccheus.htm

Conversion.
... XI. CONVERSION. THE DIFFICULTY OF CONVERSION. CONVERSION to God is not so easy
and so smooth a thing, as some would have men believe it is. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/bunyan/the riches of bunyan/xi conversion.htm

Of Conversion
... CHAPTER XI Of Conversion. Of Conversion "Be ye truly converted unto that
God from whom ye have so deeply revolted" (Isaiah 31:6). To ...
/.../guyon/a short and easy method of prayer/chapter xi of conversion.htm

Marks of a True Conversion
... Marks of a True Conversion. Matthew 18:3 " "Verily, I say unto you, except
ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall ...
/.../whitefield/selected sermons of george whitefield/marks of a true conversion.htm

Conversion of all that Come.
... XXIX. Conversion of All That Come. ... In conversion the fact of cooperation on the part
of the saved sinner assumes a clearly defined and perceptible character. ...
/.../kuyper/the work of the holy spirit/xxix conversion of all that.htm

First of Conversion
... AS TRANSLATED BY RICHARD MISYN IN 1434 FROM DE EMENDATIONE VITAE' BY RICHARD ROLLE
OF HAMPOLE: AND NOW DONE INTO MODERN ENGLISH CHAPTER I FIRST OF CONVERSION. ...
/.../christianbookshelf.org/rolle/the fire of love/chapter i first of conversion.htm

Saul's Conversion
... Saul's Conversion. Acts 9:22 " "But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded
the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ." ...
/.../whitefield/selected sermons of george whitefield/sauls conversion.htm

Thesaurus
Conversion (1 Occurrence)
... Thus we speak of the conversion of the Philippian jailer (16:19-34), of Paul
(9:1-22), of the Ethiopian treasurer (8:26-40), of Cornelius (10), of Lydia (16: ...
/c/conversion.htm - 21k

Georgian
... Christianity was introduced into Georgia m the 4th century, and a national
conversion followed. A well-supported tradition makes ...
/g/georgian.htm - 13k

Gothic
... Christianity was introduced into Georgia m the 4th century, and a national
conversion followed. A well-supported tradition makes ...
/g/gothic.htm - 13k

Millennium
... The Lord Jesus said nothing about world-wide conversion in His instructions to His
disciples touching their mission (Matthew 28:19, 20 Mark 16:15 Luke 24:46-48 ...
/m/millennium.htm - 24k

Premillennial
... The Lord Jesus said nothing about world-wide conversion in His instructions to His
disciples touching their mission (Matthew 28:19, 20 Mark 16:15 Luke 24:46-48 ...
/p/premillennial.htm - 23k

Aretas (1 Occurrence)
... which had formerly belonged to the Arabian princes, was again in the hands of Are
tas, when Paul escaped from it, not immediately after his conversion, but on ...
/a/aretas.htm - 11k

Slavonic
... Christianity was introduced into Georgia m the 4th century, and a national
conversion followed. A well-supported tradition makes ...
/s/slavonic.htm - 13k

Convert (6 Occurrences)
... 4. (vt) To produce the spiritual change called conversion in (any one); to turn
from a bad life to a good one; to change the heart and moral character of (any ...
/c/convert.htm - 9k

Pauline
... THE CONVERSION 1. Christ 2. The Spirit 3. The Unio Mystica 4. Salvation 5.
Justification III. ... This fact is often overlooked. II. The Conversion. ...
/p/pauline.htm - 38k

Zenas (1 Occurrence)
... same persons. Before his conversion to Christ, Zenas had been a lawyer,
one of the recognized expounders of the Law of Moses. A ...
/z/zenas.htm - 10k

Bible Concordance
Conversion (1 Occurrence)

Acts 15:3 They, being sent on their way by the assembly, passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles. They caused great joy to all the brothers.
(WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Subtopics

Conversion

Conversion by Christ

Conversion by God

Conversion by the Power of the Holy Spirit

Conversion is Accompanied by Confession of Sin, and Prayer

Conversion is Necessary

Conversion is of Grace

Conversion is the Result of Faith

Conversion of Gentiles, Predicted

Conversion of Israel, Predicted

Conversion of Sinners, a Cause of Joy: To God

Conversion of Sinners, a Cause of Joy: To Saints

Conversion: Commanded

Conversion: Danger of Neglecting

Conversion: Duty of Leading Sinners To

Conversion: Encouragement for Leading Sinners To

Conversion: Exhortations To

Conversion: Follows Repentance

Conversion: Pray For

Conversion: Promises Connected With

Conversion: Through the Instrumentality of Affliction

Conversion: Through the Instrumentality of Ministers

Conversion: Through the Instrumentality of Self-Examination

Conversion: Through the Instrumentality of The Scriptures

Related Terms

Georgian

Gothic

Millennium

Premillennial

Aretas (1 Occurrence)

Slavonic

Convert (6 Occurrences)

Pauline

Zenas (1 Occurrence)

Natural (49 Occurrences)

Eunice (1 Occurrence)

Proselyte (2 Occurrences)

Ananias (11 Occurrences)

Laodiceans (2 Occurrences)

Borrowing (1 Occurrence)

Parousia

Dead (580 Occurrences)

Justification (6 Occurrences)

Armenian

Punishment (417 Occurrences)

Everlasting (192 Occurrences)

Paul (207 Occurrences)

Subapostolic

Sub-apostolic

James (40 Occurrences)

Hebrews (24 Occurrences)

Man (26072 Occurrences)

Damascus (58 Occurrences)

View (86 Occurrences)

Apostles (79 Occurrences)

Kol

Novice (1 Occurrence)

Use (620 Occurrences)

Onesimus (2 Occurrences)

Jailer (8 Occurrences)

Luke (4 Occurrences)

Ir-ha-heres

Illumination (2 Occurrences)

Inspired (20 Occurrences)

Irhaheres

Finery (2 Occurrences)

Fining (2 Occurrences)

Thorn (30 Occurrences)

Traveled (104 Occurrences)

Thessalonians (6 Occurrences)

Relating (9 Occurrences)

Religion (23 Occurrences)

Reduction (1 Occurrence)

Reporting (4 Occurrences)

Erastus (3 Occurrences)

Describing (2 Occurrences)

Detail (19 Occurrences)

Declaring (48 Occurrences)

Members (54 Occurrences)

Phenice (3 Occurrences)

Paulus (1 Occurrence)

Punishments (31 Occurrences)

Philemon (2 Occurrences)

Barnabas (33 Occurrences)

Bethink (4 Occurrences)

Berea (4 Occurrences)

Barsabbas (2 Occurrences)

Bath (13 Occurrences)

Chronology

Cilicia (8 Occurrences)

Cross (157 Occurrences)

Conversing (7 Occurrences)

Converted (11 Occurrences)

Cornelius (10 Occurrences)

Causing (248 Occurrences)

Caused (468 Occurrences)

Arabia (9 Occurrences)

Accompanied (43 Occurrences)

Aryan

Sergius (1 Occurrence)

Sama'ria (102 Occurrences)

Stephanas (3 Occurrences)

Sabeans (4 Occurrences)

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