Bible Cases of Conversion
Bible cases of conversion resulted in people becoming Christians. The only way that we can become Christians today is to study those cases revealed in the New Testament and follow those examples. Let it be understood that while Jesus lived on this earth, He could forgive sins anyway He chose. For example, the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43). However, since Christ's death we must do according to the conditions of His will (Hebrews 9:15-17) to obtain forgiveness of sins. This is what the Biblical cases of conversion deal with.
All examples of conversion in the New Testament reveal important things that we must imitate. Though there are many more cases, we have only the room to look at five in this article.
This case of conversion is found in Acts 2. Upon close reading and examination of this chapter, we find these events taking place in the city of Jerusalem where Jesus had told his apostles to wait until they received power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4,5). The early part of the chapter deals with this very event which enabled the apostles to speak in other tongues (languages) and manifest miraculous powers to confirm the words they spoke (v.6; Hebrews 2:3,4). This was all necessary because the New Testament had not been revealed in its entirety as you and I have it in complete form today. As Peter spoke on this occasion, the people heard (v. 37). They were "pricked in their heart" and inquired what they must do to be saved. They were told to "repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,..." (v. 38).
Their conversion was reached through belief, repentance, and baptism. These Jews had heard the message of God's Son which produced faith (Romans 10:17) and it convinced them that He was the Son of God. They inquired, "What shall we do?". This Bible case of conversion reveals the necessity of repentance AND baptism for "they that gladly received his word were baptized" (v. 41).
Philip is the evangelist in this case of conversion which we find in Acts 8:5-25. He went down to the city of Samaria and "preached Christ unto them" (v. 5). He was preaching Christ to a city deceived by sorcery and witchcraft (vs. 9-11). But the people "believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" and "they were baptized, both men and women" (v.12). These were responsible men and women-no babies- and this case is no different than of those we read about in Acts 2.
Again, Philip is the evangelist who does the preaching in this case that we find in Acts 8:26-39. Upon encountering the eunuch of Ethiopia, he finds the eunuch riding along and reading from the prophet Isaiah (v. 30). Upon inquiring whether he understood what he was reading, Philip "began at the same scripture, and preached unto Jesus" (v. 35). It was the eunuch that responded, "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (v. 36). When baptized by Philip, the eunuch "went on his way rejoicing"(v. 39).
This case is found in Acts 16:25-34. After the jailor had imprisoned Paul and Silas, he was about to take his own life after an earthquake loosened all the bands of the prisoners. When Paul urged him not to harm himself, he fell down before them and said, "Sir, what must I do to be saved?" (v. 30). Since faith cannot be had until a person hears the word, "they spake unto him the word of the Lord" (v. 32). Obviously being convinced of what he heard, the jailor repented washed their strips (repented) and was baptized (v. 33).
In Acts 18 Paul comes to the city of Corinth and "testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ" (v. 5). The Jews rejected his message and Paul turned to the Gentiles. "And Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized" (v. 8).
Conversion today, in order to be genuine Bible conversion, must be like the examples we have looked at in this bulletin. There is no conversion where the word of God was not preached or taught. The word of God does not change and, therefore, requires the same things in order to produce the same results. Is your conversion JUST LIKE these five Bible EXAMPLES?
--E.R. Hall, Jr.