Is he a Christian?

I have a great friend who works out with me. We pump iron and talk. Some days more talking then sweating, but the talk is "working out" too. We are working out our salvation. Today's topic was how to know someone is a Christian. Did they make a profession of faith? Yes. Are they a member of a church? Good. Read the Bible? From time to time. Pray? Occasionally, but trying to do so more often. How about fruit of the spirit; love, peace, patience etc? Sometimes.

So, have we added up enough points to know for sure? The answer sadly and gladly is "no." But we may have some indicators. It is essential that someone has said, "Yes Jesus is my Lord and I am a sinner. I am sorry. I confess and I believe that He paid the price for my sin." If they say I believe in Buddha, we would say they are not a Christian, we would say they are a Buddhist.

Having said that, how do we know they are a believer, past the point of profession? The majority report in the church would be that we can not know with absolute certainty. We can have some indicators, but, and here is the point, we should be careful in using our indicators to judge others. I might think if someone is not in the word, in prayer and serving I should call into question where they are. Maybe if they are not exhibiting the fruit of peace or some other fruit that "works" for me I should begin praying for salvation. Maybe not.

Sometimes for some people, just showing up is an indicator that they are in Christ. That is all they can do at that moment. Show up. I have had people come to groups I led and only be able to stay for part of the time because they were hurting so much. They showed up and that was good. Sometimes people can not even do that.

All this to say, we (the church) are trying to shepherd and look for some patterns. Over a long period of time, maturity should happen in a believer's life. Some maturity. But depending on where they started, family and background it may or may not be "much" by someone elses standard.

Next week, is Holy Week. We remember that Jesus saved. He did all the work. For me today, I am believing in Jesus, working out my salvation with His spirit which works so powerfully within me. Blessings