To many people spiritual "conversion" is religious nonsense, while to others its synonymous with going to church or belonging to a particular denomination. Although none of the above is correct, the word conversion implies a simple to understand concept. That is to say, the complete change of one thing into another completely different thing. In the spiritual sense it's the Spirit-induced change that occurs in the life of a person who has of their free will chosen Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as the center of their life.
How can this happen? We all have within us an awareness of the divine, because our souls were made “in the image and likeness of God” (Genesis 1:26). This can be said even of all cultures, tribes and people from the beginning of time. God has given to each man free will. The choice to good or evil, the choice to cause suffering or alleviate or endure suffering, the choice to choose or reject him. When we arrive at that point in our lives where we choose Jesus , we experience "conversion". Protestants might say we are "saved" or “born again”, whereas Roman Catholics might say we have “joined the body of Christ" (which is His church on Earth).
How does one know if they are converted? The Holy Scriptures say "by their fruits you shall know them" (Matthew 7:20) and again "…believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved" (Acts 16:31). By believe, we mean belief that leads to a transformed life with Christ as Lord. People can say they believe, but if there is no evidence of that belief in their lives, it is only words, not conversion.
Being converted, are we then perfect? No, we will sin and sin again against the laws of God (beautifully summarized in the Sermon on the Mount). But the difference is that we will know it, sorrow over it and asked forgiveness, which according to the Scriptures is freely given (1John 2:1). Secondly, as we mature as Christians we will sin less and less, moving toward that perfection which is not possible in this human form with its frailties and inherent tendency toward sin; not possible without the constant reliance on Jesus.
So by “Conversion" we mean more than altering ourselves; we mean complete spiritual transformation.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
To read true stories about real people and their conversions, go to the Wtness.org site’s category titled “Conversions”.