How does a Christian make sure he is a Christian? Is it because he was raised in a Christian home with God-loving parents, or is it because he continued the tradition by attending church every Sunday? Maybe, he was even baptized as an infant, or he consistently serves/volunteers for the needy and faithfully tithes. While all these are important, none will create a path to Jesus. The answer to the question is actually found in the word, Christian which literally means, “belonging to the party of Christ” or a “follower of Christ.”1
A Christian knows he is a Christian because he knows Who he follows. Without accepting God’s Word and Jesus’ claims (I could write a book on all the statements pointing to Christ being the Messiah- Oh, Wait! The Bible already exists 😊), a person cannot be confident in his salvation. The second a person believes, accepts, and relies on Jesus for his forgiveness of sins, is the minute he is guaranteed a room in eternity (John14:2-3). Even the thief on the cross turned to Jesus for mercy and received a place in paradise (found in Matthew, Luke, & Mark).
Remember, another person cannot tell you whether or not you are a Christian. That truth is between you and your Creator. He knows everyone’s heart, motives, actions-for He sees everything (Proverbs 5:21). Ultimately, each person will stand before God and give an account for the Bible says every knee will bow (Romans 14:11& 12), and NOT just the ones who embrace the faith. Therefore, it is an individual’s responsibility to receive Christ and develop more and more like Him each day. Disappointingly, some believers get themselves into trouble when they “doubt or question” someone else’s authenticity. For example, have you ever heard someone say (or maybe you have even echoed these words in your own head), “How can she be a Christian? Look at the way she is dressed!” Or “He is definitely not a Christian because he was unfaithful to his wife.” Or “They do not go to church.”
Moreover, when a Christian falls into sinful behavior, sadly, it is sometimes believers who criticize more harshly. Perhaps, pointing at another’s sinful conduct will somehow makes them think they are not so terrible. Yet, remember it is Satan who wants to deceive you and make you think there are levels of sin. Specifically, a little white lie; receiving money for work under-the-table; gossiping; or even excess of food, alcohol, movies, and exercise separate us from a Holy God. Almost anything out of balance can become an idol in our hearts.
As we celebrated the birth of Christ this past week, and we will shortly bring in a much-needed New Year, take a moment to consider your own Christ Meter. The baby born in the manger came to take away ALL the sins of the world (1John 2:2). Do not mistake your short-comings as little hiccups that are NOT as “horrible” as the unmarried neighbors who live together or the coworker who has a nasty attitude. In God’s eyes, we ALL fall-short from His Holiness, and NOT ONE is acceptable to stand before God – that is without Jesus. His sacrifice (Easter celebration) allows us to approach the throne-Spotless.
Henceforth, in 2021 make a decision to focus on your own path with Christ and let Christ handle His relationship with others. When you love God and love others as yourself (Mark12:30-31), your Christian Meter remains boiling hot.
1. What is a Christian? | GotQuestions.org