The Test of a Christian Life

 Many people profess to be Christians with their lips but are they truly followers of Christ? What is the evidence that one is a Christian?

The Bible suggests that you shall know them by their fruits. But just what are these fruits? One place that the Bible shows us the fruits of a life truly “in Christ” is in the first epistle of John. Here the apostle lays out a number of signs that a person is a believer living in the spirit and walking in the footsteps of Jesus.  We can use 1 John as a test for whether we are walking in the light and as a guide for how to grow in spirit and in truth.

Straight out of I John, here are ten examples of the fruits of a Christian life that demonstrate that we are walking the walk with Christ, not just talking the talk.

1. Are we facing up to the fact that we are sinners or do we deny that we sin or that sin even exists? The admission that we are sinners in need of a Savior is the foundation  of the Christian life.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)

2. Are we faithful to the Bible and follow Jesus’ commandments? This assumes that we read and study the Bible, believe that it speaks to us the truth and we obey its instructions.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3)

3. Do we show love for our brothers  and sisters through Christian fellowship?

 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:14-15)

4.  Do we love the things of the world or do we devote ourselves first and foremost to the things of God? If we give priority to anything over and above God, we build an idol and sin against God.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:15-16)

5. Do we profess the truth of the Gospel and the truth that is Jesus Christ? True Christians will never be ashamed of Jesus Christ and the Truth of the Bible.

Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:22-23)

6. Is our walk with Jesus evidenced by the total change in our lives that the Holy Spirit effected in us at salvation?  The biggest change is that we no longer “keep on sinning.” We still sin, but we demonstrate our new faith by repentance, by turning away from our sins.

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.(1 John 5:18)

7. Does the world hate us? If we are in Christ we should expect to be treated just as he was treated by the world.

Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. (1 John 3:13)

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. (John 15:18)

8. Are we filled with fear and anxiety about our lives and our future? True faith is marked by trust in Jesus and his plan for each of us. That assurance that God is in control produces in us a spirit of peace and joy.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:16)

9. Are our prayers answered? God answers prayers that are in accord with his will and when we are obedient to his word. When we are obedient, we can trust God that he is faithful in his promises.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.(1 John 5:14-15)

10. Do we have understanding? The world does not and cannot understand what the Truth is. They cannot recognize Jesus as the Way and Truth and the Life. As believers, we understand the things of God. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the word of God, the Bible, becomes a light to our lives.

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:20)

For those who truly walk the walk in Christ, God promises nothing short of total victory over the world:

 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5)

Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 10:08 am  Comments (2)