A true Christian:


1. Believes that Jesus is Lord: This is the pre-eminent characteristic of a true Christian because salvation hinges on it (Romans 10:9; Philippians 2:11). Marked by:

  • The public confession of faith (Matthew 10:32).
  • A willingness to accept that God is the creator, not the 'evolver' of all (Romans 1:18-20).
  • A desire to disciple and be discipled.
  • A love for and determination to live according to the commands of God (1 John 5:2).
  • Concerned about outreach - taking the gospel to the unsaved.

2. Accepts that the Bible is the full and final counsel of God: The true Christian acknowledges that the Bible is the means used by God to reveal his character and counsel for faith and life. The Bible is used to test everything, including experience, emotions, thoughts, prophecy and teaching. The Bible is accepted as infallible and accurate. Marked by:

3. Holds to all of the essential doctrines of an evangelical faith: The true Christian knows and understands these essentials of the faith. Salvation is by faith alone, in Christ alone, understood through Scripture alone (Romans 10:14), by God's grace alone to the glory of God alone (Ephesians 1:1-14). Marked by:

4. Is distressed by sin in the Church: In Hebrews 1:9, referring to Jesus Christ our Lord it is said that he 'loved righteousness and hated wickedness'. The true Christian actively avoids sin in his own life and opposes it in the Church because it undermines our Christian witness before the unsaved (1 Peter 2:12). Marked by:

5. Is distressed by false teaching and prophecy in the Church: The prophets, our Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles all warned us that false teachers, apostles and prophets would be present in the Church Matthew 24:11; Acts 20:29-30; John 10:12; 2 Corinthians 11:13). The true Christian is always on his guard. Marked by:

* This is especially true for those Christians appointed as elders (Acts 20:31).

6. Always tests what they hear and do, against the Word of God: The Lord requires the Christian to test both themselves and what they see and hear against the Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Corinthians 8:8). True Christians measure their own thoughts words and actions against Scripture (Romans 12:2; Proverbs 3:21). They do the same in relation to others. Marked by:

7. Consciously models agape love: Love is the most important characteristic of any Christian (1 John 4:8) because the exercise of love as defined in 1 Corinthians 13 mirrors the character of God. Without love a Christian is no more than a 'clanging cymbal' (1 Corinthians 13:1; 1 John 3:14). Love is not an emotion. It is an act of will made more possible by the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the true Christian (John 14:21). Marked by:

  • A love of God reflected in a sanctified life free of immorality, complacency and deceit. The love of God is reflected in the willingness to obey his commands for holy living (Matthew 22:37; 1 John 5:2-3).
  • Love and forgiveness for those who hate and abuse the Christian (Matthew 5:44).
  • A love of the truth and active opposition to what is evil (Romans 12:9; 1 John 3:18).
  • A willingness to be patient, kind, forgiving, unselfish, persevering, trusting [in God], protective [of others and the truth] and hopeful [in our eventual glorification] (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
  • An acceptance of Gods correction (Revelation 3:19).
  • The conscious separation of the holy from the secular (Luke 16:33; 1 John 2:15).
  • A loving concern for brothers and sisters in Christ, family and others [our 'neighbours'] (Matthew 19:19; 22:39; 1 John 3:17).
  • A reduced fear of what might happen in this world and no fear about the certainty of salvation (1 John 4:18).

8. Fears God, holding Him in reverential awe: Unlike worldly fear, the fear of God is not a destructive emotion but a life giving, strengthening knowledge based on holding a perfect, holy God in reverential awe. The true Christian knows that God will hold us to account for everything we do, judging our actions, thoughts and motives. Scripture teaches us that fearing God is essential if we are to gain the wisdom and knowledge we need to live according to God's principles and mirror His character (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7). Marked by:

  • Actively searching the word of God for the Lord's commands because to love God is to obey His commands (1 John 5:2-3).
  • The living of an increasingly sanctified life [free of sin - Proverbs 14:27], through the knowledge of God (2 Peter 1:3; Titus 1:1).
  • Freedom from anxiety, living at peace and seeing church growth (Proverbs 1:33, Acts 9:31).
  • Is willing to examine and change habits (Psalm 55:19).
  • Knows the protection and provision of God (Proverbs 2:1-8).
  • Accepts any testing times as godly growing and learning experiences (Exodus 20:20).

9. Is concerned to spread the 'Gospel of the Kingdom': The true Christian recognises that our chief concern must be the proclamation of the 'good news' (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; Revelation 14:6; Colossians 1:23). Any church that does not put the gospel first has lost sight of its calling. There are various aspects to what Jesus called 'the gospel of the kingdom' (Matthew 24:14; Mark 1:14; Matthew 9:35). Marked by:

10. Applies a Christian world view to our times: A world view is a consistent understanding of the times in which we live. The true Christian is so grounded in biblical and spiritual understanding that they can apply it to the whole of life and the times in which we live (1 Chronicles 12:32; Matthew 16:3). Marked by:

These are 10 marks (there are many others), which demonstrate that a person has truly been 'born again'. A true Christian will love God with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength, and will love his neighbour as he loves himself (Mark 12:30-31). Please take the time to examine the 10 Marks mentioned here, and make sure of your faith... (2 Corinthians 13:5)

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