Friday, March 03, 2006

"If you is what you was, you ain't"

I am not sure who this quote originated from, but let me assure you, it wasn't from me. But I have heard it a few times recently, and I'd like to tell you what it means.

if you is - if you are living and acting now
what you was - in the same manner that you were before you got saved
you ain't - then you aren't saved

The Bible is very clear that after a man is born again, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). There is a true and undeniable change that is seen by the turning away from sin that happens when you are born again. When this happens, a man realizes the nature of his own sin and how greatly he has offended God by it, and out of love for the God who saved him - he turns from it and wars with the sin that is in him (Romans 7:14-25).1 This war with sin is a winning war, even though we will never be fully victorious while we still live.

The initial act of repentance is always a loving response to salvation, not a legalistic prerequisite to it. I saw John MacArthur once, and he was asked if Christians would sin less as they grow older and more mature in the faith. He acknowledged that no one will ever be sinless while living, but a believer will sin less as he's growing in Christ. He concluded his answer by saying that as a true Christian (one who grows more and more mature in the faith) will sin less but feel worse.2

The Bible is very clear that there is an undeniable and totally distinguishable difference between a true Christian and a false Christian. Just as the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) attests to the true salvation of a Christian, the lack of these fruits as well as how they act (James 2:26; 1 John 1:6) as well as speak (Prov 15:28; Matthew 12:34; 15:18; Luke 6:45; Ephesians 4:29) will show a false Christian for his or her true colors. A Christian is not a Christian by mere profession alone (see James 2). And don't think that just knowing about God or paying lip service will fool God (Matthew 8:29; Mark 5:7; Luke 4:34; James 2:19) - He knows and judges the heart, and He will not be fooled (Gal 6:7).

Don't fool yourself or turn a deaf ear to the truth of this. There are so many people in the church (any church, my church, your church, etc) who have heard the truth of the gospel and who may even be able to tell you the story of the gospel and even have an understanding of sin (personal and otherwise)...but if they haven't been transformed by the gospel - they are probably not saved. I know that this sounds shocking, insensitive, or worse.... But, it is the truth.

In closing:

It is true that God will save everyone who comes to the foot of the cross in true repentance and humility seeking the forgiveness of sins by the perfect, substitutionary, and undeserved sacrifice of Christ. This happens by the unconditional surrendering of the will, body, and heart of an unsaved person to the supremely righteous, holy, and gracious will and plan of God.

It is also true that God will condemn everyone who is not forgiven. And we know that we are saved and by obeying God, and we also know the price of not obeying God (John 15:5-11).

1I deal more with the concept of repentance in "Is Turning From Sin Legalism?" where I comment on an article written and posted on

2He was asked this question at the 2006 Faith Builder Event sponsored by AM 980 KKMS.

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