Augustine was one of the great Christians of past centuries; yet that was not always the case. Before his conversion, Augustine categorized himself as being, ‘a slave to his own lust.’ What caused Augustine to turn from sin and to the Savior?
Yesterday we learned that much of it had to do with the prayers of his mother. Monica refused to give up on her prodigal son and continuously prayed for his salvation. God heard her prayers and answered them in a powerful way.
As Augustine grew older, he found himself increasingly convicted about his sin. Searching for some sort of comfort, he at times read the Bible. Yet in his searching, he was unable to find the answers he needed and concluded that perhaps he was beyond help.
One day he heard a child singing – “Take up, read! Take up, read!” He wondered if it was a child he heard or the voice of God trying to persuade him to return once more to Bible. He opened a Bible and read these words – “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Romans 13:13-14 NIV)
Suddenly his eyes were opened and he exclaimed, “It is done. I am a Christian.” Though many had tried to persuade him before about his need to turn to Christ, it was not until he saw with his own eyes what the Word of God had to say that Augustine believed and God saved him. (resource: The Hidden Price of Greatness, Tyndale Press.)
As I consider Augustine’s conversion, I am reminded of three very important principles:
Principle #1 – Augustine came to Christ through the power of his mother’s prayers
Principle #2 – Augustine was convicted of his sin through the work of the Holy Spirit
Principle #3 – Augustine was convinced of the truth when he found it in God’s Word
As we close today’s study, consider what the Apostle Paul said about how God uses each of us to help bring others to Christ.
I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)
I planted, Apollos watered, and God caused it to grow.