The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
E. L. Bynum
This is not an article about the plan of salvation; nor is it the Gospel by which you are shown the way of salvation. It has been asked many times that "if you were arrested and charged with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"
It is true that a lot of professing Christians have no hard evidence that they are Christians. Many people have only an empty profession that is void of any real evidence that they have been changed. We realize that none of us are perfect and we all fall short of what we ought to be, but we all should show some signs that we are truly saved.
This is not purposed to show all the characteristics of what can be expected to come into the life of a born again Christians. We have only chosen from the writings of the Apostle John, the Apostle of Love, and a few others, the things that should be evident in our lives.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:27-28)
1. The first evidence is that "My sheep hear my voice." This means that they not only to hear his voice, but they also hearken unto and obey His voice. Many people heard the sound of Jesus' voice but they paid no attention to it. This reminds me of people that go to a service and shake the preachers hand, pray a prayer, and are even baptized, but do not heed the voice of Jesus from His Word.
2. It should be said what God's Word says, "I know them, and they follow me." If they do not follow him in obedience and practice, where is the evidence that Christ knows them? Many professing Christians are going to be like those described in the book of Matthew:
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will l profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23)
These very religious people will face the words of Jesus at the judgment. These will find that they have never been known by God and will be facing an eternal hell simply because they have never been known by God. Yes, He knew about them, but they were never known by Him, nor did they ever follow and obey Him.
The saved are given eternal life and they shall never perish. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."(Romans 8:14) These ones in John 10:27 have been given eternal life and we have the personal word of Jesus that "they shall never perish," and are kept in Jesus' on hand and in the Father's hand. (v. 28-30)
3. The third evidence is that a saved person keeps His Word. "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (I John 2:3-4) The saved will keep the commandments of God. Now we know that none of us can keep every command of God, but at least we are to seriously dedicate ourselves to sincerely try to do so. He is not talking about the Ten Commandments, but all of the Word of God. This truth is proven verse 5, which says they "keepeth his word."
4. The true Christian will walk as Jesus walked. "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (I John 2:6) This as a holy consecrated walk in righteousness and truth. If you are daily walking with HIM, you will have the sweet assurance of your salvation. You cannot walk with Him and walk in the ways of the world.
5. A born again Christian does not love this world. "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. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (I John 2:15-17) Our love should not be for the world, but for the Lord God.
6. The world does not approve of the true Christian. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." (I John 3:1) This world system will not love us much less approve of us. As the Coming of Christ gets closer, we are seeing that more and more the world is rejecting the person who knows God. Churches are under attack and if you do not know this, you must be living in a cave with no means of receiving the news.
7. If you are saved, you will be concerned when you sin. "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (I John 3:3) You will not be satisfied with an impure life, but will seek to be pure "even as he is pure."
8. If we are saved we will love the brethren. "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." (I John 2:9-11) If we cannot love God's children, how can we properly even love Jesus Christ? Of course our brothers and sister are not perfect, but neither are we. Instead of comparing our life to others, we should compare our lives to Christ. If we do that, we will be busy making ourselves better and trying to lift up our fallen brothers. As my mom used to say, we need to sweep around our own door steps. (See I John 3:14-17)
9. You will listen to and embrace the Truth. The true Christian will recognize the truth and will not listen to false teachers that do not teach the truth. "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error" (I John 4:6)
10. He will know and confess that Jesus is the Son of God. "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God." (I John 4:15)
11. A true son of God will have the Witness in himself. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." (I John 5:10)
12. We must walk in the light if we want to have fellowship with Him and have the assurance of Salvation. "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare 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 darkness, we lie, and do not the truth". (I John 1:5-6) This is self-explanatory and makes it plain that we cannot walk in darkness and claim that we walk with God.
13. If you are born again you will know it. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (I John 5:13)
14. A true believer will continue in His Word. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32) People that say they were saved years ago, and yet have neglected Church and lived in the world, have every reason to question their salvation.
15. A child of God will be chastened of the Lord when they sin, if they do not confess that sin and forsake it. "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." (Hebrews 12:6-8) God's children will be chastised when they sin, and if they are not, they are illegitimate children of God. This means that they are not real children of God. (Our readers should open their Bibles to Hebrews 12:1-17 and carefully study it.) "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelation 3:19)
16. A saved person should not be conformed to the world. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:1-2) People who are fitting into the fashion of the world are in great danger. When professing Christians dress like the world, play the music of the world, live like the world, conform to the ways of this sinful world, and cannot not identified with God's people, there is something wrong.
17. A saved person should not serve two masters. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24) You will either serve the Lord or the Devil. You cannot serve both, but the wrong decision could mean your eternal doom.
18. A redeemed child of God is not to wear the unequal yoke. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" (II Corinthians 6:14-15) Yet we find, many so-called Christians, who are yoked up with unbelievers. "Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together." (Deuteronomy 22:10) That would be unequal yoke, so it is wrong for a Christian to be yoked with an unbeliever.
19. Being a friend to this world system is to be an enemy of God. "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4) The adultery here in this verse is talking about spiritual adultery. This applies to a professing Christian who, instead of being a friend to God, is a friend to the world—and this is a dangerous position to be in.
These are only a few of the evidences that show that you are a Christian. There are many others that could be listed as evidence that a person has truly been saved. These things, as I said before at the beginning of this article, do not constitute the way to be saved. These are things that should be evident in the life of a true Christian. It is a shame that the word Christian is used so loosely today.
Many assume that they are Christians because have joined a Church and have been baptized. The way they live does not show that they have any relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Some smoke, drink, dance, listen to rock music, commit a multitude of sins, and falsely claim that they are saved. Others go through the motions of Christianity, but have no reality in their profession.
It is time that Christians live like Christians and quit living like the world. "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (I Peter 1:13-16)