What are the evidences of saving faith and how can I harvest the fruit of transformation?
(Some of the below information has been gleaned from “Helping Children to Understand the Gospel” by www.childrendesringgod.org and other portions have been added by the author, therefore, not everything below is the writing of this author)
Mark 9:42; Luke 17:1-2; Matthew 18:1-6 (care must be taken to not cause one to fall into sin or stumble or that person who causes the sin and stumbling will be held capitally responsible)
Mark 10:13-16 (Jesus desire that the children not be hindered from coming to him)
– Becoming a Christian involves understanding the reality of the Gospel, turning away from unbelief and the rebellion and turning to Jesus in repentance and faith. The key parts of this are repentance and faith.
– It is best to understand becoming a Christian as a process rather than event. Even though there is a moment of initial belief, there were glorious and amazing and miraculous events at work leading up to that moment.
– Perhaps that moment was earth-shaking and emotional. Perhaps that moment was not so earth-shaking and emotional but rather a quiet moment. Either way, what led to that moment is as miraculous as that moment itself.
– I believe it’s vital to understand that there is a process in play here in the work of the Gospel that we can’t ignore in the lives of our children.
– We desperately don’t want to get in the way of that. Rather we want to help that process along properly as parents and RK workers.
– Each day and each conversation and each RK day and each Sunday sermon is another link in the chain of this process that leads to that moment of realization.
– If we pay attention to the Scriptures and put them together there is a process that Father, Son and Spirit is working and the astute evangelist pays attention to this.
1. Election (Romans 8:28-30; Romans 9:11-13; Ephesians 1:4-6; 1 Thess 1:4-5; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:1; Rev 13:7-8; Rev 17:8; some 24 times Jesus refers to his people as “the elect”)
2. Gospel Call
3. Regeneration (being born again)
4. Conversion (faith and repentance)
5. Justification (right legal standing)
6. Adoption (membership in God’s family)
7. Sanctification (right conduct in life)
8. Perseverance (remaining a Christian)
9. Death (going to be with the Lord)
10. Glorification (receiving a resurrection body)
So, what are some “guide stones” that we can look for in knowing our child has been made ready to make that self-denying profession to follow after Jesus? How can we be a co-laborer with the work of the Gospel rather than a stumbling block?
1. Does he/she understand the Gospel so that they can articulate it in their own words?
A. Do they understand the work of justification (even if they don’t know the word)?
2. Is there a strong conviction of what sin is and that it’s not good and a desire to turn from sin?
A. Do they understand the rebellion in the Garden?
B. Do they understand that they are a rebel and guilty along with our parents
(Adam and Eve)
3. Is there a real love for Jesus and a desire to obey his word?
A. Do they want to know more about who Father is?
B. Is there a growing desire for the Scriptures (have you cultivated that)
4. Is there a persevering love of Jesus (John 3:16 uses a present tense verb meaning “whoever continues believing in me”)
A. Do they want to keep following Jesus even after following Jesus cost them something
Example: treating someone kind when they have not been treated kind etc.
5. Is there a witness of the Holy Spirit in the child’s soul?
A. Romans 8:15-16
1. The is the part in which the Spirit counsels the soul to be at rest in the reality
that it has been rescued and is secure and God truly is “Father”
a. Galatians 4:4-5
b. Ephesians 1:13-14
1. This requires discernment
2. This requires knowing Holy Spirit’s witnessing work in yourself
3. This requires cultivation of your child’s soul
6. Do you see the “fruit of the Spirit”?
A. Galatians 5:22
1. Note the subject verb agreement. “fruit is” not “fruits are” then a list of “fruit”.
The point seems to be that with indwelling Holy Spirit there is a cultivation of
all of this fruit in some degree or another.
c. Peace (peace toward God and man not necessarily peace about doing
7. Is there a pattern of spiritual growth?
A. 2 Peter 1:5-10
1. Peter exhorts Christians not merely to confess faith in Christ but actually to live
as he taught. He is not saying that works are a prerequisite for salvation but rather is
arguing that faith must take concrete form in life. All virtues listed in v. 5-7 are
results of faith, so faith is listed first, while love, being the ultimate result of faith,
is listed last.
b. Virtue (high moral standards)
g. Brotherly affection
(these 7 points were taken from “Helping Children to Understand the Gospel” and the developing thoughts are the work of this author)
Remember, you are a priest; therefore you have the capacity to discern these realities and receive the fruit of your child’s salvation.
1. Keep a journal of what the Lord is doing in your child’s life
2. Keep the RK resources we send you home with
3. Read the bible to you children and get them a bible they can read
4. When your children ask spiritual questions be eager to have those conversations
5. Don’t discourage belief and reception of the Gospel (if they say they are a Christian when young, go with it and disciple them as they are)
6. Don’t encourage belief early just to satisfy your fears and desire to have your conscience clean
7. Be sensitive to Holy Spirit
8. When you are satisfied your child / student has believed the gospel, we will do baptism class and get them wet in obedience to the Lord Jesus