Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How can you tell if someone is a REAL Christian According to Jesus

As I explained in my last post on this matter entitled "How can you tell if someone is a REAL Christian" anyone can claim anything but that in NO WAY they ARE what they claim.

 A 'circle' can by no means, in any way, BE a 'square' by definition of its existence.  If, for example, a circle had a brain and was jealous about how many friends Mr. Square had and wanted to be him, then He could claim to be, but still, by definition CAN NOT BE and IS NOT despite his claims.

 That brings me to where we are now, WHO DEFINES what IS and ISN'T a CHRISTIAN? Its simple. The person who DEFINED 'CHRISTIAN' and that person would be JESUS.

Get ready people because this is going to be an exhaustive detailed study and a VERY IMPORTANT issue that has faced humanity sense day 1. This is LONG.  This is DETAILED.  But if you really want to know TRUTH, it is all laid out bellow here:
I can see it now, here come all the attacks by 'offended' "Christians" that I'm being "judgmental" but let me put that ignorance to a rest before it even starts.  This is not saying anyone is going to hell, this not judging anyone's' soul.  That is what God WILL do later.  Who knows, people who once thought they were "Christan" might realize THEY AREN'T and THEN change their life and become a REAL Christian.  Just like that saying goes "if the shoe fits, wear it." but that doesn't mean you can't try on a new pair of shoes!

WHAT JESUS SAID

 Even Jesus points out this issue of false 'christians' verses REAL Christians:

"These people honor me with their lips,
   but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
   their teachings are merely human rules. "

 The parable of Ten Virgins hit on this exact issue (Matthew 25:1)

Some unnamed person asked a very important question as well: “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” Then Jesus addressed that person and everyone around saying "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." - Luke 13:22-25

"Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven" - Matt 7:21 "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ - Matt 7:22-23

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine AND puts them into PRACTICE is like a wise man who built his house on the rock...But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand." Matt 7:24-27, Luke 6:46

So how does JESUS define HIS TRUE FOLLOWERS?

TRUE SAVING FAITH

We'll start with Jesus' response to a Jewish leader (who was not a believer) talking about simply having the knowledge of God isn't enough and explains deeper in John 3:1-16.  "“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” and then goes on to say "that whoever believes in him [Jesus] shall not perish but have eternal life." So RIGHT HERE we can use our God given brains and the Laws of Logic to use deductive reasoning to find the TRUTH that CHRISTIANS are BORN AGAIN because they BELIEVE in GOD'S ONLY SON.


But two very important questions spring up.
  1. What does "born again" mean?
  2. What does it mean to believe IN Jesus?

Jesus went a little deeper in the born again question by saying “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

Being born again is having a SPIRITUAL BIRTH.  Making REAL Christians ALIVE in the Spirit because of their genuine belief in Jesus as God's son.  The reason for this new birth is because no one on planet earth (except Jesus) were ever born with it to start with.  This also begins their TRUE relationship with God. In John 14:5-24 Jesus gives us one of the greatest statements in the history of the universe;  

"I am the way and the truth and THE life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

That is a HUGE statement that makes the world either love him or hate him. NO one can say "He's not God, but he was a good teacher"... Jesus' statement, if it was false, would make him a NUT CASE LIRE.  There is no middle ground.  But that brings me back to the issue of people who CLAIM TO KNOW HIM.

BORN AGAIN

ROMANS 8:1-17 is awesome for this issue as well. Paul did a good job touching on this issue. "who (people saved by Jesus) do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." and here's the kicker "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." and a bold statement to the world " Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God." Then Paul goes on to address the Roman church directly reinforcing what Jesus taught "if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ." and then Paul masterfully sums everything up with this compelling statement "Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live."

WHAT DOES ALL OF THAT MEAN? Its simple.  Being BORN AGAIN is being Spiritually Born and that new birth changes your life.  REAL Christians have been Spiritually born and that has changed their life from being and living like the world to being and living FOR JESUS.

2 Corinthians 5:1-20 is a beast of a letter too, touching on this issue.  "Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling," REAL Christians "long" to have that relationship with God and make decisions according to what they love.  Now this is a verse that gets taken out of context on a regular basis "For we live by faith, not by sight." What Paul is saying there is we live by faith IN THE SPIRIT and the BELIEF IN JESUS and not what we see, hear, and smell in this corrupted world. Its this FAITH that causes us have different goals, desires, and intentions than the false christians "So we make it our goal to please HIM" Not ourselves, not our pets, not our family or friends... but our focus in life is to ONLY PLEASE GOD. "he (Jesus) died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." And now the good application to the definition of BORN AGAIN:

"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"

DEEDS AND WORKS

2 Timothy 3:1-9 is brutal truth.  "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people... They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth... But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. "  These people are the ones who are NOT BORN AGAIN but have a 'form' of godliness... but not genuine and it will be obvious.

Titus 1:10-16 is the go-to message on this very issue:  "...To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good." I don't even need to comment on that verse, its pretty self explanatory.

James 2:14-25 brings up the EVIDENCE and PROOFS of a REAL CHRISTIAN issue.  "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?...In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead...As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."  This is NOT saying deeds and works will save you; it IS saying that deeds and works are evidences and proofs OF YOUR FAITH and being saved.  In other words, if you claim to have faith, your works and deeds WILL REFLECT WHERE YOUR HEART REALLY STANDS.

Just having the knowledge of God DOES NOT MAKE YOU CHRISTIAN.  Satan and demons know about God, but they do NOT have a relationship with him. "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." - James 2:19.

1 John 2:3 is also important on this topic. "3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did."

PRODUCING SPIRITUAL FRUIT

Another thing that ONLY REAL Christians can do is produce spiritual fruit.  False chrisitans who are not spiritually alive cannot.  But everyone produces some kind of fruit, either holy or unholy.  “Fruit” is a manifestation of what is in our heart and God tells us where our heart stands can be “obvious” and that we can “recognize” them (false christians) by their fruit.

“They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them….every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” – Matthew 15-20. 

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” – Matthew 12:33-35

Jude 1:12 states: “These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.”

Galatians 5:16-25 draws the line between fruit of the flesh and fruit from the spirit.  “16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want… 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. “

 CONCLUSION

After all that detail on false truths and truth we come to the definition of who is and is not Christian all by what the author of the definition has said:

A REAL CHRISTIAN INDIVIDUAL (according to Jesus Christ): (1) has come to repent and BELIEVE, have a relationship with, and literally follow Jesus Christ as Lord and savior over that individuals’ life. This relationship causes the individual to become (2) BORN AGAIN, by The Holy Spirit, and (3) able to produce Godly spiritual fruit manifested by their works and deeds because of, and evidence for, their genuine saving faith.

Notice how there is no mention of perfection.  Notice how the definition begins with repentance.  Repentance is the admission of wrong doing.  REAL Christians are Christian because THEY KNOW they ARE NOT PERFECT and are in NEED of a savior.  The relationship and following Jesus is not perfect but the fact of HAVING a relationship with Jesus and fighting to follow him is LOVE.


SO if someone DOES NOT produce Godly fruit, and does not strive to follow Jesus Christ and his commandments in their life with works and deeds, they are simply NOT BORN AGAIN and NOT CHRISTIAN.  No matter what they say, claim, or their excuse or arguments are.

I AM A SINNER. I have given up my fleshly desires and fight them daily.  I have repented for my sins and invited Jesus Christ into my life to be my Lord and to save me from myself (April 14 2009).  My life, heart, and mind has changed and I AM BORN AGAIN.  Because I have the Holy Spirit in me and guiding me I now produce all kinds of Godly fruit in my life for His glory and THAT is how I KNOW I HAVE SAVING FAITH. I AM A REAL CHRISTIAN.

I didn’t define it, but I hopefully helped it make more sense in your own life.  My opinion on the matter and your opinion on the matter… doesn’t matter.  It’s what Jesus said and that’s all that matters.  Hate me, thank me, argue or agree with me, whatever… read it and study it for yourself.

Now people will say, "But WHY do we need to know this?" or "Why does anyone have to bring this up and point this out?"

I thought about these important questions as well. Read the blog post about that.

WHY DO WE NEED TO KNOW WHO IS AND IS NOT SAVED?

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