“Are you even a Christian?” You might hear me or one of my children say that to the other in jest. It might be said if one of us arrives late to church. Or falls asleep while reading the Bible. Or mutters when getting cut off by another driver. We both know we are Christians, so we take it as the joke it is meant to be.
But there was a time when I thought I was a Christian, but in fact I was not. It would have been helpful to me at that time to know what a true Christian was, since I was one in name only. Pastor/author John MacArthur (www.gty.org) has developed 11 Biblical tests for genuine salvation based on the book of 1 John, which makes note of a number of characteristics of true believers. If you ever wonder “Am I even a Christian?” I encourage you to consider these questions, which are outlined in more detail HERE.
- Do you enjoy fellowship with God and Christ? (Do you have a love for Them? Do you pray?)
- Are you sensitive to sin in your life? (Are you aware of the spiritual battle going on in your life? Do you seek to refrain from sin?)
- Do you obey God’s word?
- Do you reject this evil world? (Loving the people in it, but not loving vain pursuits and false gods?)
- Do you eagerly await Christ’s return?
- Do you see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life?
- Do you love other Christians?
- Do you receive answers to your prayers?
- Do you experience the ministry of the Holy Spirit? (Illuminating your understanding of Scripture, convicting you when you sin, etc.)
- Do you discern between spiritual truth and error?
- Have you suffered on account of your faith? This could include animosity, rejection, and so much more.
If you do not meet all of these tests, you may be a new believer. If you do not meet them and are not a new believer, you may want to take a look at your life and seek a trusted believer to provide guidance to you. Being able to answer the question “Are you even a Christian?” with a “yes” is truly a life or death response.
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” ( 1 John 5:13 )