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Catechism Class – H/C LD 33, Q88-90 Conversion


Catechism Class,

Lord’s Day 33, Q88-90 – Conversion

Read Psalm 51, and 2 Corinthians 5:17  

It is important to remember that becoming a Christian is undergoing a complete change, not of lifestyle, but of life itself.  We call it CONVERSION.  It is a change that is initiated by God, and accomplished by God in our lives, – HE CHANGES US.    


In Lord’s Day 33, the catechist asks: 

88. Q. What is the true repentance or conversion of man? 

A. It is the dying of the old nature and the coming to life of the new 

Conversion occurs when God slaughters our old sin-loving desires, and makes (spiritually) us all over again.  He doesn’t just give us a second chance – if he did, we would just blow it again.  He gives us a new heart, new passions, new motivation, new life.  Colossians 3:8. He goes on to explain what both of these operations of the Holy Spirit in the believer involve. 

89. Q.  What is the dying of the old nature?

A. It is to grieve with heartfelt sorrow that we have offended God by our sin, and more and more to hate it and flee from it 

What to we mean when we say that the Christian must have died to sin? There are three aspects of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit given by the catechist. We will…

  • Recognise our sinfulness.  In his work of conviction, the Holy Spirit enlightens our minds to realise our true condition before God.  The catechist talks about the heinous nature of human sin.  It is offensive to God.   Psalm 51:4    
  • Hate our sin.  The catechist talks about ‘grieving,’ about ‘sorrowing,’ about ‘hating.’  Under the burden of guilt, awakened by the Holy Spirit’s work, we are emotionally traumatised by the reality of our sin, in deep distress about the offence we have given to God, we begin to truly hate the sin that is within us. Psalm 51:17. 
  • Run away from our sinful desires.  In conviction, the Holy Spirit invigorates our wills, so that we, being repulsed by our sin flee away from it.  How shall we escape the awful dread of meeting God with our sins still evident in our lives?  We need a Saviour! Joel 2:12-13.  

That is all good news!  If you are concerned about your sin,  then there is hope for you, for only God himself will have revealed that to you.  Then…

90. Q. What is the coming to life of the new nature? 

A.  It is a heartfelt joy in God through Christ, and a love and delight to live according to the will of God in all good works 

Again the catechist gives us three indications, this time to show us what New Life in Christ will look like.

  • Joy in God through Christ.  Psalm 51:12.   At conversion, the sinner will turn from his love of sin, and have a new love, … of God!     And that is all because of Jesus.  The Christian at conversion get a whole new perspective on Jesus.  
  • A Love and Delight to Please God.  Before conversion we live for ourselves, for our own personal enrichment. Romans 14:17  But after conversion we live to please God, to do his will, and to follow after Christ, to abide in him.  Isaiah 57:15   
  • Good Works.  And we’ll look at the subject of Good Works again – in our next class. 

So, after the darkness of conviction of sin, comes the glorious light of regeneration, when God renews our dead spirit within us and gives us a new life in Christ. Romans 6:8-11  

Notice though that in both aspects of conversion, conviction and regeneration, the catechist uses the word ‘heartfelt.’ It’s a deeply personal word, to indicate that God does these things in YOU, in ME.  He inwardly renews us, applies Christ’s saving work to us as we mourn and repent of our sins, he converts us, by his grace. 

For further reading:   Rom 6:1-11; 1 Cor 5:7; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-10.  Ps 51:3, 4, 17; Joel 2:12, 13; Rom 8:12, 13; 2 Cor 7:10.  Ps 51:8, 12; Is 57:15; Rom 5:1; 14:17.  Rom 6:10, 11; Gal 2:20. 

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