21 Bible Characters who Changed from Bad to Good

This post is all about bible characters who changed from bad to good

Curious to know bible characters who changed from bad to good?

Well, let’s begin…

The Bible is a library of stories about people – some good, some bad, some famous, and some unknown. But what happens when a bad person turns into a good person? What lessons can we learn from their stories?

This blog post will highlight 21 bible characters who changed from bad to good. I will talk about their history, sin, or what they did when they were bad and their conversion to being good and serving God. I will list bible references for each character and their story. It will also talk of lessons to help us grow in faith and be inspired. Themes will be grace, redemption, salvation, mercy, restoration, etc.

So, join me as I explore the fascinating lives of these Bible characters!

What does transformation from bad to good mean?

It’s important to note that a shift from bad to good can mean different things. Depending on your interpretation, bad can refer to immoral acts, sinful nature, criminal background, or anything contrary to what is good. Good can be interpreted as having faith in God, repenting from sins, being saved by grace, or doing acts of kindness. No matter how we define bad and good, the Bible teaches us that anyone is capable of change with God’s help.

The Bible is full of stories of sinners who became saints, outcasts who became heroes, slaves who became kings- all because they encountered the God who transforms lives. In a world that tells us our past defines us, the Bible tells us that with God, nothing is impossible, and anyone can be changed.

List of bible characters and their flaws

Ok, I want to reinforce this post by listing flaws of some bible characters. Why? I want to drive home an important point…in a dramatic way.

Some of the flaws or titles appear harsh but keep in mind these are documented in the Bible. This is what these bible characters were known as before their stories changed! (This is not my official 21 list that I have later in the post)

  • Saul (Paul)- Zealous persecutor of Christians
  • Zacchaeus- Greedy tax collector
  • Miriam- gossip, envy
  • The woman at the well- sexual sin, Samaritan
  • Jonah- disobedient
  • Prodigal son- wasteful, rebellious
  • Philippian Jailer- cruel
  • Cornelius- Gentile, idolater
  • Moses- murderer, fugitive
  • Samson- Philistine, Nazirite
  • David- adulterer, murderer
  • Ruth- Moabite, foreigner
  • Barnabas- Levite
  • Philemon- wealthy slave owner
  • Apollos- Alexandrian
  • Rahab- prostitute, Canaanite
  • Lydia- Gentile

As you read, these labels or flaws are of people who changed. Even if one was considered a non-believer or “gentile,” as the Bible termed, one can be grafted into God’s family tree! That is what I want to highlight right now, no matter whatever your flaws or mistakes…the good news is they can be forgiven.

The beauty of the Christian faith is that it offers redemption and forgiveness for our sins. Christ died on the cross to take away our sins, and through His shed blood, we can be forgiven. And because of His resurrection, we have hope for eternal life.

This doesn’t mean that we are excused from living a moral life or that our mistakes aren’t important. But it does mean that when we sin, we can repent and ask for forgiveness. And through Christ’s sacrifice, we can be forgiven and have hope for eternal life.

If you are struggling with sin or feeling burdened by your mistakes, know that forgiveness and redemption are available to you through Christ. His blood can cleanse you and give you hope for eternal life. So don’t despair, but turn to Christ in repentance and ask for His forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(1 John 1:9)

What a beautiful truth! We are not defined by our sin but by the forgiveness available to us through Christ. So, if you are struggling today with any flaws or mistakes that are bogging you down, remember that there is hope and forgiveness available to you.

Therefore, let us Praise the Lord for His redeeming power! If you have never asked Christ into your heart, I encourage you to do so today. Trust in Him for forgiveness and redemption, and you will find eternal life as per John 3:16.

21 Bible Characters who transformed from bad to good

examples of changed lives in the Bible

Are you excited?

Well, I hope so because have handpicked 21 characters, but keep in mind that there are many more! I could go on and on, but I want to pick some moving characters that I personally resonate with.

Here are 21 bible characters whose lives were transformed by their faith in God:

1. Saul

Biblical Reference: Acts 9

Saul was a zealous Pharisee who persecuted Christians. He was on his way to Damascus to persecute more Christians when he was suddenly knocked off his horse and blinded by a light from heaven. Jesus appeared to him and asked why he was persecuting Him. Saul then became a Christian himself and changed his name to Paul. He became one of the most influential apostles, spreading the gospel throughout the world. Saul’s story shows us that God’s grace can transform anyone.

2. Rahab

Biblical Reference: Joshua 2

Joshua chapters two and six. Rahab was a prostitute living in Jericho when Joshua and the Israelites conquered Canaan. She helped the Israelites by hiding their spies and giving them information about the city. When Jericho was conquered, Rahab and her family were spared because of her act of faith. Rahab’s story teaches us that it is never too late to turn from our sin and serve God. No matter what our past looks like, we can always have a bright future in Christ.

3. Nicodemus

Biblical Reference: John 3:1-21

Nicodemus was a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council (Sanhedrin). He yearned for truth and came to Jesus to learn more about Him. Though he initially doubted Jesus could be the Messiah, Nicodemus eventually put his faith in Christ and became one of His most ardent followers.

4. David

Biblical Reference: 2 Samuel 12

David was a man after God’s own heart, but he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. David was confronted by the prophet Nathan and repented of his sin. He wrote many Psalms about repentance and forgiveness. David’s story teaches us that even the most faithful people are capable of sin but that God is always willing to forgive us when we repent.

5. Jonah

Biblical Reference: Jonah 1-3

Jonah was a prophet who God called to preach to the city of Nineveh. Jonah disobeyed and ran away from God. He ended up getting swallowed by a fish, but he repented and was spit back up on shore. He did as he was called and preached to Nineveh. Jonah’s story teaches us that we should always obey God, even when it is hard. It also teaches us that God is merciful and will forgive us when we repent.

6. Peter

Biblical Reference: Luke 22:54-62 & Acts 2:14-42

Peter denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed, but Peter repented and was forgiven. Peter went on to become one of the most influential apostles. He preached on the day of Pentecost, and 3000 people were saved. Peter’s story teaches us that God is always willing to forgive us and use us for His purposes even when we fail.

7. The Thief on the Cross

Biblical Reference: Luke 23:39-43

The thief on the cross was being crucified next to Jesus. He mocked Jesus at first, but then he realized who Jesus was and repented of his sin. He asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. Jesus told him that he would be with Him in paradise that day. The thief on the cross teaches us that it is never too late to repent and receive forgiveness.

8. Zacchaeus

Biblical Reference: Luke 19:1-10

Zacchaeus was a tax collector who the people hated. He met Jesus and repented of his sin. He promised to give half of his possessions to the poor and repay anyone he had cheated four times over. Zacchaeus’s story teaches us that Jesus is willing to save anyone, no matter how far they have strayed from Him. It also teaches us the importance of repentance and restitution.

9. The Prodigal Son

Biblical Reference: Luke 15:11-32

The prodigal son was a young man who left his father’s house and squandered his inheritance on wild living. He ended up penniless and starving, but he repented and returned home to his father. His father welcomed him back with open arms and threw a big party to celebrate his return. The prodigal son’s story teaches us the importance of repentance and forgiveness. It also teaches us that we can always come back to God no matter how far we have strayed.

10. The Philippian Jailer

Bible Reference: Acts 16:25-40

The Philippian jailer was responsible for guarding Paul and Silas. When an earthquake shook the prison, and the prisoners’ chains came loose, the jailer thought that the prisoners had escaped. He was about to kill himself, but Paul stopped him and told him everyone was still there. The jailer was so filled with joy that he repented of his sin and became a follower of Jesus. The Philippian jailer’s story teaches us the power of the gospel to change lives. It also teaches us that God is still with us even when we are in the darkest place and can use us for His purposes.

11. Cornelius

Biblical Reference: Acts 10

Cornelius was a Roman centurion who was devout and generous. He met an angel who told him to send for Peter. When Peter came, Cornelius repented of his sin and was baptized. Cornelius’s story teaches us that God is willing to save anyone, no matter their background. It also teaches us the importance of obedience.

12. Lydia

Biblical Reference: Acts 16:11-15

Lydia was a businesswoman from Thyatira who sold purple cloth. She met Paul and his companions and welcomed them into her home. Lydia listened to what they had to say, and she repented of her sin and was baptized. Lydia’s story teaches us the importance of hospitality. It also teaches us that God can use anyone to further His kingdom no matter their occupation.

I also list Lydia as part of a blog post that I titled, “7 Incredibly Strong Women In the Bible.”

13. Miriam

Biblical Reference: Numbers 12

Miriam was a prophetess and the sister of Moses. When she spoke against Moses, she was struck with leprosy. She repented of her sin and was healed by God. Miriam’s story teaches us the importance of humility. It also teaches us that even when we are going through difficult times, God is still with us and can use us for His purposes.

14. Moses

Biblical Reference: Exodus 2:11-15

Moses was a murderer and fugitive. He killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave and had to flee for his life. Moses’ actions landed him in hot water with the Egyptians, and he was forced to flee for his life. It was during this time that Moses met Zipporah and married her. Eventually, Moses led the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt. While Moses’ story doesn’t specifically mention his faith, it is clear that Moses went through a significant transformation in his life. He went from being a murderer and fugitive to becoming one of the most important leaders in history. This story teaches us that no matter how far we’ve fallen, it’s never too late to turn our lives around and follow God.

15. Samson

Biblical Reference: Judges 16

Samson was a judge and a powerful man. He was betrayed by Delilah and had his eyes gouged out. But he repented of his sin, and God gave him back his strength. Samson’s story teaches us the importance of obedience. It also teaches us that God is still with us even when we are in the darkest place and can use us for His purposes.

16. Ruth

Biblical Reference: Ruth 1

Ruth was a Moabite woman who became a widow. It is important to note that the Moabites were idol worshippers. Ruth decided to leave her homeland and go with her mother-in-law Naomi to Israel. Ruth became a follower of God and married Boaz. Ruth’s story teaches us the importance of faithfulness. It also teaches us that God can use anyone to further His kingdom, no matter their background.

17. Barnabas

Biblical Reference: Acts 4:36

Barnabas was a Levite from Cyprus who sold his property and gave the money to the apostles. He was a good man who encouraged the disciples and helped Paul when he was first converted. Barnabas’s story teaches us the importance of generosity. It also teaches us that God can use anyone to further His kingdom no matter their occupation.

18. Abraham

Biblical Reference: Genesis 17

Abraham is considered the father of the Jewish nation. He obeyed God and went to the land of Canaan. Abraham was an idolater who God called to leave his homeland and go to a new land. Abraham’s story teaches us the importance of obedience. It also teaches us that when we follow God, He will bless us.

19. The woman at the well/ Samaritan woman

Biblical Reference: John 4

One of the most well-known bible stories is that of the woman at the well. This woman was an outcast; her sin defined her life. But when Jesus met her, He loved her and restored her. She went on to be a great evangelist. This story is an excellent reminder of the power of grace and redemption. No matter how far we have fallen or how much our lives have been defined by sin, God’s love and grace can reach us and change us. We can be transformed into people who evangelize for His kingdom.

20& 21: Philemon & Onesimus

Biblical Reference: Philemon 1

Philemon was a wealthy man from Colossae who was a follower of Jesus. He had a slave named Onesimus who ran away from him after he had wronged Philemon. But when Onesimus met Paul, he repented of his sin and became a follower of Jesus. Paul writes a letter to Philemon requesting that he forgives Onesimus and welcome him as a brother in Christ and not as a slave. Philemon’s story teaches us the importance of forgiveness. It also teaches us that we should forgive those who have sinned against us even when we are wronged.

These bible characters all teach us lessons about faith and transformation. We see that it is never too late to turn back to God through their stories. No matter how far we have strayed, His grace is always sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). We also see that even the wise can make foolish choices but that God is always willing to forgive us when we repent. Lastly, these stories remind us of the importance of obeying God, even when it is difficult.

Bible verses about turning from bad to good:

Bible verses about turning from bad to good

– “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

– “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

– “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

– “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

– “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)

-“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

– “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Lessons learned

These are just a few examples of bible characters who changed from bad to good; there are many more stories of people who turned their lives around and served God throughout the Bible. What lessons can we learn from these stories?

  • That it is never too late to turn your life around and serve God.
  • That God is willing to forgive us no matter how bad we have been.
  • That with faith anything is possible.
  • That God can use anyone for his purposes, no matter their past.

And that’s it, folks, 21 Bible Characters who Changed from Bad to Good

I hope you enjoyed this list of 21 bible characters who changed from bad to good! I enjoyed writing this post!

I encourage you to use these bible stories as inspiration for your own faith journey and transformation. These stories are a great reminder that no matter how far we’ve fallen, God’s grace is sufficient for us and He can restore us.

If you’re struggling with sin or addiction, know that it’s never too late to turn to God and ask for His help.

Hugs,

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2 thoughts on “21 Bible Characters who Changed from Bad to Good”

  1. I did not realise there were so many examples of such a turn around in scripture. We always think of the prominent ones but I really liked reading this list.

    Reply

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