Waking the Stillborn

OK, I admit the devo title sounds more like a band name than anything else, but it will all make sense soon…

I hope you all had a super Christmas and that all your plans (but more importantly God’s plans for you) will work out in the new year.

So, what is a stillborn Christian? Most of you know that the Bible says we must be regenerated (?born again?) before we can be converted and thus saved (Titus 3:5, John 3:3). To be born again is to have the Spirit of God implant a new life into you with new desires: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? (Galatians 5:22-23).

A stillborn Christian is one who has not been regenerated, evident by that he lacks the character that will be implanted in him by the Holy Spirit upon being born again. The new life within you will automatically hate all the works of the flesh: sexual immorality, impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, rivalry, jealously, outbursts of anger, quarrels, conflicts, factions, envy, murder, drunkenness, reveling (Galatians 5:19-21).

How do we recognize true regeneration? I?m busy reading a book by CH Spurgeon where he speaks on some hush-hush topics, you know, the type of sermons you don’t exactly hear every Sunday.

the FIirst

thing you can look for in a true convert is real conviction of sin; “And when he is come, he will reprove [convict] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:8). If a professing Christian never felt really sorry for sinning against God and just continues in his old ways, that person has not been born again in spirit. Strong emotional environments (like camps, after a very moving sermon) can lead people to think that they’ve been born again, but time will tell if their conversion was real.

The second

he says is that true conversion may be known by the demonstration of a simple faith in Jesus Christ. The person should trust wholly in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for ALL his or her sins; past, present and future. The person should be delivered from the fear of eternal damnation, knowing that he is unable to save himself, but he is made perfect by Jesus Christ (John 17:23). This should cause the person to live in gratitude towards God by doing what He says (Hebrews 12:28).

The third thing together with undivided faith is a genuine repentance of sin. After the person has been convicted of the seriousness of his sin and found out he can trust Jesus Christ for forgiveness, he will repent. What is repentance? Apparently there was this children’s hymn way back in the day that says:

“Repentance is to leave the sins we loved before, And show that we in earnest grieve by doing so no more.”

True repentance will show in: 1, A sorrow for sin 2, A hatred of sin and 3, a turning from sin. Spurgeon says “True belief and true repentance are twins…No sinner looks to the Savior with a dry eye or hard heart.”

The fourth

A real change of life. The whole person will be different, not only his actions or the words from his mouth, but also his character, spirit and temper. Look for the fruit of the Spirit.

The fifth

A true convert will do regularly is spend time in prayer. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Check out James chapter 5 for what God will do through prayer of the righteous…

The sixth

thing is that the person will willingly obey God in what He commands. It’s a shame to Christianity at large when we allow people to call themselves Christian when they clearly have no intent on living like God commands in His word. Jesus said that those that do not carry their cross can not be His disciples (Luke 14:27) and if you do not do what He commands, you do not love Him, nor God the Father (John 14:23-24).

I?m pretty sure that I stepped on a couple of toes in this devo, but hey, then that’s the way it is. The difference between a Christian and non-Christian is not that the Christian will never make any mistakes, but that the Christian will HATE his mistakes and do his best to stop making them, because he loves God and wants to do what He says.

So keep up the fight and waken the stillborn to life in Christ.

’till later

Riaan

Guest Writer