May 8 I Friday
2 Kings 4-6
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” —Romans 8:14
The title of this devotion poses a candid inquiry: how do we know that we are a Christian? If we were to bring this case to court, how will we defend that we are a genuine Christian? It is not by believing certain things, getting our doctrines in order or checking the right boxes. It is something deeper than that.
We cannot argue that because we prayed a prayer many years ago, that makes us a Christian. Interestingly, nobody in the four Gospels, Book of Acts or the Epistles ever prayed a prayer to become a Christian. Although as a pastor, I have had the joy and privilege of seeing people come to faith in Jesus and praying with them this is not what makes a person a Christian; at least it never did in the New Testament.
To become a Christian, it requires a change of heart that recognizes that we are what we are––a sinner, powerless, weak and separated from God. Then, we acknowledge that Jesus Christ alone, by His death on the cross, satisfied the judgment of God for our sin. We make a personal decision to turn from ourselves and trust God. Period. That is all.
Then on the day of judgment, who will testify for us? Will we stand alone and present our “good deeds” as merit for reward? Will the Accuser stand up and display the evidence of our unworthiness for Heaven? Or will the Spirit stand with the Son and proclaim our adoption complete and our welcome assured?
Paul tells us, “When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). The moment we believe in God, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 says, “…God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” The indwelled Spirit creates within us an appetite for things we never had an appetite for before, a hunger and thirst after righteousness.
How do we know that we are a Christian? The evidence a person is a Christian is not because somebody told us. There are different ways to prove we are a Christian but one of the most important ways is the Spirit Himself testifying about us. Paul writes, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16). May our identity be found as children of God.
Prayer: Precious Jesus, thank You at the moment of my belief, the Holy Spirit came to dwell within me. Grow in me a continual hunger and thirst for righteousness. In Your name, amen!