1 Thessalonians 1:9; Acts 15:3; Acts 3:19; Matthew 18:3; Psalm 51:13; Isaiah 6:10; Isaiah 60:5; Isaiah 1:27
This is from ἐπιστρέθω, “to turn to.” It is in scripture the real effect that accompanies the new birth, a turning to God. It is beautifully expressed in the case of the Thessalonians, showing how they “turned to [the same word] God from idols, to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:99For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; (1 Thessalonians 1:9)). Paul and Barnabas were able to make known to the saints the “conversion of the Gentiles” (Acts 15:33And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. (Acts 15:3)). In Peter’s address to the Jews he said, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:1919Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (Acts 3:19)). Without being converted they could not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:33And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)). The word is used in a somewhat different sense in respect to Peter himself. The Lord, knowing that he would fall under the sifting of Satan, said, “When thou art converted strengthen thy brethren”; that is, when he had returned in contrition, or been restored. In the Old Testament the Hebrew words signify the same, “to be turned,” “to turn back” (Psa. 51:1313Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (Psalm 51:13); Isa. 6:1010Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. (Isaiah 6:10); Isa. 60:55Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. (Isaiah 60:5); compare Isa. 1:2727Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. (Isaiah 1:27), margin).