Signs of a Christian
Is there a way that you or I can know that we are a Christian, and that we have the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives, and thus God's promise of eternal life: John 5:24; I John 2:25?
In the following pages we will delve into this topic in some detail with the intent to provide the reader a "yard stick" whereby one can compare his or her life and lifestyle to that of what the Scriptures tell us about those who believe in God, and in Jesus. For "He who has the Son, has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." I John 5:12.
A Personal Relationship with the risen Christ: Does God ever "speak" to (i.e. communicate with) us in any way, shape, or form? If not, then we need to question whether or not we even have a Personal relationship with Him. For that is what the Lord means by His statement: "I never knew you" in Matt. 7:23. Also in John 10:7-15, 27-28 Jesus said that:Our Beliefs and Confession about Jesus: In I John 4:2-3 and 15 we are told that:"Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep; He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling, and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." Emphasis Added"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand." Emphasis Added
"By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit (or person) that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world....Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God."In this passage we are told that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, meaning that he literally became a man, and that there was something different about Him. This is made more clear in John 14:8-9 where Philip asked Jesus to "show us the Father...", and Jesus replied by saying: "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me, has seen the Father..." In other words, Jesus was saying that if God, the Father, had became a man, he would have been a man just like Jesus, and in so doing Jesus was also claiming to be God. See also Luke 22:70; John 1:1-3, 10-14; 5:22-24; Phil. 2:5-11 and Col. 1:15-18.
In John 8:24 and 14:6, we are told we can only come to the Father by coming to, or through, Jesus, and that when we accept Him as our Lord, we get the Father as well. That's what Jesus meant by "we" in John 14:23; and in I John 5:1-5 we read that:
"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.... and His commandments are not burdensome. Emphasis AddedSo here we see that Jesus is the Christ: meaning that He is the ONLY Christ. For there is no other name whereby we MUST BE saved: Acts 4:12. And it is "through Him we are believers in God," (I Peter 1:21) and apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5). In other places we are told that Jesus is the one who literally holds the Universe together: Col. 1:15-17. See also John 1:1-3, 10; 3:14-15; 8:24; Heb.1:1-2; and II Cor. 5:10.
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.? Emphasis Added
A Changed Life: One of the surest signs of someone who is "born-again" is a changed life. For example, before we committed our lives to Christ we rarely went to church, took drugs, got drunk, looked at porn, and/or engaged in sex outside of marriage. And now we regularly attend church, and/or study the Bible, have Christian friends, stopped using drugs and getting drunk, threw out the porn, and are now living for God and His kingdom.The above list is only an example, and even if we are happily married with a family does not necessarily mean we are a Christian; nor does a bad marriage, or a divorce, necessarily mean we aren't. However, our ability to get along with others -- and especially God's people -- is an indicator of who we are and where we are going, but it is by no means a surefire indicator in and of itself. Another sign that someone is "born again" is:A Love for others and for God's People: In I John 3:14-15 we are told that:"We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."And in I John 2:9-11 we are told that:"The one who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes."And in I John 4:7-8 we are told:"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love."Fellowship with other Christians: In Hebrews 10:25 we are told not to forsake meeting with other Christians. This does not mean that we never miss church or Sunday School, or that we must attend a Bible study group, nor does it meant that we must belong to a church. And in this regard Proverbs 18:1 says that: "He who separates himself seeks his own desire," and "quarrels against all sound wisdom."So if someone cl