Am I a Christian?

Discussions amongst Christians about life issues, walking with Christ, and general Christian topics that don't fit under any other area.
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Nessa
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Am I a Christian?

Postby Nessa » Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:32 pm

...I read recently that 50 percent of all born-again Christians don’t have the assurance of salvation. Maybe some just need to memorize some pertinent passages on the assurance of salvation, like 1 John 5:13, and realize that God's Word does indeed promise that salvation is the present possession of every true follower of Christ.

On the other hand, perhaps a lot of so-called Christians do not have the assurance of salvation because they are not really saved. Just because you attend church or engage in certain religious activities does not necessarily mean you are a Christian. The Apostle Paul instructed those in the early church to examine themselves to see if their faith was genuine (2 Corinthians 13:5).
So, how do I know if you are a Christian? How do you know if I'm one? There must be evidence. Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them" (Matthew 7:20). If someone examined your life, would they find any spiritual fruit—hard evidence to prove that you are a true follower of Jesus Christ?

Or, let me put it another way: If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? By "evidence," I don't mean how many Bibles you own, or how many bumper stickers you might have on your car with Christian sayings on them. I mean hard evidence. If your family members, neighbors, and coworkers were interviewed and asked the question, "Is (your name here), in your opinion, a real Christian?" we might not be happy with the response.

The only way others can tell whether you are a Christian is by your works. While all the good works in the world won't save a person (Titus 3:5), they are reasonable evidence that someone is saved.
In a nutshell, all the great religions of the world, apart from Christianity, say, "Do." "Do this and you might go to heaven," "Do that and you might find nirvana," and so on. Christianity, in contrast, says, "Done."

In other words, God has taken care of your salvation through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. He cried out, "It is finished!" He purchased your ticket to heaven at the cross. But having received that ticket, your life should reflect your commitment to Christ. Works won't save you, but if you really are saved, then works will follow (2 Corinthians 5:17). Has that happened to you? Has there been a change in your life?

In Acts 26, the Bible outlines three steps you must take to be sure you are a Christian. This is important to understand, because you may be living under false hope, and ultimately, have a false assurance of salvation. When Paul spoke to King Agrippa and described how God had called him to preach the gospel message, he essentially broke that message down and in so many words, defined it.

Paul said that God told him to preach the gospel, which was comprised of a person hearing it, realizing it was given " 'to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness of sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in [Christ]' " (Acts 26:18).
So first, you must have your eyes opened. A spiritual blindness afflicts those who have not yet turned their lives over to Jesus Christ, because "Satan . . . has blinded the minds of those who don't believe . . ." (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT).

Second, you must turn from darkness to light. Satan loves darkness. Hell is referred to as outer darkness. If you want to really believe, then you need to come out of the darkness and into the light (Acts 26:18).

Third, you must turn from the power of Satan to God. A lot of people today want to live in two worlds. If you want to be a Christian on Sunday, but want to live the other way the rest of the week, it won't work (2 Corinthians 6:14). You must turn from Satan to God.
Have your spiritual eyes been opened? Have you turned from darkness to light? Have you turned from the power of Satan to God? If you've taken these steps, then God has forgiven your sins and has a place for you among God's people in heaven. This is the hope of those who truly belong to Christ - Greg Laurie.

___________________________

I feel like there is absolutely no 'evidence' in my life (or inside of me) I am saved :(

But then I'm very depressed so maybe that is clouding my vision.

Yesterday, someone close to me questioned if I had Christ in me cos I was honest about my feelings.

Though If it is so simple to be saved - confession of Christ and faith in him - then why is the path so narrow?

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby abelcainsbrother » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:07 pm

Nessa wrote:...I read recently that 50 percent of all born-again Christians don’t have the assurance of salvation. Maybe some just need to memorize some pertinent passages on the assurance of salvation, like 1 John 5:13, and realize that God's Word does indeed promise that salvation is the present possession of every true follower of Christ.

On the other hand, perhaps a lot of so-called Christians do not have the assurance of salvation because they are not really saved. Just because you attend church or engage in certain religious activities does not necessarily mean you are a Christian. The Apostle Paul instructed those in the early church to examine themselves to see if their faith was genuine (2 Corinthians 13:5).
So, how do I know if you are a Christian? How do you know if I'm one? There must be evidence. Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them" (Matthew 7:20). If someone examined your life, would they find any spiritual fruit—hard evidence to prove that you are a true follower of Jesus Christ?

Or, let me put it another way: If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? By "evidence," I don't mean how many Bibles you own, or how many bumper stickers you might have on your car with Christian sayings on them. I mean hard evidence. If your family members, neighbors, and coworkers were interviewed and asked the question, "Is (your name here), in your opinion, a real Christian?" we might not be happy with the response.

The only way others can tell whether you are a Christian is by your works. While all the good works in the world won't save a person (Titus 3:5), they are reasonable evidence that someone is saved.
In a nutshell, all the great religions of the world, apart from Christianity, say, "Do." "Do this and you might go to heaven," "Do that and you might find nirvana," and so on. Christianity, in contrast, says, "Done."

In other words, God has taken care of your salvation through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. He cried out, "It is finished!" He purchased your ticket to heaven at the cross. But having received that ticket, your life should reflect your commitment to Christ. Works won't save you, but if you really are saved, then works will follow (2 Corinthians 5:17). Has that happened to you? Has there been a change in your life?

In Acts 26, the Bible outlines three steps you must take to be sure you are a Christian. This is important to understand, because you may be living under false hope, and ultimately, have a false assurance of salvation. When Paul spoke to King Agrippa and described how God had called him to preach the gospel message, he essentially broke that message down and in so many words, defined it.

Paul said that God told him to preach the gospel, which was comprised of a person hearing it, realizing it was given " 'to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness of sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in [Christ]' " (Acts 26:18).
So first, you must have your eyes opened. A spiritual blindness afflicts those who have not yet turned their lives over to Jesus Christ, because "Satan . . . has blinded the minds of those who don't believe . . ." (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT).

Second, you must turn from darkness to light. Satan loves darkness. Hell is referred to as outer darkness. If you want to really believe, then you need to come out of the darkness and into the light (Acts 26:18).

Third, you must turn from the power of Satan to God. A lot of people today want to live in two worlds. If you want to be a Christian on Sunday, but want to live the other way the rest of the week, it won't work (2 Corinthians 6:14). You must turn from Satan to God.
Have your spiritual eyes been opened? Have you turned from darkness to light? Have you turned from the power of Satan to God? If you've taken these steps, then God has forgiven your sins and has a place for you among God's people in heaven. This is the hope of those who truly belong to Christ - Greg Laurie.

___________________________

I feel like there is absolutely no 'evidence' in my life (or inside of me) I am saved :(

But then I'm very depressed so maybe that is clouding my vision.

Yesterday, someone close to me questioned if I had Christ in me cos I was honest about my feelings.

Though If it is so simple to be saved - confession of Christ and faith in him - then why is the path so narrow?



Perhaps you've hit a dry spell as a Christian,I can't say but I do think we can go through dry spells in our Christian walk and need to be refreshed from time to time.But the important thing is to know you were saved or born again and only you know,but if you have? Then you are saved even if you don't feel like it and you might need to be refreshed and only Jesus can refresh you,so go to him and seek him and you'll find what you are looking for.

The reason why the path is so narrow is because we can only get to God through Jesus and what he did for us and we must be saved/ born again in order to enter in,but so many people try to get to God their own way.This can be because of religion or many other things,it can be based on ignorance and just doing what a person thinks is the right way based on his or her own opinions about how they should live instead of doing things God's way. We'll only get somewhere doing things God's way,instead of our way or whoever else's way whether it is religion or not.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby Philip » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:19 pm

Yes, as Abel said, the path is narrow because of the gate it must go through is ONLY one way: Jesus! People often mistakenly think this narrowness is that they must work their way in through great effort - which we all know is impossible. But the other paths (Krishna, Allah, being a "good, observant Jew" or whatever else are all part of the collective wide path most of humanity chooses. Many find it arrogant to assert the path to Heaven ONLY goes through Jesus, that this is a narrow-minded belief that is so exclusive to be laughable. Well, it IS exclusive.

Here's a nice way of putting it: http://www.gotquestions.org/narrow-gate.html

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby Nessa » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:57 pm

I understand that many do not profess Christ and have faith in Him.

I also understand that many do profess Christ and also claim to have faith in him.

But I guess the heart of what I was getting at is what does it mean to be a true Christian? What does it look like? How does one know they have believed in their heart that Christ is Lord? Especially if on the outside their life looks alot like it did before they got saved.

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby abelcainsbrother » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:30 pm

Nessa wrote:I understand that many do not profess Christ and have faith in Him.

I also understand that many do profess Christ and also claim to have faith in him.

But I guess the heart of what I was getting at is what does it mean to be a true Christian? What does it look like? How does one know they have believed in their heart that Christ is Lord? Especially if on the outside their life looks alot like it did before they got saved.



I'm not sure there is a perfect example as no man can truly exemplify Christianity like Christ,we can only do it through Christ.We will know them by their fruits.Fruit does not just have to do with behavior either.There is no minister or anybody perfect like Jesus,so we cannot expect them to be,still Christ uses us still despite our imperfections.I try not to judge people because we don't know what they've been through or their situation,how they were raised.etc. The most important thing is what do they believe and have they been saved.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby Nessa » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:56 pm

Just to clarify...

I'm not talking about sitting in judgement of someone else's faith but evaluating your own faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby abelcainsbrother » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:42 pm

Nessa wrote:Just to clarify...

I'm not talking about sitting in judgement of someone else's faith but evaluating your own faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5


Yes,the test is,is Jesus in you? Have you been saved?

Blessed Assurance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOv7RmXi7VE
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby RickD » Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:08 am

I read this:
...I read recently that 50 percent of all born-again Christians don’t have the assurance of salvation. Maybe some just need to memorize some pertinent passages on the assurance of salvation, like 1 John 5:13, and realize that God's Word does indeed promise that salvation is the present possession of every true follower of Christ.


And I was like :D :clap: :yes:

Then I read this:
So, how do I know if you are a Christian? How do you know if I'm one? There must be evidence. Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them" (Matthew 7:20). If someone examined your life, would they find any spiritual fruit—hard evidence to prove that you are a true follower of Jesus Christ?


And I was like :shakehead: :lalala: :sick:

Nessa,

If you have trusted Christ for salvation, you have assurance of salvation.

We all fail, Nessa. That doesn't mean we need to question our faith whenever we fail. God promised that once we trust in Christ for salvation, we have eternal life. And even though we fail, God won't. His promises are true. So, stop burdening yourself with feeling like you're not good enough. Our goodness doesn't matter. Keep trusting in Christ for what he has done. It is finished. You are a child of God, and NOTHING can take that away!

With that said, how is your relationship with God? Are you listening to Him? Praying to Him?

God's primary way of speaking to us is through scripture. If you're not listening to Him, by making time to read the bible, then your relationship with God may not be growing like it should be.

But don't ever confuse that with not being saved.

Being a disciple takes work. Praying and reading. Talking to God and listening to Him. Continue to trust in Christ. Rely on him. Don't feel burdened to do good works, and act like some think a Christian is supposed to act. Work on the relationship part, and the rest will fall in place.

At least that's how I see it. Once I stopped trying to be Good, and just relied on God, that's when God does good through me. Remember, it's God working through us.

To the point...

If you trusted in Christ for salvation, you are eternally secure. God promised that!

Now continue trusting in him, and work on your relationship with God.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby tunde1992 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:05 pm

I feel as if this a continuation of the ever popular Osas and free grace theology
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
-matthew 6:33

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby Philip » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:18 pm

If OSAS and freely offered/given grace are not true, then NO one could ever have confidence that they are saved - they'd never know until they died or didn't "get through the gate."

And IF OSAS isn't true, how could the Apostle Paul ever state? "And I am SURE of this, that He Who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

In the statement above, WHO began the work in the life of a Believer? WHOSE work is it to begin with? WHO brings it to completion? Does a believe begin or fulfill ANY of those variables that makes Paul have such confidence? IF a person God has begun a work in - it's a person open and receptive and that God KNOWS He can thus lead to salvation. Paul doesn't speculate that some in his audience might not make it - WHY - because Paul knows that IT WAS NEVER UP TO THEM TO BEGIN WITH. Paul knows that GOD is the beginner and sustainer of salvation! If it was up to us to continue in our faith until our final day - YES, our salvation would be on VERY shaky ground (upon our own fallible, sinful shoulders!). But the WORK is God's (not the Believer's), and thus Paul says HE will complete what He began!

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:48 pm

I feel if Christians truly understand the two covenants of Law and of Grace, then they'd feel more secure.

You know that if our works have anything to do with our being saved, then there is no hope but we're damned. So then, there needs to be another way that God's righteousness can be attained, and thus, Christ's righteousess is imputed to us, it is reckoned to us. Our only hope is someone else to rescue us, and we discover God has a plan all along to reconcile us to Himself.

If you have believe in Christ, believe in his promise, then on D-Day when standing before God, you'll be wrapped in Christ's righteousness. It's his teaching that you'll pass from judgement and have eternal life with Him. So then, unless Christ's promise is false, as Paul says "if Christ be not risen", then we're to be pitied amongst all people because our hope is in vain and we're still hopelessly in our sin before an all-righteous God.

Let it also be said we read of the Accuser, god of this world, who is still with us. He'd love nothing more than to trouble us, make us doubt Christ's promise, doesn't want us feeling secure. So then, our own accusing thoughts, especially when we're physically weak in depression or what have you will be more receptive to the negative suggestions that enter into our head or come our way due to others who might tare us down.

Nessa, I know this YouTube video isn't necessarily "dazzling", but he teaches largely good theology though I might nibble at a point or two. Nonetheless, please have patience and watch it, hopefully it'll provide you with assurance against those who keep speaking doubt into your life, making you feel damned by your sin.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby Byblos » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:19 am

You know what the biggest stumbling block is for me to accept OSAS (and make no mistake about it, it is exactly what this topic is all about)? Believe it or not, it is not a Catholic thing for I firmly believe that I do not believe in a works-based salvation for everything I do is not of me but by God's sanctifying grace.

No, my issue with it is one of free will. I simply cannot reconcile that by a free choice I can accept Christ (drawn by the HS of course, we wouldn't want to fall into pelagianism) to then be denied the same free choice to reject him. I've read the theological and philosophical arguments for such a position and find them to be lacking.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby RickD » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:40 am

Byblos wrote:You know what the biggest stumbling block is for me to accept OSAS (and make no mistake about it, it is exactly what this topic is all about)? Believe it or not, it is not a Catholic thing for I firmly believe that I do not believe in a works-based salvation for everything I do is not of me but by God's sanctifying grace.

No, my issue with it is one of free will. I simply cannot reconcile that by a free choice I can accept Christ (drawn by the HS of course, we wouldn't want to fall into pelagianism) to then be denied the same free choice to reject him. I've read the theological and philosophical arguments for such a position and find them to be lacking.

Byblos,

You are secure in Christ. Once you become a child of God, He won't let you go. Even for a sin such as rejecting Him. If we come to Christ being drawn through the Holy Spirit, why can't you believe the same Holy Spirit who dwells within us will keep us as God promised?

Stop holding on to your ability to keep from rejecting Him, and just trust that God will do as He promises.

And you know what a great thing about assurance(God's promise) is? That even if you don't believe in it, if you're saved, God will still keep you secure in Him.

We need to keep our focus on trusting in Him, not ourselves. If I had to rely on myself to keep my salvation, I'd be screwed.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby Byblos » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:19 am

RickD wrote:
Byblos wrote:You know what the biggest stumbling block is for me to accept OSAS (and make no mistake about it, it is exactly what this topic is all about)? Believe it or not, it is not a Catholic thing for I firmly believe that I do not believe in a works-based salvation for everything I do is not of me but by God's sanctifying grace.

No, my issue with it is one of free will. I simply cannot reconcile that by a free choice I can accept Christ (drawn by the HS of course, we wouldn't want to fall into pelagianism) to then be denied the same free choice to reject him. I've read the theological and philosophical arguments for such a position and find them to be lacking.

Byblos,

You are secure in Christ. Once you become a child of God, He won't let you go. Even for a sin such as rejecting Him. If we come to Christ being drawn through the Holy Spirit, why can't you believe the same Holy Spirit who dwells within us will keep us as God promised?

Stop holding on to your ability to keep from rejecting Him, and just trust that God will do as He promises.

And you know what a great thing about assurance(God's promise) is? That even if you don't believe in it, if you're saved, God will still keep you secure in Him.

We need to keep our focus on trusting in Him, not ourselves. If I had to rely on myself to keep my salvation, I'd be screwed.


Now you're preaching (to the choir). That's all well and good and understood, no argument there. I go about my daily spiritual life not giving it an iota of a second thought, secure in the knowledge that God is faithful even when I'm not. How could I not believe that? I am Catholic, a central tenet of Catholicism is the sacrament of reconciliation precisely instituted and administered by Christ (through the priesthood) to reconcile me back to Christ when I stray (and no, this has nothing to do with assurance and I don't want to digress). That's how I lead my life and how I intend to lead it until the day I die, by God's grace.

No, that's not it at all Rick. It's not a matter of security or assurance or putting my trust in God vs. my own actions, it's none of that. It is as basic a proposition as can be, it's a matter of choice, of free will. Knowing all there is to know about God and His grace, is a person able to make a conscious decision to totally reject Christ? If the answer is no (which is what OSAS suggests) then free will is an illusion. If the answer is yes, then OSAS is an illusion. To be quite honest I would personally prefer the former but I think there is no escaping the logical conclusion of the latter.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Am I a Christian?

Postby Philip » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:44 am

I think this question of OSAS is surrounded by theoretical thinking. And so I believe that the setup of this "straw" man - the one who well knows of Christ, the Gospel, of God's grace, of Jesus assertion of the necessity of faith in HIm, that such a person could first have be saved, only to later consciously reject Him, and yet STILL be saved. I would highly doubt that anyone truly ever saved would later totally and deliberately reject Jesus. So, the REAL issue is far more likely one of such a person never having been saved to begin with.

Many people doubt the salvation of others based upon some false litmus test of demonstrated works. But rejection is a whole other kettle of fish - that's intentional and deliberate. I will only say this, for myself - and I'd bet most of the Christians here would agree with me - that whenever I encounter a person claiming to be a Christian, and I've either known them a very long time OR I accurately know of their history and actions - and I can't see even the slightest hint that such a person has faith in Christ (they never talk about Him, their entire actions towards others suggests precisely the opposite, and they exhibit not a shred of evidence that Godly values are important to them) - well, with such a person, I always HIGHLY doubt they are truly saved. I'd bet most here would doubt it as well. Now, can I KNOW such a evidence-bereft person is unsaved. No - I can't see into their heart and mind. Plus, it is not my job to judge the truth of their faith or salvation. But I can indeed weigh evidences and probabilities - yet only with human certainty. But this hellish-living "Christian" is not a common sight to me - actually, quite the opposite. He's theoretically possible, but not a certainty - certainly not for me to be able to discern.


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