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March: Conversion Minded

The health of a church can be measured by its understanding of conversion, as it

flows naturally from a right understanding of the gospel. In this lesson, Dr. Dever

discusses how biblical conversion is possible and why it is necessary.

"What is a Healthy Church" Episode 5 - 'Conversion'

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Video Outline:

Biblical conversion is a mark of a healthy church, yet the need for conversion is viewed with skepticism in our world.

  1. People are skeptical that change is possible;

  2. Society says that we should accept and adapt to our sinful tendencies;

  3. But still people have a deep longing for change.

Gospel conversion is a real change.

  1. Conversion is turning from ourselves to Christ;

  2. Conversion is God’s work, and understanding this is vital for evangelism and the health of the church.

Conversion is a real need.

  1. People reject their need for change, preferring to remain complacent than to respond to the call to repent and believe.

  2. People need God—our condition is described in terms of debt, slavery, and death, and no one will be justified apart from Him (Rom. 3:20).

  3. People need to hear sermons that reflect an understanding of these needs.

Conversion is good news.

  1. We are in desperate need of God’s grace, yet God owes His grace to no one.

  2. An understanding of our predicament and serious conviction of sin is part of conversion.

  3. Conversion is good news because change is possible and found only in God.

Conversion is resting in Christ.

  1. Conversion is relying on Christ and His righteousness.

  2. Conversion is true hope in God’s work in Jesus Christ—He sought us, lived for us, died for us, rose for us, and poured out His Spirit into our hearts.

  3. Reliance on God is the greatest change that takes place in true conversion.

Conversion is new birth.

  1. Jesus gives us a whole new life and taught that our action in conversion must be brought about by God’s action.

A biblical understanding of conversion marks a healthy church.

  1. A common misunderstanding is that conversion is something we do, but conversion is more than our action alone.

  2. True conversion is the heart-transplanting work of God’s Spirit, a change that only God can bring about.

Discussion Questions

  1. Our catechism describes two steps for true conversion: Dying away of your old self, and coming to life of your new self. Describe how a person does this (questions 88-91 will help you answer this).

  2. Discuss how the realities of living in a small town and established church can be a barrier to having a 'conversion culture' at WCRC: - Most of our members have been Christian for as long as they can remember, and do not have a particular 'conversion experience.' - How does our knowing so many community members for most of their lives, as well as knowing their parents and previous generations, cause us to think that so and so can never change?

  3. What specific things can WCRC do to instill a 'conversion culture?'

  4. Finish this sentence expressing conversion culture: A thriving church... See how we've completed that sentence for WCRC so far, as we've determined that a thriving church will promote expositional preaching and be gospel centered. This document will grow and develop as we work on this throughout the year.



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