Tag: Conversion

Keep your hearts from idols

Charles Spurgeonby Charles Spurgeon

“Son of man, these men have set up idols in their heart!” Ezekiel 14:3

“Their hearts were devoted to their idols!” Ezekiel 20:16

Whatever a man depends upon, whatever rules his mind, whatever governs his affections, whatever is the chief object of his delight–is his god.

Man is such an idolater that, if he cannot idolize anything else–he will idolize himself, and bow down and worship himself!

If you love anything better than God–you are idolaters. If there is anything you would not give up for God–it is your idol. If there is anything that you seek with greater fervor than God–that is your idol.

True conversion is a turning from every idol!

“They tell how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God!” 1 Thessalonians 1:9

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols!” 1 John 5:21

by Charles Spurgeon

Spiritual Amnesia

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:9).

If you don’t practice spiritual virtues now, you’ll forget their significance later.

Physical nearsightedness and mental amnesia both are unwanted conditions. Nearsightedness (myopia) causes people’s eyes to focus the parallel rays of light in front of the retina. They can clearly see things right in front of them, but the farther out they look, the more out of focus objects become.

Amnesia, of course, is memory loss. Sometimes it’s selective, but usually it’s total—everything prior to a certain time or incident. It often causes people to forget their name, their family, and everything about their identity and background.

Those two impairments should be even less welcome on the spiritual level. Professed believers who are unfruitful become spiritually nearsighted. They focus on temporal fads and passing earthly fashions. By the time they try to look ahead to eternity, it is so out of focus for them that they can’t see it.

Those with spiritual amnesia, because they see no increase of spiritual virtue in their lives, forget they were supposed to be saved from their sinful lifestyles. They don’t remember the spiritual “purification” (catharsis) that should have occurred in their lives—a reference to a deep internal purging or cleansing.

If you are not diligently pursuing spiritual virtue and moral excellence, you will have a very fuzzy view of your true condition. You may connect an outward action or emotional experience with the time you professed Christ, but you will not have a sense of assurance. Commentator Richard Bauckham explained it this way: “The ‘knowledge of Jesus Christ’ [v. 8], received at conversion, came as illumination to those who were blind in their pagan ignorance (2 Cor. 4:4), but Christians who do not carry through the moral implications of this knowledge have effectively become blind to it again.”

Regarding 1 Peter 1:5-9, it all comes down to this: if you are seeing your life grow in moral virtue, you have proof of salvation and a reason for assurance. If you are not seeing your life grow in virtue, you have no proof of salvation and no reason for assurance. Be diligent to avoid spiritual myopia and amnesia in your life.

by John MacArthur