Yesterday in the Sunday sermon I suggested that a possible understanding of the New Testament book of Acts was to see it as a call to convert–to change from your way of living to something new–living for Jesus. In this context, conversion is not a dirty or bad word. It is the goal of evangelism; and it is natural. People convert all the time–from single to married, from childless to parent, from young to old, from sad to happy. Spiritually, converting ourselves to become Christ-followers is a good thing which we want others to experience.
As a part of my premise, I said that I counted 22 different conversion stories in the text. We learned about 6 of them yesterday, but here I post them all.
- Pentecost–Acts 2
- Many believed–Acts 4
- Multitudes beleived–Acts 5:14
- The Choosing of the 7, which Led to believing Priests–Acts 6
- Philip in Samaria–Acts 8:1-8
- Simon the Magician–Acts 8
- The Ethiopian Eunuch–Acts 8
- Paul’s Conversion–Acts 9
- Cornelius and the Gentile Mission–Acts 10
- Antioch Church–Acts 11:19-30
- Pisidia Antioch–Acts 13
- Lystra–Acts 14:21
- Lydia–Acts 16
- Philippian Jailor–Acts 16
- Berea–Acts 17
- Athens–Acts 17
- Crispus and Corinth–Acts 18
- Apollos Conversion–Acts 18:24-28
- Ephesian Elders and the Holy Spirit–Acts 19
- Scevva and Ephesus–Acts 19
- Acts 26–Paul telling of his Conversion
- Acts 28–Paul boldly evangelizing in Rome
This is my brief list. Others might include other accounts as conversion narratives (for example, the Macedonian Call of Acts 16), and still others might like to argue my categorization of some of these as conversion stories. That is fine. However, I think the premise remains: A big part of Luke’s writing in Acts is about people individually choosing to reorient their life around Christ; to be converted.
Next Sunday I address the manifold sermons in the book of Acts.