Am I truly a Christian or am I lying to myslef? Part 1

Many people will be happy to confess that they are Christians in our country of South Africa. The majority of people, about 80% or more of the population, declares their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Do you confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead? Almost all the time, the answer to this question is Yes. This question comes from Romans 10:9:
Rom 10:9 (ESVST) 

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
This is what the bible says and therefore anyone who confesses with their mouth and believe in their heart, they are indeed saved. Paul says in Corinthians that:
2Co 5:17 (ESVST) 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
So, as a saved person, as someone who has confessed with his mouth and believed in his heart, you are indeed in Christ and therefore a new creation. What does this mean that you are a new creation? Lets look at this. 

Paul says in Corinthians that:
2Co 5:15 (ESVST) 
and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Jesus died and was raised for our sake so that we may no longer live for ourselves but for him.
Rom 14:7-9 (ESVST) 
For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord ‘s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Again here Paul says whether we live or die, we live or die for the Lord. Paul says this is the reason why Jesus died and lived again so that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living. Therefore, it is clear that once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we need to start living a life for him and no longer for us. This means, living a life that reflects that we are a new creation. Living a life that reflects that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. 
Jesus questions why we call him Lord, Lord when we don’t do what he says:
Luk 6:46 (ESVST) 
” Why do you call me ‘ Lord, Lord, ‘ and not do what I tell you?
Jesus said in John 8:31:
Jn 8:31 (ESVST) 
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ” If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
A true disciple of Jesus, is a disciple that continues to abide or remain in Jesus’s word. the opposite is true, if you fail to continue in his word, then you are not truly his disciple. Jesus says in John 14:15 that if we love him, we will keep his commandments. Jesus also says in John 14:23 that if anyone loves him, he will keep his commandments and God will love him. Jesus says in John 15:10 that if we want to remain in his love then we must keep his commandments. Jesus said in John 15:14 that we are his friends if we do what he commands us. Jesus also said in Luke 8:21 that his mother and brothers are those that hear the word of God and do it.
So, clearly Jesus does not only want us to believe in him but he wants us to show that we believe in him by keeping his words, keeping his commandments. It is clear that a continued relationship between us and Jesus is dependant on us continuing to obey his commandments or his word. This is the reason why James said that Faith without works is dead. James challenges anyone to show his faith without works and he will show his faith by his works. This is not to say that you need works to be saved but rather that, you need to show your faith by your works.
Jesus says in Luke 6:43 that a good tree will always produce good fruit and a bad tree bad fruit. He says in Luke 6:45 in explaining this tree parable that,  out of the good treasure of his heart, a good person will produce good and out of his evil treasure, an evil person will produce evil. So, a good heart will always produce good and an evil heart will always produce evil. This can never work vice versa. Whatever comes out of a man’s mouth, reflects the status of his heart.
Paul addressing Timothy said this:
Tit 1:16 (ESVST) 
They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
This is precisely what Jesus is talking about. Those who claim to be Christians but their works reflect an evil unregenerate heart. Those that claim to be Christians but continually and knowingly disobey Jesus’s commands. These are what we call Hypocrites who worship with their lips and not with their hearts as indicated in Mark 7:6
Mar 7:6 (NIV) 
He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
In Eph 2:10, Paul says that we are created in Jesus for good works. In Eph 5:8, he says we are to walk as children of the light. In Eph 5:11, he says we must avoid unfruitful works of darkness and expose them. When speaking to Timothy, Paul said;
Tit 2:7-8 (ESVST) 
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

I could go on and on but, it is clear that good works need to follow a repented and regenerated heart. If anyone claims to have accepted Jesus in their heart, their works must reflect that Jesus is in their heart. James gives us a good summary of what I am saying above:
Jam 1:21-22 (NIV) 

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
John in 1 John 2:6 says that whoever says he abides in Jesus, has to walk in the same way he walked. Jesus commanded us to love, and John in 1 John 3:18, says that we must show our love through our works and in truth.
I cannot say this anymore clearer, if you say that you are a Christian but you do not obey Jesus’s and God’s commandments and you continue to disobey, then you are lying to yourself, you are not saved. This is the reason why Jesus said in Mat 7:21, that it is not those that confess Jesus as Lord that will enter heaven, but those that do the will of God. The will of God is that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and obey him. In John 8:44 Jesus told the Jews that they were sons of the devil because their will was to do the devil’s desires. Then Jesus said in John 8:47 that whoever does not hear God is not of God. So, if you don’t do the will of God then you do the will of the devil and you are of the devil. 
If you are truly saved, you will hate sinning and instead you will love obeying God and avoid sin. John says that a child of God does not keep on sinning. He does not say that a child of God does not sin but, he says that he does not keep on sinning. So, if you look at your life and it reflects a continuous unbroken pattern of sin, then you are not a child of God and are not saved.
A true Christian will sin from time to time but, he will hate the fact that he has sinned and disobeyed God. A true Christian will repent from that sin and ask God to forgive him and help him overcome that sin. A true Christian does not enjoy and justify sinning.

Now, if you find yourself currently in your life living a life contrary to what God has commanded us, if you find yourself living a life of disobedience to the word of God, stop trying to find reasons why you should continue in that kind of life and instead, stop, repent, ask for forgiveness and forsake that kind of life. if you try and twist the word of God so that it accommodates your sinful life then you are just like those that Paul referred to in Romans 1:
Rom 1:21-22 (ESVST) 

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
So, don’t make yourself wise by trying to find a way of justifying your sinful live. Use God’s word as a mirror to your life. If your life is not compatible with God’s word, don’t change the word of God, change your life by surrendering it to God and allowing him to reside in your heart and produce fruits through you. Don’t claim to be a Christian, if you continue, knowingly, to disobey God. On judgement day, you might find yourself among those to whom Jesus said, as in Mat 7:23, I never knew you, depart from me you workers of lawlessness. Remember that if you are a Christians as Paul says, it is no longer you that lives but it is Christ that lives in you. So, let your life reflect that.
Galatians 2:20 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
In the next message, we will look at practical examples of all of the above in our day to day living.
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Posted in False Christians, Selected Scriptures.

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