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Question and Answer

What is the difference between conversion and being “born again”?

There is a sense in which conversion means exactly that: born again. Where previously we lived a life that ignored God, we are converted by the Spirit of God into turning around from going our own way, and walking in a new direction toward the things of God through the power of Christ in our lives. We are now converted, that is, born again.

Our spiritual rebirth happens only once, but there might be many times in a man's or woman's life where they experience this sense of conversion. They are headed in one direction, and then they are turned around. For example, Psalm 19:7 reminds us, “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.” Psalm 23:3 speaks of God restoring the soul. Sometimes in disobedience we walk against what we know to be right before God, and the Word captures our attention and points us in the right way. That is another meaning of conversion. In my own life I was born again once and for all time, but as I have continued to walk with Him there have been times when God's Word has turned me around, converted me into following the path on which He wants me to go.

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