How to tell the true convert from the false?

God’s Law prepares the heart of the sinner for the good news of the gospel. Without this preparatory work, his heart is hardened and he therefore becomes a candidate for a false conversion. Now and then we can catch a glimpse of the difference between the true and false converts. Here we read the famous narrative of two women, both claiming to be the mother of one child. Solomon, in his wisdom, commanded that the baby be cut in half and thus revealed the true mother. Both of these women dwelt in the same house. The true and false converts dwell together in the house of the Lord. Each of the women called Solomon “lord.” Both the true and false convert call Jesus “Lord,” and it therefore takes the wisdom of Solomon to discern between the true and false. What was it that showed Solomon the real mother? It was that the true mother revealed genuine love. She would rather lose her child than see him cut in two with a sword.

Here is how to tell the true convert from the false. The spurious convert will reveal himself by dividing the Body of Christ in two with some pet doctrine, rather than backing down in humility. He will cut a body of believers in half because of a particular interpretation of Scripture regarding a non-essential. He lacks the wisdom that is peaceable and open to reason. In contrast, the true convert will strive to keep the unity of the body. He will not even put meat to his mouth if it causes his brother to stumble, let alone push a personal interpretation and cause division.

1 Kings 3:16 Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and stood before him.17 And one woman said, O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house.18 Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; no onewas with us in the house, except the two of us in the house.19 And this womans son died in the night, because she lay on him.20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.21 And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne.22 Then the other woman said, No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son. And the first woman said, No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son. Thus they spoke before the king.23 And the king said, The one says, This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one; and the other says, No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.24 Then the king said, Bring me a sword. So they brought a sword before the king.25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.26 Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him! But the other said, Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.27 So the king answered and said, Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.

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