The Proof of the Spirit Inside
Our brother brought up that unless you are born a second time you cannot enter the kingdom. There is no such thing as a once-born Christian. If you’ve not been converted, not forsaken your life, and not taken up your cross, then you can’t be His disciple. You cannot be a Christian according to the Bible. “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Disciples and Christians are synonymous terms. If you haven’t forsaken your very life and taken up your cross, then don’t claim to be a Christian. “You cannot be my disciple if you won’t pick up your cross and come after me” (Luke 14:27).
When we begin to relate to each other on that basis, we begin to see that we are all priests of God. If something comes up, we need to talk about it, and not silently judge each other and separate and pull back. We need to care for and love each other just like we would with our children. We have to love each other enough to talk about things that we see and hear. You know to do that for your child, yet we’ve been trained to be afraid of having that same kind of relationship with each other. So let’s get over that. Let’s grow up.
You will know a twice-born person by their fruit. You will see it in their life “…if you claim to be in Jesus, you’ll walk as Jesus walked” (1Jn 2:6). “If you love me, you’ll obey me,” Jesus said (John 14:15). You’ll begin to see obedience in their life. You’ll begin to see that when they’ve stumbled, they look upward instead of horizontally. You’ll see the things of God that demonstrate that the Spirit of God is living inside of them.
If they have the Spirit, an Anointing that’s real and not counterfeit, they won’t continue to sin (1Jn 2, 3). They don’t want to sin. “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” (1Jn 3:3) The nature of Jesus living inside means we want to get rid of sin in our lives. We’ll never get rid of all of it, but we want to. That’s the proof of the Spirit living inside of us.
As our brother said, there is no such thing as a Christian who hasn’t been born a second time, which means there’s no such thing as a Christian who doesn’t have the Spirit living inside. And that means there is no such thing as a person who is a Christian that wants to keep on sinning and gets mad when you talk to them about it! 1 John 3 says you can’t be a Christian without the Spirit and the Spirit says, “Abba, Father, I want to be holy.” That man says to his brother, “I need your help because I’m not a holy man yet. I want your help and I’m not afraid of you speaking to me about things.”
The Body of Christ is for Christians and for those who want to become Christians. The Church is not for people who claim to be members, but don’t have the Spirit of Christ. That’s wrong. That’s leaven and, “A little leaven leavens the whole batch.” As we live relationally with people, we can find these things out. If we live attendance-based, there will be no way to know who people are.