TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

HYPOCRITES_3

“Many in these days of easy profession are likely to prove to be tares, and not wheat; hypocrites with fair masks on their faces, but not the true-born children of the living God” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 26th PM).

Initial or preparative grace may fail: “’…those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,’ may fall away; such as illumination, external reformation, temporary faith, some good beginnings. Some die in the pangs of the new birth and are stillborn.  Plenty of blossoms do not always foretell a store of fruit” Thomas Manton (ref#225, Sept 28th).

“…enter into the spiritual state…know that there is such a spiritual life to be lived…the first thing…to do is to study and to believe God’s Word until in faith our hearts are filled with the assurance that there is such a life possible….the second step: A man must see the shame and guilt of his not having lived such a life….A man does not get converted without having conviction of sin….a man…must be convicted of his particular sin….Until this conviction of the wrongness of our carnal state as believers comes to each one of us; until we are willing to get this conviction from God, to take time before God to be humbled and convicted, we never can become spiritual men” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p16-20).

We become a brand new person inside.  Our new life has begun (2 Cor 5:17)—a life fashioned after CHRIST, renewed from the inside and able to work itself into our conduct as He accurately reproduces His character in us (Eph 4:24).  This metamorphosis is called, “sanctification” and we will keep changing for the better until the day we die (Phil 2:12).

A characteristic of a Christian is: “He may have fears and doubts.  He may sometimes tell you that he feels as if he had no faith at all.  But ask him if he is willing to trust in anything instead of Christ, and see what he will say.  Ask him if he will rest his hope of eternal life on his own goodness, his own works, his prayers, his minister, or his church” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).

FATHER, all that I pray for I pray they are not refusing Your diagnosis of their need and Your offer of forgiveness (ref#56, p1828, [1 John 1:10]).  I pray they are not chronically disobedient to Your commands (ref#125, p2437, [1 John 5:16]). For continuing in such a state leads to permanent death.

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

BACKSLIDERS – ENDANGERED SOULS

“…so much as the flesh is gratified, so much is the soul endangered” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p111).

“Remember that, though your love has waxed cold, the love of your God and Father towards you never diminishes; it has never known even a shadow of change….God has never, not even for a moment, turned His back on you, though you have turned yours on Him times without number.  His face has always been toward you…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 22nd).

“If…children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules,  if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes, but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness” (Ps 89:30-33 ESV).

“All spiritual declension in the true believer necessarily implies the actual possession of grace….In the lowest condition of the believer, Christ never denies His own work in the soul….” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 10th).

“True grace may suffer a shrewd decay, but not an utter loss.  In temptations it may be sorely shaken; the heel may be bruised, as Christ’s was, but ‘his seed remaineth in him’” Thomas Manton (ref#225, Sept 28th).

“If God says, “Return,” that is sufficient for you.  You need nothing more; if He is willing to receive you back, to pardon your sins, to forget your ingratitude, to heal your backslidings, and to restore your soul, you have the broadest warrant to return…He is on the eager lookout for your first movement towards Him…He sends His own Spirit to work that return in your soul, to break your heart, to waken your slumbering spirit, and to draw you and win you to His arms” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 10th).

FATHER, in the Apostle Paul’s writing to the Corinthian church he calls them all “saints.”  They have much to learn in their walk of sanctification, and despite their unloving activities, Paul is sympathetic toward them.

Paul “…takes them by the hand and goes over all the old ground again, directing them in how to work all the glorious details of God’s saving love into their love for one another” MSG Bible (ref#262, p398, “Introduction to 1 Corinthians”).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

ENTHUSIASTIC SPECTATORS

“A man may go to hell with baptismal water upon his face” John Trapp (ref#225, Aug 21st).

“Because the story of Jesus is so impressive—God among us!  God speaking a language we can understand!  God acting in ways that heal and help and save us!—there is a danger that we will be impressed, but only be impressed.  As the spectacular dimensions of this story slowly (or suddenly) dawn upon us, we could easily become enthusiastic spectators, and then let it go at that—become admires of Jesus, generous with our oh’s and ah’s…” The MESSAGE Bible, “Introduction to Acts” (ref#262, p278).

“Do not satisfy yourself with external ceremonies, with the observance of days and frequent communions, with tithing and charities.  Is Christ dwelling in your heart by His Spirit” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Feb 3rd)?

“It is not enough to make use of ordinances, but we must see if we can find God in them.  There are many that hover about the palace, and yet do not speak with the prince; so possibly we may hover about ordinances, and not meet with God there…come to the ordinances with the desire of finding the living God” Thomas Manton (ref#225, Aug 21st).

“There can be no true following of Christ as our example if we lose sight of Him as a suffering Christ and a cross-bearing Savior.  There must be fellowship with Him in His sufferings.  In order to enter fully and sympathetically into the afflictions of His people, He stooped to a body of suffering; in like manner, in order to have sympathy with Christ in His sorrows, we must tread the path He trod in some degree.…mutual sympathy…The afflicted child of God who is led to view his Father’s discipline in the light of a privilege will be happy….They…know the honor of suffering with Christ or being made conformable to His death” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 25th).

“Look honestly and fairly at your condition.  Discouraging and repelling as it may appear, look it fully in the face, and lay it open before God exactly as it is…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 10th).

“…if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach….” (Matt 7:26-27 MSG).