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The word converted comes from the Greek word “epistrephō” which means “to turn about.” “Epistrephō” is the word that describes the transformation that takes place when one accepts Christ as a personal Savior. “So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord” (Acts 9:35 also Acts 11:21; 26:20).
Conversion by the Holy Spirit
Conversion is the foundation of a sincere Christian experience. It is distinguished from the new birth expereince (John 3:3, 5) only in that it may be regarded as the act of man in turning away from one’s old life of sin, whereas the new birth, or renewal, is the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of man. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Neither stage of the experience can be a reality without the ministry of the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit guides into all the truth and declare things to come (John 16:13-14), testifies to Christ (John 15:26), bears witness to the truth (1 John 5:6), washes and renews (Titus 3:5) and sanctifies the believer (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).
The submission of the believer
But the Holy Spirit cannot accomplish His work until a person is willing to submit to the Lord and allow Him to guide his life. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20). In a personal way, Christ knocks at the door of one’s heart, mind, and conscience. And in a general sense, He knocks at the door of all nations that He may bless them by His presence, peace and prosperity (Matt. 24:33; Luke 12:36; James 5:9).
Repenting of sin
The ministry of the Holy Spirit leads to the ceasing of sin. “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9). And the Holy Spirit’s ministry will produce the fruit of righteousness in the life of the believer: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23).
The grace of God changes the life
As a result, the converted believer will be holy, beloved, compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, forbearing, and forgiving (Colossians 3:12-13). And he will not live according to the flesh but will set his mind on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5). This will lead to a healthful, life-giving harmony of all the functions of the soul and a beginning within us of the kingdom of God (Rom. 14:17). It will be a foretaste of the life to come (Eph. 1:13, 14).
Thus, the Holy Spirit will pour His grace to enable the believer to change from a spiritually dead person to a new creation in Christ that he may receive the gifts of faith and repentance (Ephesians 2:8-9). The gift of faith helps the believer to trust that Jesus Christ will wipe away his sins. And the gift of repentance will help him to leave his sin and dedicate his life to the love God and the ministry to others (1 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 7:10).
In His service,