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Evidence Of A Converted Heart

Discussion in 'Discipleship: Following Jesus' started by Minister Monardo, Oct 27, 2021.

  1. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Well-Known Member

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    One of the first manifestations of Christ in the heart of a new believer
    is a selfless desire to volunteer and serve others. This occurs at true
    conversion for this reason:

    Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God
    has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

    The true nature of God’s agape is a giving spirit. This is why the King James
    version frequently (some 28X) translates agape as charity. Read these verses
    and compare them to your preferred translation.

    1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that
    we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

    Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the
    bond of perfectness.

    2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren,
    as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity
    of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth.

    1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart,
    and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

    2 Timothy 3:6 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith,
    longsuffering, charity, patience.

    1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:
    for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

    3 John 1:6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom
    if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:

    Revelation 2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith,
    and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

    One of the biggest weaknesses in the church is to allow love to be understood
    in a worldly, romantic way and not understand the true charitable nature of agape.
    Even when love
    is used in the translation, the giving, charitable nature should be evident.

    John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
    if ye have love one to another.

    John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down
    his life for his friends.

    Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is
    the fulfilling of the law.

    2 Corinthians 8:
    7
    Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge,
    and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
    8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others,
    and to prove the sincerity of your love.

    Galatians 5:
    6
    For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision;
    but faith which worketh by love.
    13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an
    occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

    Another powerful evidence of a converted heart is described here by King David:
    Psalms 34:18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth
    such as be of a contrite spirit.

    Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart,
    O God, thou wilt not despise.

    A truly broken convert often comes forward to the altar with heartfelt weeping. One of the more common observations I have made about people coming forward to the altar is for the reason of pleasing someone of the opposite sex who has been inviting them to their church.
    I am not condemning this, but the point is that this is not true conversion.
    A person will eventually realize that their desire to move forward in a relationship will require an acceptance and respect for the other’s faith, and their action is more a joining the church than a giving of themselves to Christ. This is supported by the common existence of a singles ministry and many divorcees looking for a second chance at a relationship. That person
    will eventually be broken by other circumstances, which will draw them closer to the Lord.

    Finally, and may this be our prayer, that every new convert enjoys a new found sense
    of peace and joy in knowing that they are right with God.


    Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness,
    and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
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  2. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Well-Known Member

    +2,286
    United States
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    One of the most popular passages of the Bible frequently read at Christian weddings
    is 1 Corinthians 13. You probably have heard it at least once, but was this what you heard?

    (KJV) 1 Corinthians 13:
    1
    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am
    become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
    2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge;
    and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity,
    I am nothing.
    3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,
    and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
    4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself,
    is not puffed up,
    5
    Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked,
    thinketh no evil;
    6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
    7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
    8 Charity never faileth.

    At a wedding, I am sure that love is preferred, and that is understandable.
     
  3. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    The best definition of agape is found in Strong's Greek dictionary definition of phileo.
     
  4. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    +3,939
    Canada
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    Married
    Hmmm...Scripture gives us good cause to understand that a new convert is immature in a number of ways, one of which is that they do not love properly, though the Spirit of love dwells within them. Just read Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. He confirms repeatedly that they were born-again children of God, calling them brethren, saints, temples of God, babes in Christ, etc., but he also criticizes them for being highly fractious, litigious, selfish, partial, even guilty of gross sexual sin. Is love, then, a certain proof of the born-again status of a person? I'm not so sure...
     
  5. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Well-Known Member

    +2,286
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    I have read Paul's letters dozens of times and I understand where you are coming from here. My
    response is that those teachings are a testimony to the diverse motives of people who come to the
    Lord through His Church. I mentioned a major example in the OP. The point that you are making and I agree with is that to the degree that people have a pure motive in wanting to serve God with their life,
    is the degree to which the evidence of conversion will manifest. Yes, for most this requires a time for growth, and I would consider the manner to which the Gospel is presented plays a big role. If the only reason someone accepts Christ as Savior is so that "if they die tonight they will go straight to heaven", then the motive is fairly self-centered.
    I now consider myself non-denominational, but growing up Catholic, I was presented with the proposition at the age of 12 that I was now old enough to make my own decision about whether or not I wanted to serve Christ. This is called confirmation. By the time I reached high school, this was a distant memory, and I was more concerned with losing my virginity and partying, playing sports, etc..
    Then 8 years in the Navy, 3 in Northern California studying martial arts, and then at 30, returning home
    to go back to college. My roommate there was a Christian who started sowing seeds for me to reconsider my faith. I came back to the Lord in 1990, and a few years later, the Holy Spirit gave me a
    perfect vision of my conversion at 12. I literally saw how zealous I was in wanting to serve Jesus with my whole heart. He then showed me numerous occasions when I had gone through terrible experiences due to bad decisions, and He was with me the entire way. He was faithful throughout. I was stunned and humiliated and broken, as I was going through a failed marriage, divorce, and a time of separation from my children. Yes, I understand the process of which Paul spoke, and you and I are discussing. I have also known on occasion people who completing changed by their conversion for the very reason I used to mock Christianity in my 20's. My thinking then was that Christ, church and religion were just a place where people ran to after they had totally messed up their life. HAHA. Boy, did that come back to haunt me! I really put no time frame in the OP, but looking back I can see where you thought I was suggesting that all this happened at once. Yes, that would contradict the testimony of the apostolic letters. I believe Peter waited until the end of his second letter to make this statement:
    "grow in Grace, and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ". 2 Peter 3:18
    I am confident that you and I are continuing down that path, and becoming more selfless and humble in the process, as we are "being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord". 2 Corinthians 3:18
    Thanks for your response, and challenging me always to bring further clarification to what I have written.
    Brothers in eternity,
    James
     
  6. DiscipleOfChrist85

    DiscipleOfChrist85 New Member

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    As a relatively new convert, yes I can agree, I'm like the people of Corinth and I'm not proud to admit that but and I still follow a worldly definition of love and I certainly still act that way but for me I can say that my heart has indeed changed. I'm far more aware of my sin and can feel genuine remorse for my actions and I do not hold nearly as much anger and pain as I once did.
    I can reflect and meditate on Gods words and feel a tiny portion of what he felt when I read his word and I'm not sure if it is evidence for a converted heart for you, but for me it is and I believe God would say the same.
     
  7. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Well-Known Member

    +2,286
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    This is a nice testimony. I was just discussing in more detail with @aiki that there is some
    degree of process and growth for us all, some more some less. Jesus told Peter:

    Luke 22:
    31
    And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you,
    that he may sift you as wheat.

    32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when
    you are converted, strengthen your brethren.


    This tells me there is a point in our growth where we should expect to disciple others, and that with
    selfless love and pure motive. Here is where it really hit home for me in 1990, when studying to
    fully
    understand the idea of being born again.
    1 Peter 1:
    22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love
    of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
    23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word
    of God which lives and abides forever.

    I immediately thought "Wow, that's not me! I don't know fervent love at all!"
    I began to strive for loving all, especially my fellow believers, in and out of my home church.
    I came to see how easily I felt love for anyone who showed what Paul spoke of, "the love of
    the truth"
    . 2 Thessalonians 2:10
    For me, this always manifested in a shared, sincere desire to study the Bible and pray. No
    theology or dogma. Just old and new testament. I found myself desiring to be with them.
    Last year, a sister from India here on CF private messaged me to meet with her for study and
    prayer. We literally met every day at noon my time, 2 am Hyderabad time for 6 months. We started
    doing a Psalm a day followed by prayer, then many chapters of Isaiah. She became so strong in
    prayer, that I knew she was ready to disciple others and insisted she ask the Lord to direct her to ministry. She occasionally posts in the singles forum. That was a blessing, but we should never expect such things to go on forever, the Lord is always me moving around. Everything I own is in 1 large suitcase, one smaller bag that can check on to an airline, and my backpack. When we are born again, we become like the wind of the Spirit!
    Be encouraged to continue walking in the light of this truth. In the Way of Christ, His mercies are
    new every morning!
    James
     
  8. DiscipleOfChrist85

    DiscipleOfChrist85 New Member

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    Thank you for your reply I will take what you and God said to heart.
     
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