Am I really a Christian? At City Campus Ministry, we have spent the last two years working on finding answers to the questions that undergraduates ask. This is a frequent one—How can I know if I am really a Christian? Jonathan Edwards, a minister in New England in the 1740’s, addressed this question.
Edwards said that you could not look only to your practices and deeds. The acts of going to church, reading the Bible, and praying do not make one a Christian.
On the other hand, Edwards was very clear that if we have no Christian practices, no desire to learn more about the character and nature of God and the works of Christ, then that is a sign that we are not genuine believers. If we never pray, read Scripture, or seek Christian fellowship, then there is a good chance we do not really think Christianity is what it says it is.
How is that possible? Simply put, we always do and talk about what we love. If you love food, you end up eating out a lot, trying new places, and telling your friends (evangelizing) about those experiences. I have a friend who takes pictures of his meals to show others what he has eaten. He loves food that much. Everyone practices and talks about what they love. A true Christian would naturally do the same.
So on one hand you cannot look to any particular deed or practice as a sure sign of faith, but on the other hand if there are no external signs of your faith, it is probable you are not truly a believer.
In the end, Edwards believed that it was the overall truth of Christianity becoming real to the individual that had the power to transform. If Jesus Christ is who he says he is, and God really did become man and die for his people with their particular sin issues, then the power of this belief would be so dynamic you could not stop the transformation that would take place. We would have a new desire to read about a God who would do this for us and then pray to him. We would want be with others at church and in social situations to grow together. It would manifest itself in serving others, because we, too, were served by Christ and his work.
City Campus, a city-specific undergraduate ministry, desires to cultivate this seeking mentality. We meet regularly through the school year on Sundays at noon (East Side) or 7:00PM (West Side), and in small groups during the weekdays. Check out www.citycampusministry. com for more details, or look us up on Facebook.