The evidence that one who professes to believe has made a true profession is manifest in their actions. If someone looks to past posts on this blog they will see that this point has been labored over and over again, and it will continue to be labored over in the future. The point is this, true belief cannot occur without a significant change in lifestyle. No one can go from darkness to light, death to life, lost to found without being different, and the difference is not minor. It is true that evidence of true conversion is ever growing, and that a babe in Christ will often exhibit some characteristics of an unconverted person, but that evidence is ever diminishing as the Lord sanctifies them.
The primary evidence of true conversion that manifests itself in the actions of a believer is love. The most important of all things is love. The Lord and all the apostles have made this so clear. Remember Paul speaking of all sorts of gifts and abilities and yet he said it was all meaningless without love. You can witness to people, have straight doctrine, pray all night, read the scriptures all day, rebuke, hear rebuke, fast, preach, give up a career, and so on, but if you do not love, all you have done is meaningless. It is interesting the way that Paul opens his epistles, he labors and labors to express his love for the brethren, and he closes them in the same way.
So what is love? There are so many twisted views on love, from the secular romantic views, to the liberal anything goes view, to the warped dead fundamentalist view, but what is the truly Christian view? The secular view is a feeling, the liberal view is a love that would never rebuke, the dead fundamental view is a love that focuses mainly on rebuke, and the Christian view is a biblical balance of all three.
The true meaning of love is ‘too seek to do someone good.’ If you say you love children, but you do nothing to promote their good and are in no way seeking their good then you have lied. You may like children, or enjoy children, but you do not love them until you are seeking their benefit. If you say you love your spouse, but you are not actively seeking ways to benefit them and do good for them, then you lie. Do you love yourself? I know few people who do not. The nonsense about needing all this ‘self love’ is bogus. The reasons youth in this country are cutting themselves is to get attention, or divert pain from other experience, or whatever, but the bottom line is that they are seeking in some twisted way to do themselves good. It is self love, not ‘self hate’ like the psychologist would have you believe. Loving ones self is easy, loving others is the most difficult thing on earth to do, and without the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit it is impossible to truly love. However this incredibly difficult task is the natural calling of the believer, and the primary evidence of true conversion.
Examine yourself, when you see a person in sin what is your reaction? Is it to ‘love’ them as they are, not judge, and just fellowship with them? That is not love, it is liberalism. Is your reaction to speak to them the truth because you have a duty to speak the truth? That is not love either, it is duty bound dead fundamentalism (it is self love, merely fulfilling a duty you have). Is your desire to comfort them and make them feel better in their situation? That is not love either, it is secular romanticism. Those who love as a Christian see a person in sin, and the initial response is compassion, knowing full well that that they too were dead in trespass and sin. Not only that, they even break at the thought that Christ died for sin and was punished because of the sinner they see before them. The true Christian like liberal loves them and seeks to do them good just as they are, not because of some potential they have, and like the secular romanticist they long to see the person in a better place, a place of righteousness as opposed to sin, and like the dead fundamentalist the true Christian knows that rebuke is necessary and that the sinner needs to seek repentance. Ultimately the true Christian seeks to do the sinner good, biblical good, and the reason they love the sinner ultimately is their love for Christ. The Christian knows that the Lord deserves to have people follow him, because He paid a tremendous price for them.
I see the liberal nonsense a lot in the real world, I hear the dead fundamentalist nonsense mostly on the internet occasionally in the real world, the secular romantic view is all over the T.V. as well as in the empty words people seem to speak to each other, but Christian love is a rare gem, but you know when you have seen it, and every true Christian in some way exhibits it.