Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A great deal that passes for the deeper life is nothing more or less than basic Christianity

“A great deal that passes for the deeper life is nothing more or less than basic Christianity. There is nothing deeper about it, and it is where we should have been from the start. We should have been happy, joyous, victorious Christians walking in the Holy Spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Instead we have been chasing each other around the perpetual mountain. What we need is what the old Methodists called a sound conversion. There is a difference between conversion and a sound conversion. People who have never been soundly converted do not have the Spirit to enlighten them. When they read the Sermon on the Mount or the teaching passages of the epistles that tell them how to live or the doctrinal passages that tell how they can live, they are unaffected. The Spirit who wrote them is not witnessing in their hearts because they have not been born of the Spirit. That often happens. People clean up, throw away their pipes, start to pay their bills and live right and then say, “I want to join the church.” So we question them, “Do you believe that Christ is the Son of God?” “Yes,” they reply. “Do you believe He rose from the dead?” “Yes.” “Do you believe He is coming again?” “Yes, I do.” Well, so does the devil and he trembles. People get into the church who are not converted at all. We are so tenderhearted, sentimental and eager that we get them on any grounds at all, if they just say the right words for us. But maybe some of these people have never been converted in the first place.”

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