Conversion means to have a change of heart toward God. Initially, a person is converted when they are born again, and receive divine life from God which is a contrast to the desires of the flesh. Upon being quickened, immediately a person is converted. Without an initial conversion, a person cannot be saved to enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:3). However, conversion is not synonymous with new birth, because conversion may happen multiple times in a person’s life! In Luke 22:32 the Lord told Peter, “when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Peter’s original conversion happened in Luke 5:8, but after he betrayed the Lord it needed to happen again! It is very possible for a believer to need another conversion if they err from the truth (Jam. 5:19-20).
Conversion, Repentance, Salvation. Conversion is a change of heart about sin, but repentance is a change of judgment about sin, according to God. Repentance takes place chronologically after conversion; “Surely after that I was turned, I repented” (Jer. 31:19). Initially, repentance comes in after we are quickened and converted, but it is not the same thing as believing the gospel of our salvation. It is possible that a person could have “repentance toward God” but not yet “faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). It is not until a person believes the gospel that they are then saved and “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13).