The Bible explains that a True Christian is someone who bears recognisable fruit, which looks different from the old sinful man.
A person who is saved is someone who received a new nature, and there should therefore be changes in that person’s life that is evident of their conversion.
Hebrews 6:9 speaks of “… things that accompany salvation.”
For the purpose of this post, there are at least 3 irrefutable traits of a True Christian which forms part of the things that accompany salvation. These can serve as a checklist to evaluate yourself and to see if you are truly in the faith (see 2 Corinthians 13:5).
1. Forsaking A Sinful Lifestyle
Whenever repentance was preached, the forsaking of a sinful lifestyle was also preached.
Jesus said in Matthew 3:8, “So produce fruit that is consistent with repentance [demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin]”
… and to the woman caught in the act of adultery He said, “Go and sin no more!”
As a Christian you have the ability to live a life that is not ruled by the old sinful nature, even though temptation might knock at your door from time to time. Even so, the Bible warns the temptation is real, and the danger of falling for the temptation should not be ignored.
True Christians should always seek to escape temptation and to not fall into sin. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 says that God will provide a way out when the temptation comes.
Being a Christian does not mean you are perfect and won’t sin again. However, there should be a desire to live a life free from sin.
Romans 6:20 explains that the unsaved are slaves to sin, with no desire to conform to God’s will. However, Romans 6:14 explains that when you are saved, sin will no longer be a master over you.
2. A Desire For Others To Be Saved
Romans 6:23 says the wages for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ.
A Christian is someone who knows what they have been saved from. We have been saved from death, and we have been saved from hell.
When you realise what eternal damnation God saved you from, why would you not want others to be saved as well?
If you are on a plane knowing that the plane is about to crash, but discover there are enough parachutes for everyone so all could be spared, would you not want to tell the rest about the parachutes too? If no one else wants a parachute because they don’t see why, wouldn’t you want to warn them about the coming crash?
The Bible says in 2 Peter 3:9 that it is not the will of God that any should perish.
Philippians 2:13 says that when you are saved, God is working in you and through you, giving you the desire to work according to His will and desire.
Jesus made clear what His will is when He gave us the Great Commission, commanding us to preach the gospel to all nations.
Here is what we know:
• We know that God does not want any to perish
• We know that God works in us so our will can be aligned with His will
• We know it is His will for the Gospel to be preached, so that others can be saved
In Psalm 51 – the Psalm of David’s repentance – we see that a desire to tell others about salvation is a natural outflow of someone who has been saved.
In Psalm 51:12-14 we read,
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. 13Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted and return to You. 14Rescue me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will sing joyfully of Your righteousness and Your justice.
Here is the progression:
• God saves us
• God gives us a willing spirit
• We teach a lost world about God’s ways
• Sinners respond to the Gospel and are also saved
If you do not have a desire for others to be saved, you might need to ask the Lord for a willing spirit, as David prayed. It might also be worth reading the post where I asked the question, Are You A False Christian?
Charles Spurgeon said,
Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.
Which born-again believer can disagree with what Spurgeon said? How can anyone who experienced the saving grace of God keep it for themselves? How can anyone be happy to have been saved from eternal hell and not want to share the gospel with others and hope they will be rescued from hell as well?
3. A Slave To Christ
True Christians no longer live for themselves, but they live lives that are in accordance with the will of God.
Romans 6:22 says that since we have been set free from sin, we are now also willing slaves to God…
Romans 10:9 says that when we confess Jesus as Lord, we are saved…
A Lord is someone who rules over you. A True Christian is someone who acknowledges Jesus as Lord, and willingly submits to His rule over their life.
As Galatians 2:20 says, we have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer us who live, but Christ who lives in us.
In Luke 6:46 Jesus asked, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not practice what I tell you?”
Here are a few examples of what Jesus told us to do:
• Jesus told us to sin no more
• Jesus taught us to love our neighbours like He loves us
• Jesus showed us how to pray for our enemies
• Jesus told us to submit to the authorities
Jesus also told us to go into the world and preach the Gospel!
This is why Jesus said, if we want to be His disciples we must pick up our cross and follow Him.
A True Christian lives for Christ. God’s will comes before our own will. We therefore have the desire for others to be saved, and play our part in fulfilling the Great Commission.
When we don’t feel like it, we ask God to give us a willing spirit.
And then we obey.