If you’re saved, you should know it (thinking of the campfire song here), but so should everyone else. In a recent sermon at New Hope, it became clear John the Baptist gave direction on the method.
One thing I love about scripture is that every passage might strike a different chord in the hearts and minds of every individual in a crowd listening to a message preached from it. I’m guessing that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago when our pastor preached about the ministry of John the Baptist.
Rather than recapping that sermon, I’m dropping a link here to the recording you can listen to (if you want) for the full story.
This post focuses on the interaction between John and some of the members of the crowd who came out to see this roughly dressed man who lived in the wilderness and performed a water rite they’d never seen outside of the priesthood.
John didn’t baptize indiscriminately. He wanted to hear from people’s lips and see from their lives that they had truly repented. He knew salvation wasn’t just lip service. And if there’s been a change in your heart, a transformation will occur in your life.
“He that had two coats, let him impart to him that hath none”Luke 3:11
The first mark of salvation is generosity.
Most of us worked hard for the possessions we have. Even more, we know we need that coat for the cold or wet days of winter.
But if we have two coats and we see someone without one?
Those with a changed heart feel compassion. They want to help others whenever they can.
“Exact no more than that which is appointed to you”Luke 3:12
While this verse was spoken to the tax collectors, it applies to everyone. The second mark of salvation is integrity.
Honesty is part of it, but the idea is that a changed heart doesn’t just have different motives, it has higher standards. Even the world’s idea of honesty isn’t enough for a true believer.
Have you ever corrected a cashier who gave you too much change and they acted affronted? It’s happened to me. They weren’t happy I pointed out their mistake, I guess, but I knew I wouldn’t be content to walk away with the extra money.
“Be content with your wages”Luke 3:14
Speaking of contentment, that’s the third sign and it’s the hardest one. Especially when we’re talking money.
I worked for more than a decade in public education, and I can tell you that most of the educators I knew were grossly underpaid and overworked. Sounds cliché, I know. Sorry, but it’s the truth.
There were a few who did the minimum and I figure they were living up to their paycheck. Most of them should have been paid so much more.
But not many of them complained about it. They were content to do the extra work because they loved their students. Their hearts were in the right place.
Yes, that’s the sermon for this post. If your heart is in the right place, it shows.
Friend, if Jesus has saved you, you’re a new creation (2 Corin. 5:17) and everyone around you should know. Because your actions show it.