I was thinking about the whole "how do you know if you're really saved" issue because it came up on GGFG. One of my thoughts goes beyond the verses I use to back up "once saved, always saved," and the regular fruit analogies. Although I will not claim that I know if someone has trusted Christ or not, I have always been very aware of people who are Spirit led. Besides a willingness and interest in putting others' needs first (which I fail to do so many times), I notice in others a changeable spirit and an unchangeable view of the truth.
I look for friends, I look for people who constantly and consistently
move toward their goals (even if their goals change over time), work on
their faults, learn new things, accept advice, try to evaluate their
words and actions to some degree... these people aren't perfect, but
they have a drive inside of them that makes them want to experience life
to the fullest, and they are willing to put in the effort to make a
difference in the world. (Okay guys if we talk a lot don't get all
prideful knowing that that's how I view my friends.)
should be true of Christians. All Christians should be changeable, and
changing, no matter how many times they fail and how slow the changes
are, because God doesn't leave you where you are when you come to the
cross. Yes, He accepts you where you are when you get there, fully. But
if your clothes were filthy when you arrived at a friend's house, say,
your best friend, wouldn't they give you new clothes? And you'd change
into the clean clothes, because the dirty ones were unacceptable to wear
inside. Your friend wouldn't say, "Go home and come back when you're
cleaned up." God welcomes you into His presence, and the things you get
to changes were never meant to be a part of you anyhow (you are NOT your
clothes, you are so much more!).
Sometimes I can sense this in a person, and I just know that they know God.
people change in ways that contradict who they are, though, at every
new idea that comes by. They think everything sounds like a great idea,
and they are not consistent about their view on anything. (They aren't
even politicians...) People who don't accept God's Word as the truth
resort to using their own thoughts as the basis of truth, or claiming a
cultural system, other religion, or other system (this is what "real
science" says, this is how the corporate world functions) as the decider
A Christian cannot and will not trade truth for
lies because of convenience, acceptance, fear, situational
circumstances, selfishness, pride, pain, peer pressure, guilt, or "the
end result." One of my favorite quotes is from Charles Stanley, "Obey
God, and leave the consequences to Him." It's been on my bulletin board
(or closet) for 12 years. The stand must be made, and it can be made in a
loving manner, but it will not be a weak stance. See Ephesians starting
at 6:10 to the end of the chapter.
How do you know if
you're a Christian? Because you long to know God more, trust Him more,
and you are willing to make that your priority - you don't let anything
else get in the way of that, you want Him more than anything you might
fear losing or missing out on.