Conversion

CONVERSION. Literally, turning round. By this is generally meant a sudden and sensible action of the Blessed Spirit upon a newly-awakened sinner. A certain party in the Church, and nearly all dissenting bodies, declare the absolute necessity of conversion before a person can be saved. This view is based upon a mistaken interpretation of our Lord's intercourse with Nicodemus, S. John iii., and confuses conversion  with regeneration  (which see). To the heathen, and infidel, conversion —a change of heart and life—is absolutely and always necessary to salvation; but the baptized Christian may, by God's grace, so continue in that state of salvation (see Church Catechism ) in which he was placed in baptism, that conversion, in the above sense, is not necessary to him; but inasmuch as all fall into sin day by day, he will need renewal, or renovation —the quiet and continuous work of the Holy Spirit upon his heart. There is not a single reference to sudden conversion in any of the formularies of the Church of England.