According to the Bible how can a true Christian be recognized?
Some say there is no difference between a Christian and an unsaved soul. The only difference according to them is that one has been forgiven by God while the other has not.
Let us see what the Scriptures have to say about this. In fact let us see what Jesus has to say about that.
- Lord, how can I recognize a true Christian?
Matt 7:16-20 “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” NIV
Wow! This is quite clear. A person cannot pretend to be a Christian and bear the fruit of worldliness! One cannot freely sin and pretend to be a Christian. The same is true about trees. “Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit”.
- But wait a minute, wasn’t Jesus referring here to false prophets?
I believe Jesus was referring to anyone who pretended to be a Christian, as it is clearly shown in the following verses.
Matt 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 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 perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' NIV
And again Jesus confirms that His words are applicable to all those who pretend to be a Christian:
Matt 7:24-27 "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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation 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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." NIV
It is clear from this context that a true Christian can only be recognized by his/her fruit. Only if someone is grafted in Jesus can that person bear fruit!
John 15:4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” NIV
No one can live a life of sin and pretend to be a true Christian! Only when one remains in Jesus, can that person “bear fruit”. There is no other way! We can’t bear fruit by ourselves. Jesus is the One who makes it possible for us to bear fruit.
But what kind of fruit is Jesus talking about here?
Jesus explains Himself a bit further:
John 15:12-17 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.” NIV
The fruit Jesus is talking about here is the fruit of true love. Without being in Jesus, one cannot truly love. The best example is when someone really hurts you. If you do not have Christ in you, it is really hard, if not impossible, to forgive that person. However, when Jesus abides in you, this becomes an easy task. Love becomes a constant in your life.
This is confirmed in 1 John 4:8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” NIV
- Does that mean that I can continue to sin as I much as I want, as long as I love others?
Not really. How can one love someone if one robs him/her from his/her goods? How can one truly love someone if one covets his/her spouse? How can one love someone if one plans to murder him/her? The list could go on and on and on.
Let us but this at rest by quoting:
Col 3:8-10 “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” NIV
Once you become a Christian your old self is gone! Jesus has come to live in you and you are leading a new life of victory! Hallelujah!
Those who pretend they can continue to go on with their sinful ways, a fateful destination is awaiting them: Gal 5:19-21 “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 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 God.” NIV
However, those who live according to God’s will, will bear fruit and will inherit heaven through the merits of Jesus Christ! Gal 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” NIV
Does one bear immediately this kind of fruit when one accepts Jesus into one’s life?
Col 1:6 “All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth”. NIV
Eph 4:15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” NIV
When we accept Jesus into our life, we receive all of Jesus’ promises in seed form. All of His promises are available to us. We have to make sure we stay focused on Jesus who will help the germination of that seed that will lead to the fulfillment of all it’s wonderful promises: roots, leaves and eventually juicy fruit.
If you are no there yet, don’t despair! Instead continue to contemplate Jesus. Heb 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” NIV He will make that seed germinate in your life. He is the one who will make you victorious! Hallelujah! 1 Cor 15:57 “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” NIV
Will you join me and turn your eyes to Jesus who is the One who will make you victorious? Accept His call at http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html and enjoy the One who really does love you. Won’t you do this now? Join the ranks of those who are neither religious nor legalistic, but are true Christians as they are the ones who follow truly Jesus in word and example.
Roy Robertson was a soldier at Pearl Harbor in 1941: "My ship, the West Virginia, docked at Pearl Harbor on the evening of December 6, 1941. A couple of the fellows and I left the ship that night and attended a Bible study. About fifteen sailors sat in a circle on the floor. The leader asked us to each recite our favorite Scripture verse. In turn each sailor shared a verse and briefly commented on it.
I sat there in terror. I grew up in a Christian home, went to church three times a week, but I couldn't recall a single verse. Finally, I remembered one verse - John 3:16. I silently rehearsed it in my mind. The spotlight of attention grew closer as each sailor took his turn. It was up to the fellow next to me. He recited John 3:16. He took my verse! As he commented on it I sat there in stunned humiliation. In a few moments everyone would know that I could not recall from memory even a single verse. Later that night I went to bed thinking, 'Robertson, you're a fake.'
At 7:55 the next morning I was awakened by the ship alarm ordering us to battle stations. 360 planes of the Japanese Imperial Fleet were attacking our ship and the other military installations. My crew and I raced to our machine gun emplacement, but all we had was practice ammunition. So for the first fifteen minutes of the two-hour battle, we only fired blanks hoping to scare the Japanese airplanes.
As I stood there firing fake ammunition I thought, 'Robertson, this is how your whole life has been - firing blanks for Christ.' I made up my mind as Japanese bullets slammed into our ship, "If I escape with my life, I will get serious about following Jesus." Roy Robertson did get serious. He became the first missionary of "The Navigators" and did a lot of work with Billy Graham as well.
By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2003, Devotional E-Mail DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a very good question. I pray that the Lord will open the eyes of our
understanding on this matter. According to Matthew 7:15 - 20, Jesus said "Beware
of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are
ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of
thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit;
but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth
evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that
bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by
their fruits ye shall know them." Jesus also said to "Let your light so shine
before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is
in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) In Galatians 5:19 - 24, the apostle Paul says "Now
the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication,
uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations,
wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings,
and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time
past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they
that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
By showing the love of Jesus Christ! It is the kind of love that we must have
for all men – even our enemies (Matt. 5:44). The Christian must always act out
of love, i.e., in the best interest of his fellow human beings.
A true Christian can be recognized by their fruits. The fruits of the spirit
are as follows: love, joy, peace, kindness, self-control, to name a few. A true
Christian's fruits are that of the spirit. The fruits of the spirit can be
located in Ephesians...
By walking by faith and living according to His Words, a true Christian is
recognized as the glory of God permeates from his day-to-day living.
"...Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kindom of heaven.", NKJV. Christ makes it clear that to be a true Christian one must have the unquestioning faith of a little child in his parent. Christ's entire life was one of unquestioning faith in His Father, His Parent. The true Christian will desire to duplicate His example. As Christ was filled with the Holy Spirit, (which gave Him the power to be absolutely obedient) "...He took the lowest place, and let himself be put to death, even the death of the cross.", BBE, so we must be filled with the Holy Spirit that we, also, may have the moral and will power to be obedient to all God's requirements.
Our death, on a cross or by any other manner, will avail nothing. We deserve
death because "...all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Rom.
3:23, KJV, and "...the wages of sin is death;" (but He didn't stop there He
said) "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom.
6:23, KJV. God, our Father, "...so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have
everlasting life" Jn.3:16, KJV. Therefore, a True Christian will be recognized
by his love of God. How does one demonstrate his love of God? Christ said "If ye
love me, keep my commandments". Jn. 14:15, KJV. Jesus also said, "He that saith,
I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in
him" 1Jn. 2:4, KJV. It will never be difficult to recognize a true Christian
because there will be total obedience to God's commandments, the first four
demonstrating his love for God and the last six demonstrating his love for his
As man sees only the outward appearance the only way we will know other
Christians is by their actions, or fruit. Jesus said a good tree produces good
fruit and he also said 'if you love Me keep my commandments'
The 5th to last book of the New Testament, 1 John, is written as an answer to
this question. John, the author, is very right brained so it is written in an
artistic style as opposed to a logical style. Therefore, ,you have to read the
whole 5 chapters to really get the answers. Near the end of it though, he says
he wrote it so that we may know that we have eternal life!
A true Christian can be recognized by his fruit. John 14 or 15.
By the fruit they produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Those who have nailed their natural
evil desires to his cross and crucified them there and living by the Holy
By their fruits.
You will know them by their fruit.
A true Christian is also someone who follow the ten commandments that is all ten and not trying to find any excuses for not keeping one. His life should be base on following God and walking in the footsteps of Jesus, so thus a Christian is someone who has soul winning as his utmost desire.
By his good behaviour that displays the qualities Jesus had.,
A Christian (a real one) can be recognized by his/her fruits. Matthew 715-19.
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The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.