How Can We Know We Are Truly a Christian?
1. There is a lot of doubt and controversy over who is a real born again Christian and who is not.
2. It is like the TV program of some years ago "To Tell the Truth." Three contestant would all claim to be a certain person and try and convince the panel. After the panel listened to each of the persons they would vote and then the announcer would say, "Will the real person please stand up." Lots of people claim to be Christians.
3. John in this Epistle is identifying the real saved believer in Christ and giving each of us the marks of a true saved believer in Jesus Christ..
4. The Historical Situation in John's day was that it had been 60 years since Christ had returned to heaven and the church begun.
-As Jesus had warned- wolves in sheep's clothing had indeed entered the church....Church is local congregation of believers.
-Matt. 7:7-11 If you truly seek you shall find God Jesus said to (v13-14) Enter the strait gate!
Why? Verse 15...Because false prophets shall come they will be at first hard to spot. They will be wolves in sheep's clothing wearing a disguise trying to look like the real thing.
Verse 16 explains that they can be detected!
Verse 20 Their fruit will be expose them!
Verse 21 Jesus warns that not every one that saith unto Him LORD LORD, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven!
Verse 22 Many will do what appears to be the work of the LORD!! But they are not. Wonderful works they will do!
Verse 23 Christ never knew them...they were in fact....workers of iniquity. These are people doing religious things that real churches and Christians do, but they are counterfeit and not from God.
The word INIQUITY means "anomia" = lawlessness or wickedness. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the word is used to describe the spirit of Anti-Christ who holds contempt for the God. Jesus warned of fake preachers and healer doing "wonders" but who in fact are working wickedness.
I. CHRISTIANS ARE SAVED PEOPLE WHO LIVE BY THE WORD OF GOD. 1 John 2:3
A. A polling company conduct a Street Opinion Poll. The asked the question? "What is a Christian?" Almost everyone gave the answer: "One who believes in Jesus Christ."
2. The Bible's answer: John. 3:18.
2. Many people become very offended if you suggest that some people who claim to be Christians in reality are not. Yet, God makes some very emphatic statements about it? What about what Jesus said in Matthew 7?
1. Some are simply misinformed. Taught as child or later that being a church member is the same as being a Christian.
I knew a boy named Randy as a teen went to a Christian school. He did all the right things, even went on a missions trip to win people to the Lord. Everyone thought he was a most outstanding young Christians....yet in time he quit his church, went into sin and admitted that he was not saved.
John says some who leave, left to show us they were not of us!
2. Some have been told to  Bow head  pray the sinners prayer and they are saved!
3. Some are born into families who baptized them as infants, or joined the church after finishing a catechism. They never committed their lives to Christ, or made a public profession of Jesus Christ but simply joined a church.
4. Some church members do not have assurance that they are Christians! In their heart, deep down they have serious doubts.
5. Some may be truly "born again" Christians and yet have not matured in Christ since trusting Christ and their immaturity causes them to doubt. They need this instruction and to grow up.
E. God says what ever your circumstance, MAKE SURE!
2. 2 Peter 1:4...Christ promises to give these things to the Christian.
2 Corinthians 1:12, You could paraphrase this verse and say, "I know I am a child of God because in my conscience I believe I'm doing what God wants me too"
If Not, clearly we are on the wrong track, there is no evidence God is in us.
It may be we are saved and out of fellowship with the Lord, and there could be unconfessed sin, that has broken your fellowship with the Lord.
Friend, if you are truly saved, you will not enjoy being out of fellowship with the Lord very long. You may for a while, but in time God will pull the reigns in.
IF not: Bible says you do not know Christ as your Savior....Jesus is God, therefore you are you are not really confessing Christ, but some one else!
1 John 4:2...Try the spirits! Verses 3 states, "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
The phrase Jesus is come in the flesh means that the Messiah, God the Savior has come in the flesh and refers to the fact that Jesus Christ is God incarnate in flesh. If one denies the deity of Jesus Christ or the Trinity they are not saved. If they say they believe in Jesus it is not the Jesus of the Bible, who is God incarnate in man, the only Savior of the Word.
1 John. 5:1...Do we love Christ, evidence is we will love our brother.
b. The question is have we truly accepted Christ as our Savior? Romans 10:9-11 says,
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith,Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
2 Corinthians 15:1-4 presents the true Gospel which is based in the fact of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Jesus alone paid the sin debt of the world and only He can save...thus the Good News is that God completed His plan, came to earth and died for our sins.
c. We need to ask ourselves, "Am I doctrinally sound, believing in the real one and only Jesus Christ, or have I trusted a false Jesus or Gospel."
"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall" (2 Peter 1:10)
C. John said it in 1 John. 5:13.
2. God is not trying to put doubts in our minds, but seeking to let us examine ourselves and prove our faith to be real.
A couple in our home church years ago were youth leaders and involved in everything in the church. They had outwardly had a real testimony for Christ. Later on a visit I ask the Pastor were they were and he said they quit attending and gone into gross sin.
Friends God wants us to truly be saved and to not be deceived my false churches, individuals and even ourselves. He died for our sins and wants to forgive us and give us eternal life. It does not matter what the past has been. God can save hypocrites and sinners.
John said in I John. 5:13.
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (1 John 5:13).