How Can a Man Determine If He is a True Christian?
What is your opinion of Jesus Christ?
by Cooper Abrams - Bible Truth Web Site
Intro: Man's opinion of himself will determine if he needs to go further in seeking to answer the question is he a true believer. If he sees himself as self sufficient as a good man not deserving of hell; or if he does not regard sin or has a light view of it not accepting that he is the creation of God and is
responsible to Him and that God hates sin; that all men die that there is heaven or hell in the next life, then his man will not recognized his need for a Savior
and will remain lost.
If his opinion of himself is correct he will understand that he is a sinner deserving hell, then he must ask the next crucial question: Who will save me and what
is my opinion of Jesus Christ.
1. There are many religions on the earth and many supposed saviors. And many men turn to religion as a means to overcome death.
2. The Universal truth that cannot be denied is that men die. Death is the result of sin. Rom. 6:23, explains that "the wages of sin is death." God tells us in
the Bible there are two deaths. There is physical death and for those who die in sin, who have not received Jesus Christ as their Savior there is the second
death described in Revelation 20:11-15 which say all the unsaved will be judged and cast into the Lake of Fire.
Certainly not a petty picture and something many people do not want to talk about. Often Gospel preachers are criticized because the teach the existence of a
literal hell for the lost.
ILLUS: I was corresponding with a man who did not believe in God or that the Bible was His word. He was trying to convince me how foolish I was for
believing. I gave him the Word of God and explained the Gospel mentioning of course the existence of hell. He wrote back saying I was wasting my time
trying to scare him with all the talk of hell. Sadly, no matter what I said to him he rejected it and made fun of me. I feel really sad about this person, because one
day he will meet the Savior his Creator and if he does not believe....he will be unprepared. He will not believe the truth....he does not see himself in need of a
3. Many have turned to gods which come from the imaginations of men.
a. Every people on earth have a god.
b. Orientals have the mystical religions of Buddha, Confucius, Shinto and 100's of mystical beliefs.
Europe's god is the god of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.
Eastern Asia has Greek Orthodoxy
The Middle East and Africa have Islam and the idols worship of animals, trees and nature.
c. America's religion is religion in all shapes and sizes all being tailored to fit the whims and weakness of various psychological needs.
d. If you are afraid of hell you can become a Jehovah's Witness.
If you want to get the lost dead to heaven you can be a Roman Catholic or Mormon. If you want to have a good time and be entertained join the local Pentecostal or Charismatic group and you can jump around like people do at rock concerts and be worshiping God?!. If you want to become a god and rule your own world you can join the LDS church.
If you want to fulfill your lusts join any of the hundreds of communal cults.
If you want to go to heaven by being good follow Norman V. Peale (Guide posts Magazine), Charles Schuller, Unity and the dozens of others and all the New
If you want a church to give you social standing and a good feeling and not be bothered about doctrine or sin there are hundreds of Protestant and even some
Baptist churches that will offer you that.
Proposition: To determine if a man is truly a child of God he must have the right answer to the question: "What is your opinion of Jesus Christ?"BR>
I. Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man am? Matt. 16:13
A. The disciples responded and gave the world's answer . . . you are not the Son of God you are John the Baptist, Elias, Jeremiah, or one of the
1. Jesus is looked upon my many as being a good man.
2. The height of His achievement is morality.
3. Many see Him as play god which men use to calm their animalistic fears. If you want to believe in Him and it helps you that's OK, but He is really a myth.
4. Some see Jesus was a rebel who went against conventional ideas and that is his example to us. He was a revolutionary seeking to bring about social change.
5. Many see Him only a paper god who should be grateful for our half-hearted worship.
6. Some hate Him vehemently and detest His name. Examples: ACLU, abortionists, liberal politicians, feminists, homosexuals, etc.
B. Christ again asked the question, This time is was personal: "Whom do you say I am?" This is the crucial question and the answer one gives
has eternal consequences.
1. Jesus was asking this question of men who identified themselves with Him and called themselves His disciples.
2. The Christian is known not only by his opinion of sin and death, but of his opinion of the ONLY Savior Jesus Christ.
3. The true Christian's response must always be John 20:28, as Thomas saw who Christ really was - "O kupios Mou Kai, O theos Mou." (O kuriso mou, kai, O theos mou) Literally - "Oh Lord of me and Oh God of me."
4. This was more than an exercise of the vocal cords. It was the response of one's very heart and soul. Those saw the truth....he believed and clung to it. This
was his Master and His God.
C. Many call Jesus, Lord, yet it is only lip service.
1. Matt. 7:21-23..."Not everyone that calls me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father."
2. John 5:24, "He that hearth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life."
3. Luke 6:46, Jesus explaining what was a true disciple said to the religious Pharisees "Why call me Lord and do not the things I say."
4. Luke 7:23, Talking to John the Baptist's disciples Jesus said, "Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me."
5. James 1:22-27. Be a doer of the word of God.
6. 1 John 5:1-5, true belief overcomes the world.
II. The True Christian sees Christ as the One who Died for Him personally.
A. Paul in Gal. 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
1. The true child of God lives by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and died for me. You see this is a personal thing. It much more that some giving
some mental assent to an idea or philosophy....it is a all compassing surrender to one's Creator...the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The true child of God understand who Jesus Christ is and in love and thanksgiving lives not for himself, but for Christ.
B. Galatians 6:14, "God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of Jesus Christ." This is the believer's glory, not in self, but in Christ who
C. Could you fall down before Christ as Thomas did and from your heart truly exclaim, "My Lord and My God!"?
1. Christ is on the throne of the Universe and is God Almighty. He paid your sin debt, but this fact does not saved you.
2. Is Christ on the throne of my life! This is the confession of a true believer.
3. Yes, He is the Savior of the world, but more...so much more He is MY Savior.
III. WHAT HAS YOUR OPINION OF CHRIST PRODUCED IN YOUR LIFE?
Truth to be redemptive must be applied to the heart. Many people give mental assent to the truth...yet it does not change them or has little affect on their lives.
Remember Luke 6:46, the verse we read earlier when Jesus told those that were not really following Him?. He asked them why they called Him Lord but
would not do the things He said.
In Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus said many who called Him, Lord, Lord and even did miracles in His name, were actually workers of iniquity and that He did not
It should break our hearts to realize many people have only a head knowledge of Jesus Christ, but not a saving knowledge. It hurts deeply to any true Gospel
preacher that there may be people who hear him who only give mental assent, but do not really give their all to Christ in saving faith.
Is it also hard because many are critical of such preaching. Yet,
there are two responses. Some are offended even as they were when
Jesus preached the truth. Those that had a false belief in God sought to kill the Lord Jesus Christ and finally were responsible for His crucifixion.
The second response is from one who is not offended because that person has truly believed and surrendered their lives to Him. Like Thomas who at first did
not believe, but now in saving faith saw Christ as who He truly is replied....."Mm Lord and My God!"
A. Is 2 Corinthian 5:17, a platitude or a truth in my life?
"Therefore if any man be in Christ; he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
B. Proof of what you truly believe will manifest itself in your life.
1. Jesus said if you love me keep my commandments.
2. How you treat your family, wife, husband, children and people in general will indicate what you truly believe.
a. How you act on the job, the way you work and do you job and your attitude towards those over you will say a lot about your belief in Christ.
b. How you talk reveals your belief. Such things as being a chronic complainer, griping, gossiping, use of slang, curse words, etc.
c. How you honor your church, pastor and fellow Christians.
d. Your commitment to your church. Is your church a part time affair with all other things coming before in priority or do you see that Christ said in Eph. 5,
that He thought your church important enough to die for. Is worshipping the Lord on Sunday the priority for the Lord's day or are other things.
e. How you spend your money tells a lot about how you truly think of Christ. This involves, tithing and giving.
ILLUS: Carolyn and I love our son and several times he needed financial help. Our thought was not should we give to the one we love and his family...but
how will we give and what do we have to give. Most Christians spend more on their toys than they give to the Lord they claim to love.
f. How you react to trouble, disappointment and yes even success tells a lot about what you think of the Lord Jesus. Often when trouble comes people
abandon their faith. For the true believer...when the trials comes they draw closer to the Lord. To them He is their strength and ever present comfort in times
g. How you feel about those who wrong you or abuse you. Are you understanding and forgiving? Do you offer help and love for insults and injury? Do you
see yourself as being forgiven of God of you great sin and in thanksgiving to Him, following His example are forgiving of others. On the old rugged cross, as
Jesus suffered unimaginable pain...He cried Father forgive them, they do not know what they do.
3. What we are talking about is what your character really is and what change God has made in your life. These things are not the normal way of life. These
things are the traits of those who have had a life changing experience with Jesus Christ. This is actually what your testimony really is among others in the
church and in the world.
C. Has knowing Christ changed truly your life? Is He in first place?
1. Are you truly seeking to glorify Christ and do you humble yourself to do His will? Do you seek to please him and not yourself? Are you willing to serve
2. As Christ humbled himself before the world that crucified Him are you willing to do the same in order to win the souls of men and have a spiritual influence
in others lives?
1. Could this message from God be personally for you today?
2. Could you have been deceived about your true opinion of Christ and who He is. He is our judge first and the He can be our friend.
3. Will you honestly examine yourself and ask if He is truly on the throne of your life? As Colossians 1:18 says does Jesus have the preeminence in my life?
4. Can you say that your opinion of Christ has drawn you to be more Christ like and is it the sincere desire of your heart to be conformed to His image as Rom
5. In light of this message from God's word to you see yourself more clearly. Folks that is what happens when we truly see Christ as who he is. We in turn
6. Is He truly your Savior and Lord.
7. If you see yourself lacking, not what God wants you to be....that is good, because the Word of God is a mender of the soul.
Christ stand ever knocking at the door of our hearts wanting us to let Him in that He might save us and bless us giving us a new eternal life.
What a wonderful relief comes in repentance and submission to God. The consequences of denial of who Christ really is in our lives is so painful and
destructive. What a tragedy to see some many people living a phony Christianity having the name but not the Person.
Would you not let Jesus Christ take your life and let Him be all to you. My dear friend you can do no better.
8. Whom do you really say Jesus Christ is?
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