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Sermon #8001


A Sermon on Conversion



Sermon Description

False converts are more common than one might think. True conversion is an act of God upon the human heart. But what exactly are characteristics of a true conversion? In this sermon on conversion, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tackles these questions, showing how conversion is the first exercise of the new nature in ceasing from old forms of life and starting a new life. For the new convert, it is the moment at which one passes from spiritual death to eternal life in Christ. Imposters throughout church history claim to accept Jesus and then turn from Him after a period of time. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out, it is entirely possible to undergo a counterfeit, temporary conversion if one submits to a false gospel based on feelings or experiences. “Yet,” Lloyd-Jones notes, “the defense of the Christian faith must not rest on something we experience, but on its objectivity.” True salvation is not based on whimsical feelings but on two essential factors of salvation. Believers are less concerned with personal experiences and emotions, and instead yearn to know God Himself.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by explaining that the work of the Holy Spirit in applying redemption is now moving to the manifestations and results of regeneration. While chronological order is difficult, conversion is the first exercise of the new nature.

  2. Conversion is defined as ceasing from old forms of life and starting a new life. It is the initial step in the conscious relationship with God. Conversion is essential according to Matthew 18:3.

  3. The agency of conversion is the Holy Spirit through the effectual call. The call becomes effectual, leading to human activity and response. Both divine and human activity must be included in conversion.

  4. The characteristics of conversion must be considered due to temporary conversion, counterfeit conversion, and variable elements. Definitions are important to address these issues.

  5. Temporary conversion is dealt with in Jesus' teaching and produces no fruit. Counterfeit conversion resembles true conversion but is produced by other means. It can produce change but is not based on truth.

  6. Variable elements in conversion include time, drama, feelings, and age. These are not essential and conversion may be sudden or gradual, dramatic or not, emotional or not, at any age.

  7. Essential elements of conversion are repentance and faith, as stated in Acts 20:21. Both are necessary. Repentance comes before faith.

  8. Repentance comes first as taught by John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, and Paul. One must understand the need to repent before believing in Christ. Repentance is necessary to be right with God, which is the primary goal.

  9. The sermon closes with a prayer for understanding God's word, testing ourselves, avoiding false assurance, helping others, and glorifying God.

Great Biblical Doctrines

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.