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In this day and age almost everyone claims to be a Christian. I head about a survey in which over 75% of everyone who lived in the United States claimed to be a Christian, Spirit filled or born again. Many people base their belief about being a Christian on church membership, being baptized, agreement on some point of doctrine, an experience with God, or saying a sinners prayer. Many people think that just by believing the facts of the Gospel they are Christians.
The Bible commands everyone to examine himself to see if he has true faith in Christ. II Cor. 13:5 "Examine yourselves, test and prove yourself, to make certain that you really are in the faith; prove your own selves. You need to know for you own self if Christ Jesus Christ is living within you, for if not, then you are only a reprobate."
The bible makes it clear that many are so deceived about their Christianity that Christ, had to tell them Himself.
Matt. 7:21-23 "Not every one who says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity."
Many people are so sure that they are born again that they rarely question it. This deception is a horrible thing because the deceived person really believes that he is in right standing with God. There are multitudes of people who are really headed to hell but are positive they are truly born again believers. Since these people consider themselves Christians and feel safe, they will do nothing about their salvation.
One reason so much deception exists is that people compare themselves to others or to a false standard. II Cor. 10:12b "but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." A person can honestly believe he is right and be totally wrong. Many people have the wrong idea of right and wrong, or good and evil. Even in the churches of today there are many different standards taught.
Imagine what would happen if a group of carpenters who were all working the same building used measuring devices that varied. The work of each would measure up only to his own standard, yet the whole project would be wrong. The work would meet their own standard, but the standard itself is wrong and deception occurs. Many who claim to be Christians are using a false measuring device to check themselves out.
You can know for certain today if you are truly a Christian or not.
1 John 5:11-13 "And this is the witness, that God has given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life: he that has not the Son of God has not life. These things have I written to you that you may know that you have eternal life who believe on the name of the Son of God."
It is important that you look at what the word of God says concerning Christianity. The word is the only standard that can be used to see if you measure up to it. Yes you can know, if you are in the true faith or not but before you consider this, you must look at the things John wrote so you CAN know for certain. Look again what John says, "these things have I written to you that you may know that you have eternal life."
Start looking at the things John wrote so you can know for a fact if you are a Christian or not.
Please prayfully look what the Word says and then see if you measure up to this standard. Even if you are very certain that you are a Christian take time to look at what the Word of God tells us about the True Christian. I can not think of a more serious subject you could consider.>
1. If you have fellowship with God you will walk in the light and practice and obey the truth.
1 John 1:5-7 "And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not practice and obey the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
2. If you confess your sins, you will not only be forgiven but also cleansed form all your unrighteousness. If you say or think that you have never sinned you are lost.
I John 1:8-10 "If we say that we have never sinned, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have never sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."
3. John wrote these things so that you do not sin. If you sin and are a Christian then you have Jesus Christ as your Advocate. Please note that this verse says IF you sin, not when you sin.
1 John 2:1 "My little children, these things write I unto you that you may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
4. If you know God you WILL keep His commandments.
1 John 2:3 "And hereby we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments."
5. You may say that you are a true believer but if you do not keep His commandments then you do not have Christ and you are a liar.
1 John 2:4 "He that says, I know him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him"
6. You can know that you are in Him ONLY if you KEEP and OBEY His word.
1 John 2:5 "But whosoever keeps His word, in Him verily has the love of God been perfected. Hereby we know that we are in Him:
7. If you say that you are in the light you must not hate anyone.
1 John 2:9-11 "He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not whither he goes, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes."
8. You can not love the world if are in Christ.
1 John 2:15 " Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
9. If you are born of God you WILL practice righteousness.
1 John 2:29 "If you know that He is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness has been born from God."
10. You will keep yourself pure.
1 John 3:3 "And everyone who has this hope based on Him keeps himself pure, just as He is pure."
11. If you keep living in sin and practice disobedience then you are NOT in Him.
1 John 3:4 "Everyone who keeps living in sin also practices disobedience. In fact, sin is disobedience.
12. Christ came to take away your sins. The whole point of salvation is to transform you into His likeness.
1 John 3:5 "You know that He was revealed to take away sins, and there is not any sin in Him.
13. You don't really know Him at all if you continue in sin after you claim you believe.
1 John 3:6 "No one who remains in Him goes on sinning. The one who goes on sinning hasn't seen Him or known Him.
14. You are deceived if you claim to be a Christian but do not practice righteousness.
1 John 3:7 "Little children, don't let anyone deceive you. The person who practices righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous."
15. If you practice sin you belong to the devil.
1 John 3:8 "The person who practices sin belongs to the evil one, because the devil has been sinning since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God was revealed was to destroy the works of the devil."
16. This is a very clear statement. If you go on sinning you are NOT born of God.
1 John 3:9 "No one who has been born from God practices sin, because God's seed abides in him. Indeed, he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born from God.
17. This is how to tell if you are truly God's child or the Devil's. Do you practice righteousness and love all others?
1 John 3:10 "This is how God's children and the devil's children are distinguished and made clear. No person who fails to practice righteousness and to love his brother is from God."
18. Do you love others the way Christ does?
1 John 3:14-15 "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death. Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in Him."
19. We know He lives in us if we KEEP His Commandments.
1 John 3:24 "And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.
20. If we love one another, God dwells in us and we have His Spirit.
1 John 4:12-13 "No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and he in us, because He has given us His Spirit."
21. Do you KEEP His commandments and love others?
1 John 5:1-3 "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. If we love the One who conceives the child, we'll surely love the child who was conceived. By this we know that we love the children of God, whenever we love God and keep His commandments and His commandments are not burdensome."
22. It is simple. There are only two possibilities. Either you have Christ living inside you or you do not. If you really have The life of Christ inside you, you will KEEP AND OBEY His commands. Do not be deceived!
1 John 5:11-12 "And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life: and he that does not have the Son of God does not have life."
23. If you are truly born again, you will not continue to sin.
1 John 5:18 "We know that every one begotten of God does not sin, but he that has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him."
Now look at some other verses in the Bible.
Are you really doing His will?
Matt. 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
John 14:15 "If you love me, keep my commandments."
John 14:21 "He that has my commandments, and keeps and obeys them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."
John 15:10 "If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in His love."
2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come."
James 2:8-10 "If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love your neighbor as yourself, you do well: But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
James 1:22-25 "But be a doer of the word, and not a hearer only, deceiving your own selves. For if you are a hearer of the word, and not a doer, you are like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
John 15:4-6 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
Romans 6:6-7 "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Romans 6:14 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace."
Romans 6:22 "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Gal. 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
1 John 5:2 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments."
Matt. 7:16-27 "You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will compare him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be compared unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
This article is a result of my own past deception. I strongly believed I was a Christian and had much evidence to prove it. I was very active in the church and even had a ministry in evangelism. I was also training for missionary work. My own deception lasted more than twelve years. God had to place me in serious circumstances before my certainty was broken. I spent much time in seeking God, praying and Bible study. I was very serious with God and was willing to do all that was necessary to be right with Him. He lovingly dealt with me until I knew I was not a true Christian and the reason. I then went through a very painful and slow process of unlearning everything I thought I knew about God and His gospel.
I had gone forward in a church, and asked Jesus Christ into my heart and life as my personal Savior. I embraced the doctrines and practices of Christianity. I confessed that Jesus Christ was Lord. All this was in vain for I had never received Christ's Life inside me. I was still living for myself and had done all this from a purely selfish heart. I wanted to go to heaven and still be free to sin.
Words do not save anyone nor do deeds. Salvation is only possible under the conditions of faith and repentance, which is giving up all selfishness. Confessing and claiming to be a Christian will never make a sinner a Christian. A sinner can call Christ Lord without actuality ever submitting to His lordship.
When I had doubts or fears concerning my salvation I went to several pastors and church leaders and they all assured me that I was already really a Christian. Some said I was under the attack of the devils lies. Not one of them showed me what the word of God said what a true Christian was so I could judge for myself if I measured up or not. Do not let anyone ever tell you that you are a Christian. They can only see your outward actions. They cannot see your heart. You must examine yourself, to test and prove yourself, to make certain that you really are in the faith. You must prove it to yourself.
Many people think they are Christians already because they know the facts of the gospel. A person can really know and believe these gospel facts without receiving any godly results or benefits at all. Even the devils believe and know these facts.
James 2:19 "If you believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble."
These people claim to truly believe but they have no true obedience to God. Many are deceived.
Ezek. 33:31 "And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness."
Isa. 29:13 "Wherefore the Lord said, forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of man."
James 1:22-25 "But be a doer of the word, and not a hearer only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
I John 3:2-8 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
True faith must believe to such a degree that it actually receives what God offers by taking the necessary action. True obedience must spring forth from faith. Each person must take God at His Word. The problem is, many people think they believe God's word but their experience proves otherwise. True faith always will prove itself in true works.
Do not fall into deception. If Jesus Christ is your King and Lord you will obey and follow him.
John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"
John 3:36 "He that believeth on the Son has eternal life; but he that does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him."
I John 2:4 "The one who says, 'I know Him' but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
A person can acknowledge the teachings of Christ. He may believe and know all the facts of the gospel without ever receiving Christ life. He can practice "Christianity" and follow religious traditions and rituals without ever experiencing the true life of Christ. True Christianity is not just knowing biblical facts, or the practice of Christian traditions and rituals. True Christianity is KNOWING and HAVING Christ. Real Christianity is the very life and essence of Jesus Christ living and dwelling within the believer.