Conversions In Acts
We can compare the accounts of conversion in Acts to learn how God requires us to become Christians. If we examine the nine following cases of conversion we may find what all of them did to be saved.
THE 3000 ON PENTECOST (Acts 2) -- The crowd on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ was told to "be assured" (or believe) that Jesus was both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36) They did believe and said, "Brothers, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37) Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38) That day 3000 believed, repented, and were baptized in order to have their sins forgiven.
THE SAMARITANS (Acts 8) -- Philip, the evangelist, went to Samaria to preach the word of God. "When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said." (Acts 8:6) Having heard, "they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." (Acts 8:12)
THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH (Acts 8) -- Philip then preached to the Treasurer of the Queen of Ethiopia, who was riding in a chariot. The Ethiopian believed in Christ and confessed his faith to Philip. Coming to some water, they stopped, and "both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him." (Acts 8:38)
SAUL OF TARSUS (Acts 9, 22, 26) -- To get the complete story of the conversion of Saul we combine the three accounts of his conversion. On his way to Damascus he fell blinded to the ground when a bright light shone from heaven. Christ told him to "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." (Acts 9:6) After arriving in Damascus Ananias came to him and commanded, "Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name." (Acts 22:16) Saul was baptized and his sins were washed away. Notice that Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus. If his sins were already forgiven, Ananias would not later have told him to be baptized to wash them away.
CORNELIUS (Acts 10, 11) -- The first Gentile convert was a Roman centurion who was instructed by God to send to Joppa for Peter who "will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved." (Acts 11:14) Peter preached Christ to Cornelius and his fiends and declared, "All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." (Acts 10:43) Having believed, they were baptized. (Acts 10:47)
LYDIA (Acts 16) -- At Philippi Paul converted Lydia of whom it is said, "One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home." (Acts 16:14,15) Lydia listened (heard) and evidently believed because she was baptized.
THE PHILIPPIAN JAILOR (Acts 16) -- In Philippi Paul and Silas, who had been cast into prison also succeeded in converting their jailor. Convinced that they were men of God he asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30) They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." (Acts 16:31) That same hour of the night the jailor took the prisoners, washed their wounds, and was baptized, "he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God." (Acts 16:34)
THE CORINTHIANS (Acts 18) -- The story of the conversion of the people of Corinth is to the point. "and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized." (Acts 18:8)
THE EPHESIANS (Acts 19) -- Twelve disciples of John the Baptist were converted by Paul at Ephesus. He told them, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus. On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 19:4,5)
The following summary shows what these converts did or were commanded to do. All references are from Acts.
Scriptures referred to in above table: