Something to point out here, in Christian jargon, asking if you are a Christian is synonymous with asking, “Are you saved?” Therefore, asking how someone knows they are a Christian, it is the same as asking if they are certain of salvation, or why they are sure of going to heaven. The answer to the question, “How do you know your are a Christian?” will tell you on what an individual is placing their faith.
Think of these answers to the question, “How do you know you are a Christian?”
• “I’ve been baptized.” This answer shows a person believes they have acquired salvation because at some point in their life they have been baptized.
• “I have not done anything deserving to go to hell.” This answer comes from someone who believes there is a line out there they have not crossed. Usually, this means the person has not committed murder or child molesting or some other heinous sins. Their faith is resting on the lack of evil in their life.
• “Overall, I’m a pretty good person.” Here is a person who knows they are not perfect, but when looking at their life, they believe the good in their life outweighs the bad. This person thinks salvation comes because; using their own words; they are a pretty good person.
• “I belong to such-and-such church.” The basis of this person’s salvation is their affiliation with a particular religious organization.
By now I am sure you are getting the point – the “why I am saved” answer is what a person has placed their faith in for their salvation.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Please note that none of the answers above include Jesus.
There are many verses showing that faith in Jesus Christ is the means of eternal life; the most famous of which is in John chapter three.
John 3:16-18 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
When a person places faith in Jesus as the only means of salvation, they receive eternal life from God (John 3:36). Every man is a sinner, and our sin has separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2). Blood is the only thing that can erase sin (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus is the Lamb of God, and the shedding of His blood is the only sacrifice the Father will accept for the remission of sins (John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:18-19).
Once a person is a Christian they are now to live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38). Salvation by faith and living by faith can only come through the Scripture (Romans 10:13-17). The Bible compares a Christian’s spiritual life to physical growth. We start out as babes in Christ and over time we should spiritually mature (1 Corinthians 3:1-2).
Living the Christian life cannot be fully achieved or experienced without the word of God. The problem with many Christians today is that the Bible sits on the shelf gathering dust. Many, never, if ever, read it; others will only open it when all other options have been exhausted.
We can only please God by acting in faith (Hebrews 11:6). Romans 10:17 tells us that faith eventually comes from the Word of God and 2 Timothy 2:15 informs us God’s approval comes from the study of the Scripture. A Christian cannot please God without faith and faith will not grow without a steady dose of the Bible. How many people are experiencing the abundant Christian life with so many Bibles unopened and unstudied?
Do you seem like you are spinning your wheels, burning much spiritual fuel, but sitting in the same spot? Deep down inside do you know that there should be more in your relationship with Christ, but you are frustrated trying to figure out what that “something more” should be? Are you wondering what the will of God is for your life, but the answer never comes? Is your faith weak?
Get into the Scripture, read it, study it, listen to it, engulf yourself in the Bible. By doing so your faith will grow, and this, in turn, will please God, and you will receive His approval; you will grow from a babe in Christ to someone mature in faith.
I will end with three questions. Are you a Christian? How do you know you are a Christian? Is your Christian life abundant?
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. Email him email@example.com. Sermons and archived Preacher’s Points may be found at preacherspoint.wordpress.com.