How can I know that I’m a Christian? This is a question most of us have faced at one time or another, and even if we have not asked it ourselves, it’s likely that someone has asked for our help in wrestling through it. I recently came across an article from Michael McKinley that provides an interesting counter-question: How Can I know that I’m not a Christian?
In II Corinthians 13:5, the apostle Paul commands his readers: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
OK, that seems straightforward enough. But what does it mean to examine yourself? What should you be looking for? How do you know whether or not you are “in the faith”? What is the “test” that we might fail? I wrote Am I Really a Christian? in order to try to help answer these questions.
Well, we should all hope that we pass “the test” (again, Paul’s words, not mine!). And Scripture gives us a few things to look for that would indicate that in fact we are not “in the faith”. A few examples:
You’re not a Christian if you don’t believe true doctrine: “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.” (I John 4:2-3)
You’re not a Christian if you enjoy sin: “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (I John 2:4-6)
You’re not a Christian if you don’t persevere: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been... To continue reading, click here