HOW CAN I KNOW IF I'M REALLY A CHRISTIAN?

August 06, 2020

HOW CAN I KNOW IF I'M REALLY A CHRISTIAN?


There are thousands, perhaps millions of people who believe they are Christians who will never enter heaven. This is not my evaluation, but the clear teaching of Christ Himself.

Christ spoke of false prophets who "come to you in sheep clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves" (Matt 7:15). It is not the outward clothing, but the inward heart that indicates a true believer.

What is the only way to know the difference between a professing believer and a real believer?

A surrendered will that yields spiritual fruit.

A SURRENDERED WILL

Before a person comes to Christ, they are living according to their own will. They are in control of their lives. They are their lord and master.

At some point, God begins to convince them of "sin, righteousness, and coming judgment" which Jesus said is the Spirit's work (John 16:8-11). They realize they are separated from God because of their sin and that they need Christ. That the result of following their own will and plan is disastrous.

Then, in a work done by God and through the sharing of the gospel from others, He reveals to them that Christ died on the cross to take care of this problem. They have a change of mind regarding their lives and direction (repentance) and cry out in faith for Christ to save them (faith).

With this step of faith, there is also a surrender of the will. "I don't want to be in control any longer. I want Christ to be in charge." This surrender yields a life that gives evidence of true salvation.

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter." (Matt 7:21).

The evidence of true salvation is a person who follows Christ. A follower follows from the inside out. From a convicted, repentant, believing heart. And this leads to the second evidence of true salvation.

THAT YIELDS SPIRITUAL FRUIT

Twice in this Sermon on the Mount passage (Matthew 7:15-23), Jesus proclaimed, "You will know them by their fruit." Spiritual fruit is outlined for us in several places, but most clearly in Galatians 5:22-23.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

These are not external qualities only, but are attributes flowing from a person in whom the Spirit of God dwells and who is walking by the Spirit's leadership and power. None of these qualities are human, but Divine. And when you see them in spiritual power, it is evidence that there is One residing in a person that is producing His life through them.

Jesus never spoke of our salvation in terms of merely a past experience, but a present reality. Here are the two questions we must ask ourselves:

  • Through repentance and faith, have I trusted in Christ alone and now surrendered my will to the will of the Father?
  • Is there, not perfectly, but continually over time, the evidence of spiritual fruit in my life? Is Christ IN me producing His life THROUGH me?

A FINAL TEST

Paul states this clearly in 2 Corinthians 13:5:

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

Is there evidence that Christ is residing in you?

Father, thank You that You have come to live in me! There is no greater reality, no greater joy. Thank You that all I need I have in You and You are in me. Give me grace to continually surrender my will to yours so Your life can flow through me to others. And help me to lead others to this eternal reality and experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Graceful Truth

UNDERSTANDING GOD’S WAYS
UNDERSTANDING GOD’S WAYS

March 01, 2021

We are created in God’s image, and the fact that we have patterns is a residual effect of how we were created. Sin has damaged this, of course, but just as we have our ways, so does God. Knowing God’s ways is highly important in understanding and following Him.

Continue Reading

OUR SACRED, PRIESTLY FUNCTION
OUR SACRED, PRIESTLY FUNCTION

February 25, 2021

Who has God placed in your life to intercede for them? Are their names on your heart? No one else may take up that responsibility. Are you entering the throne room on their behalf? And will you do it until you die, or they come to Christ?

Continue Reading

GOD IN THE MIDST
GOD IN THE MIDST

February 24, 2021

I want to be a man that God can entrust with His truth and that can, in whatever measure God allows, experience the glory of God. We all long for this genuine experience of God in our lives. In His mercy and through the great work of Christ, God has now made it possible for us to be literally inhabited by God! His Spirit lives in us, giving us the opportunity to know and be led by His presence daily and continually.

Continue Reading