Should Christians identify themselves by wearing gold crosses, or putting a fish on the bumper of their car? Are there some identifying marks by which you can be quite sure who is and who isn’t? In this series, I’ve mentioned four intangibles of the heart which indicate quite clearly that you have become a follower of Jesus Christ. Those marks are commitment, conversion, confession and change.
The third mark of a true Christian is CONFESSION, which means that you have run up your flag, that you have identified with His cause. It means you are no longer a secret believer, you openly acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Savior. Here’s what Jesus said. “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whosoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32,33).
Can I be a Christian without confessing Jesus Christ as my Savior? Or can I confess Jesus along with Mohammed, or Buddha, or along with Mary Baker Eddy or with some other religious leader? Do I have to put all my money on Him alone? Jesus answered that question in such a manner that there is no room for doubt. He said, “I am the way, and the truth and the life: no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Luke said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Paul said that a true Christian is one who confesses Jesus Christ alone. He wrote that “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
The person who is uncommitted and hesitates to really be identified is usually miserable, torn by uncertainty and doubt. He doesn’t know where he stands and is confused. If you are like that, friend, cross over the line and confess Jesus as your Lord and your Savior. Go public with your commitment.
The fourth mark of a true Christian is CHANGE. When you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and are born again–all of which takes place instantly as you confess Him and trust Him–Jesus Christ comes to indwell your heart and life. He said, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). This means that Jesus Christ becomes part of your life, your thinking, your goals and your future. He becomes your Lord, and when that happens, new life begins to affect your old life. You begin to change as God’s Holy Spirit begins to work in your heart. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,” says Paul, “he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Would you say, based on these four marks, that you are a true Christian? Or would you say that you have doubts as to whether you understand what this is all about? Don’t go on wondering. If there is any doubt in your mind, pray a simple prayer right now, saying, “Lord Jesus, I want to follow You. I believe that You are the one who lived, died, and rose again. I forsake my sinful self and bow at Your feet. Erase any doubt from this point on that I have trusted You. I believe in You and freely confess You this moment. In Jesus’ name, amen!”
If you prayed that prayer, welcome to the family.
Resource Reading: John 3:22-36
Text: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,” says Paul, “he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – September 20, 2017