Do I genuinely love Jesus? – John 21:16
we will obey Him (Mt 3:8, 7:24-27; Mk 12:30; Jn 14:15). Our lifestyle must match what we say. It is not just sufficient to claim we are Christians, we are to prove by what we do that we are His children. There must be qualities of a redeemed life evidenced for “if anyone is in Christ, they are new creature, the old way of life has gone” (2 Cor 5:17). If we really know Jesus, our life will not be characterized by sin and disobedience.
Am I walking in newness of life? – Romans 6:4
our lives, sincerely meaning what we say by corresponding actions, not being like, “The people [who] come near me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Isa 29:13). Jesus called the religious leaders of His day, hypocrites because of their double standards – they gave a false outward impression of godliness while inwardly they were far from righteous (Mt 23:27,28). They were not what they portrayed themselves to be. We must truthfully ask ourselves, to what extent has the gift of salvation I claim to have accepted changed me?
Another indicator that we are genuinely born again is our love for one another (Mk 12:31; Jn 13:35; 1 Jn 3:14,16,17, 4:7,8). This is not just in ‘big’ sacrificial acts but also evidenced by ‘laying down our life’ in little, every day acts of service. Paul wrote to his readers, “Timothy takes a genuine interest in your welfare” (Phil 2:20). Genuine love is expressed in corresponding action – it is more than just nice sentiment (Jas 2:15-17). Do I care deeply for the wellbeing of others or is it just a token gesture? The presence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is another sign of genuine salvation, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (Jn 3:36; 1 Cor 6:19; 1 Jn 3:23,24, 4:13, 5:12). “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Him” (Rom 8:9). “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom 8:15,16). If we are a believer, the Holy Spirit within us will convict us about sin we commit and which can only be pacified by our humble repentance (Jn 16:8; 1 Jn 1:9, 3:20,21). The developing fruit of the Spirit within is evidence that the Holy Spirit is present (Gal 5:22-24).
A further mark of a genuine Christian is that they are committed to follow what the Bible teaches on every issue, not just what is popular to believe. “We have come to know Him if we obey His commands…He who knows God, listens to us [what he and the other apostles had received from Jesus]. He who does not know God, does not listen to us” (1 Jn 2:3-5, 3:18,19, 4:6). “You are members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself as the chief cornerstone” (Eph 2:19,20).
The testing of our faith in Christ through persecution and trials will prove if we are really committed to Christ and have the depth of relationship with Him to sustain us indicating a genuine saving relationship (Mt 13:21; 1 Pet 1:7).
Reviewing this article am I certain that I am genuinely saved, or am I convicted that I am not and will address the issue. While we can mislead people at times, we can never trick God – He knows us better than we know ourselves and it is to Him we must answer.
Where do I stand?
In society today there is much deception in everyday life, evidenced in portraying a 'superficial false image, imitations and counterfeits of what is desirable and true. Am I committed to living with integrity and truthfulness, so people can say of me, 'There is a genuine person, a real Christ follower'.