How to Determine If One Is a Christian

How to Determine If One Is a ChristianText: Acts 26:28

When Paul was on trial before King Agrippa, he used the opportunity to preach. He was trying to persuade the king to become a Christian. We try to do the same today. But if we’re going to persuade people to become a Christian, we need to know what a Christian is. Also, they need to understand what a Christian is before they can be persuaded to become one. How can we determine if one is a Christian? How can one determine if he/she is a Christian? We can consult the Scriptures to find an answer.

Not Determined (Only) By…

  • Sincerity (Acts 23:1) – Paul lived with a good conscience, even while persecuting Christians (Acts 22:4-5)
  • Belief in Christ (James 2:19) – the demons believed, but did not have faith (James 2:18, 24)
  • Being religious (Acts 17:22) – may still be ignorant of God (Acts 17:23) or disobedient to God (Matthew 15:6-9)
  • Doing things for the Lord (Matthew 7:22) – can still be guilty of lawlessness and miss the kingdom (Matthew 7:23, 21)
  • Being a good person (Acts 10:1-2) – Cornelius still needed to hear how to be saved (Acts 11:13-14)

All of These Things Are Necessary

  • A Christian must be sincere (1 Timothy 1:5)
  • A Christian must believe in Christ (Hebrews 11:6)
  • A Christian must be religious (Acts 2:42)
  • A Christian must do things for the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58)
  • A Christian must be a good person (Matthew 5:16)
  • However, one can be/do these things and not be a Christian – we already noticed examples; there is more to determining if one is a Christian than these things

Be Like Paul

  • Agrippa recognized that Paul was trying to persuade him to be a Christian (Acts 26:28) – Paul was trying to persuade him to be “such as I am” (Acts 26:29); Paul was a Christian
  • What did Paul do to become a Christian? – he came to believe in Christ (Acts 9:5), he repented of his sins (Acts 9:9, 11), and he was baptized (Acts 9:18)
  • Consistent pattern in the book of Acts (Acts 2:36-38; 8:34-39; 16:30-34) – confession would be included as a verbal affirmation of faith (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9-10)

Who Is a Christian?

  • A Christian is one who has first heard the gospel (Romans 10:17)
  • A Christian is one who has believed in Christ (John 8:24)
  • A Christian is one who has repented of his sins (Luke 13:3, 5)
  • A Christian is one who has confessed his faith (Romans 10:9-10)
  • A Christian is one who has been baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21)
  • Having done these things, a Christian must live like a Christian (Romans 6:17-18)

Conclusion

  • The New Testament shows us how to become a Christian – we simply need to do what it says
  • What the world thinks, or what we think, is irrelevant – like Agrippa was told, be such as Paul was

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