Evidence of a Child of God (Conclusion - Part 10)

And what, may we ask, are some of the evidences of a blessed state? In Gal. 5:22-23, Paul enumerates some of the fruits of the spirit as follows: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” So, dear reader, if any of these characteristics are yours, remembering that they are fruits of the spirit, and remembering that all spiritual blessings are in Christ, and that people are blessed according as they are chosen and predestinated, you may take everlasting consolation in the blessed truth that you are one of the elect, you are one that God predestinated, you are in Christ, a blessed character before God, and heaven will be your home.

In the Sermon on the Mount the Saviour laid down a basic principle by which we can readily detect evidences of a blessed state. In speaking of false prophets He said: “Ye shall know them by their fruits." And then He asked the question: “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles,” [Mat 7:16, T.M.]. The answer to this question is, of course, “No.” Men do not gather grapes of thorns, neither do they gather figs of thistles. The reason is that thorns do not produce grapes; neither do thistles produce figs.

Upon this principle fleshly life does not produce spiritual fruit; neither does spiritual life produce fleshly fruit. If it does, then Paul’s statement that the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh and these are contrary one to the other is not true [Gal 5:17, T.M.]. Jesus further said, in Matthew 7:18, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

This being true, when we see fleshly fruit being manifested by a person we can rest assured that it is an evidence of fleshly life. With equal assurance, we can believe when we see spiritual fruit being manifest by a person, it is evidence of spiritual life. This brings me to a question that was once asked me. Immediately following a radio broadcast I had made one morning, three preachers [of another order, T.M.] came to my office for a brief discussion. In the course of the conversation one of them asked this question: “If I understand you correctly, you believe that life precedes action, is that right?” I replied: “It certainly is; do you know of a Scripture that teaches otherwise?” That question today remains unanswered.

Of course, life precedes action. This is true in nature, and it is equally true in spirit. The spiritual fruits enumerated above are produced by the spirit and are, therefore, evidences of spiritual life. They are produced by a good tree. For instance, when we see a person manifesting spiritual love we know that – irrespective of who he is and regardless of what he may or may not have been taught in the world; no matter what his station in life may be, whether he be a king on the throne or a beggar at mercy’s door, whether he be learned or unlearned – that person is a blessed character and has spiritual life.

The same is true with faith; because “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”- John 5:24.

In order that His disciples might understand these glorious truths Jesus began His sermon on the Mount with these statements:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit.
Blessed are they that mourn.
Blessed are the meek.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Blessed are the merciful.
Blessed are the pure in heart.
Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Thus, it necessarily follows that any person who is in either of the seven conditions mentioned above is a blessed person. He is a child of God. He is one of the elect, one predestinated unto the adoption of children and saved by grace.

In fact, I would just say with the Apostle Paul that, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [Rom 8:14, T.M.]. I am convinced that the basic purpose of the gospel is to bring these blessed truths to the child of God that he might understand about the good things God has done for him, and to instruct him as to how he should live here in this world. Life and immortality are brought to light through the gospel. [2 Tim 1:10, T.M.]. The gospel then is truly glad tidings. It dispels doubt and fear. It has the same message for God’s children in all stations of life, from the most humble to the highest. It tells the dignitary that he is a poor sinner, saved by grace, and tells the peasant that he is a child of God.

The doctrine of election and predestination is a glorious theme, it is threaded throughout the Bible. As we pointed out in the beginning, it is good doctrine. It is the doctrine of grace. When rightly understood it brings more comfort and consolation to the human heart than any other doctrine on earth. If understood and received, it will tend to strip God’s children of their self-righteousness and present them humble at the Saviour’s feet saying in deed, in fact and in truth, “By the grace of God I am what I am.” [1 Cor 15:10, T.M.]

Should you and I ever be permitted to see the portals of glory, it will be because God loved us and predestinated us to that end before time began, because Christ redeemed us by His precious blood, because God quickened us to a state of spiritual life here, and because “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” [Phil 1:6 – T.M.]. Blessed truth.

I thank God for the faith which leads me to believe that, even though there is strife and confusion on every hand, and many of the children of God do not walk together theologically here on earth; when we shall have walked the last weary mile that we will ever be called on to walk, and troubles of life shall have ended with us here, we shall some sweet day awake in His likeness to inherit the eternal kingdom of heaven, and praise the Lord forevermore. And should one ask, “what will we be like?” I would say, “We will be like Jesus.”

“When I can read my title clear
To mansions in the skies,
I’ll bid farewell to every tear
And wipe my weeping eyes.”

Elder Glen Williams