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MeetChristians.com / Forums / Biblical & Theological Issues

No. 0     Original Topic: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Verbatim   Gender: F   Age: 64   on  Oct 29, 2017 at 8:04 AM   Viewed 1025 times     
https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/founders-ministries-blog/how-to-distinguish-a-true-christian-from-a-hypocrite.html


by Tom Hicks

How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor? One of the best books describing the true nature of conversion is The Christian’s Great Interest by William Guthrie. The great Puritan theologian John Owen highly commended it and wrote, “The author [of The Christian’s Great Interest] I take to have been one of the greatest divines that ever wrote; it is my Vade-mecum [that is, “handbook”], and I carry it and the Sedan New Testament, still about with me. I have written several folios, but there is more divinity in it than in them all.”

Consider what William Guthrie says in chapter 5 of his book about the differences between the true Christian and the hypocrite. Here are some ways in which the hypocrite may be like the Christian.

1. A hypocrite may be influenced by the gospel in every part of himself. He may come to great knowledge of God’s truth (Heb 6:4). His emotions about Christ may be high (Matt 13:20). He may even experience drastic changes in the outward man, like the Pharisee who prayed, “God, I thank You that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, etc.” (Lk 18:11–12).

2. A hypocrite may look to others like he’s a true believer. He might talk of the law and the gospel (Ps 50:16), openly confess his sin to his own shame (1 Sam 26:21), and humble himself in sackcloth (1 Kgs 21:27). He may even carefully consider what duties he needs to perform and seek after them (Is 58:2), persevere even in hard times, give his possessions away to God and the saints, or even give his body away to be burned (1 Cor 13:3).

3. A hypocrite may advance far in God’s ordinary graces. He may come under great convictions of sin, just as Judas did (Matt 27:3–5). He may tremble at the word of God, just as Felix did (Acts 24:25), rejoice in receiving the truth (Matt 13:20), and have many experiences of tasting the good graces of God (Heb 6:4).

4. A hypocrite may have some characteristics very similar to the saving graces of the Holy Spirit. He may have a kind of faith, like Simon Magus who “believed also” (Acts 8: 13) but then proved to be a false believer. He may have a kind of legal and outward repentance that looks very much like true repentance (Mal 3:14). He may have a great and powerful fear of God, like Balaam did
(Num 22: 18 ). He may experience a kind of hope (Job 8:13). The hypocrite may even have some love, as Herod had of John (Mk 6:26).

5. A hypocrite can even have great and powerful experiences of God. He may have “tasted of the heavenly gift” and become “partakers of the Holy Spirit” and experienced the “powers of the age to come” and yet not be genuinely converted.

So, what are the marks of a true believer? How is genuine conversion to be distinguished from false conversion? Guthrie provides five marks of a true believer that are not possessed by the hypocrite.

1. A true believer’s heart is changed forever. In Jeremiah 32:39 the Lord says, “I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever.” Hypocrites never have a changed nature. Hypocrites want Christ for the good that He might do them in the world. But a true believer’s heart loves Christ as the all-satisfying treasure of this life and the next.

2. A true believer’s changed life comes from a heart of love to Christ. Hypocrites can clean up their outward behavior to be seen by men, to ease their troubled consciences, or to keep themselves from the consequences of their sins. But true believers love Christ and keep His commandments for His sake, to serve Him, to know Him, and to bring glory to His name (Ps 119:6).

3. A true believer seeks Christ and His kingdom above all else. This is the one thing necessary: Christ’s friendship and fellowship. But that is never the “one thing” and heart-satisfying choice of the hypocrites. True believers, on the other hand, desire that this “better part would never be taken from them” (Lk 10:42).

4. A true believer submits to the righteousness of God. He abandons all hope in himself and his own righteousness, and rests wholly in the righteousness of Christ for his acceptance before God. A true believer rests in Christ and Him only as his Savior. Hypocrites don’t do this (Rom 10:3). They depend, in some degree, upon their own righteousness.

5. A true believer has the three great essentials of genuine Christianity. First, he is broken in heart and emptied of his own righteousness so as to loath himself (Lk 19:10). Second, he takes up Christ Jesus as the only treasure and jewel that can enrich and satisfy (Matt 13:44). Third, he sincerely closes with Christ’s whole yoke without exception, judging all His “will just and good, holy and spiritual” (Rom 7:12). A hypocrite does none of these things.
No. 1     Reply: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Verbatim   Gender: F   Age: 64   on  Oct 29, 2017 at 8:21 AM     
You mock the Word of God when you do things and say things in opposition of His will - that, which is written in His holy book.

Read John 17.11-14…people of God act and talk differently than the world.

You follow the many ideas and traditions of men - endless disagreements, separate and divided; not walking together or with God

Has Jesus received you into His fellowship.
Has Jesus drawn you to salvation.

Are you in fellowship with Him.
Are you strong in His power and might.
Is your faith - saving faith or common faith…which one.

The Holy Bible tells us to examine ourselves if you be in the faith...II Corinthians 13.5.

What is the faith that Jesus Christ is looking for? It is a faith far greater than we might imagine. It is faith, in an entire way of life - the righteous, holy way that God Himself lives. God wants us to accept and follow the whole package of Christian living that He reveals in His Word.

Do you really want fellowship with God - or are you pretending.
No. 2     Reply: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Verbatim   Gender: F   Age: 64   on  Oct 29, 2017 at 9:06 AM     
FACTION - THE PARTY SPIRIT



I Corinthians 3.13-23

13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
No. 3     Reply: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Bullfighter279   Gender: M   Age: 103   on  Dec 2, 2017 at 7:38 AM     
When a person rejects a full 2/3rds of the New Testament as being inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is safe to say they are not a true believer and professing some sort of false concept of Christianity.

Isn't that right Deva?
No. 4     Reply: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Bullfighter279   Gender: M   Age: 103   on  Dec 3, 2017 at 8:39 AM     
When you are tortured or burned at the stake and still profess Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior! :icon_eek:
No. 5     Reply: Re: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Verbatim   Gender: F   Age: 65   on  Dec 3, 2017 at 8:51 AM     
Bullfighter279 wrote:

When you are tortured or burned at the stake and still profess Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior! :icon_eek:




.....:thumb_up:

Hallelujah...!
No. 6     Reply: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  texascowgirl283   Gender: F   Age: 51   on  Dec 3, 2017 at 4:38 PM     
How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?

The bible tells you how.
No. 7     Reply: Re: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Verbatim   Gender: F   Age: 65   on  Dec 3, 2017 at 5:03 PM     
texascowgirl283 wrote:

How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?

The bible tells you how.



The next time I see you in Theology Forum, I will report you.
No. 8     Reply: Re: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Devaprakash   Gender: M   Age: 73   on  Dec 3, 2017 at 8:47 PM     
Bullfighter279 wrote:

When a person rejects a full 2/3rds of the New Testament as being inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is safe to say they are not a true believer and professing some sort of false concept of Christianity.

Isn't that right Deva?


Anything that contradicts Jesus' words, His way and life, I ignore. You seem to swallow all that comforts you with whatever you do and think, right? You don't mind stoning another person to death right because it is in the Bible?
No. 9     Reply: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Devaprakash   Gender: M   Age: 73   on  Dec 3, 2017 at 8:56 PM     
A genuine believer proclaims and glorifies Jesus' words (since He has the last words on all issues) and humbles himself and do not claim anything as a right except the right to seek His mercy!:dance:
No. 10     Reply: Re: Re: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Bullfighter279   Gender: M   Age: 103   on  Dec 4, 2017 at 3:50 AM     
Devaprakash wrote:

Bullfighter279 wrote:

When a person rejects a full 2/3rds of the New Testament as being inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is safe to say they are not a true believer and professing some sort of false concept of Christianity.

Isn't that right Deva?


Anything that contradicts Jesus' words, His way and life, I ignore. You seem to swallow all that comforts you with whatever you do and think, right? You don't mind stoning another person to death right because it is in the Bible?


Please show me where in the New Testament we are to stone people...
No. 11     Reply: Re: Re: Re: Re: How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor?   
By:  Devaprakash   Gender: M   Age: 73   on  Dec 4, 2017 at 7:14 AM     
Bullfighter279 wrote:

Devaprakash wrote:

Bullfighter279 wrote:

When a person rejects a full 2/3rds of the New Testament as being inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is safe to say they are not a true believer and professing some sort of false concept of Christianity.

Isn't that right Deva?


Anything that contradicts Jesus' words, His way and life, I ignore. You seem to swallow all that comforts you with whatever you do and think, right? You don't mind stoning another person to death right because it is in the Bible?


Please show me where in the New Testament we are to stone people...


Show where and when Jesus advocated clearly to wage war against enemies?