Are you a good person? Almost everyone thinks they are.
However, most of us differ as to the definition of “good.” The Bible says that God is good, and the Ten Commandments are His standard of goodness.
How many of them have you obeyed?
1. “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Have you always put God first in your life? Jesus said to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength—to love God so much that your love for your parents, siblings, friends and even your own life is like hatred compared to your devotion to God.
2. “You shall not make for yourself any idol.”
Who is God to you? Have you made a god in your mind that you’re more comfortable with—a god to suit yourself?
3. “You shall not take the name of God in vain.”
Have you ever used God’s holy name as a curse word? If you have used God’s holy name to express contempt or frustration, then you are a blasphemer.
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
One day out of seven should be a day of rest and delight.
5. “Honor your father and your mother.”
Have you ever acted toward your parents in a manner displeasing to God? Even the sins of youth are not forgotten.
6. “You shall not murder.”
Jesus warned, “Whoever is angry with his brother without cause, is in danger of judgment,” (Matthew 5:22) and the Bible says, “He who hates his brother is a murderer.” (1 John 3:15) God sees hatred in the heart to be as wicked as murder. We can violate the Law just with attitude and intent.
7. “You shall not commit adultery.”
“Whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28). This also includes sex before marriage.
8. “You shall not steal.”
Have you ever stolen anything? The value of the item is irrelevant. Theft is theft, and if you have ever taken something that did not belong to you, you are a thief.
9. “You shall not lie.”
Have you ever told a lie? Then you are a liar. (It just take one murder to make a murderer; it just takes one lie to make a liar.) Even if you do not think deceitfulness is a sin, God does.
10. “You shall not covet.”
Have you ever been jealous of anything someone else owned—including their house, car, husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend, money, and lifestyle?
It is impossible to find a person who were not guilty of breaking these Commandments. This is what the Bible means by Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Can you see this predicament? You are guilty of sinning against the One who made you, God Himself. You have a conscience: con = with; science = knowledge. You have sinned with knowledge! The Bible says that God will punish all murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, adulterers, etc. on Judgment Day. He will even judge our words and thoughts! Does this concern you?
Perhaps you think that God is good, and will therefore overlook your sins. But it is His goodness itself that requires justice. But does a good judge turn a blind eye to a criminal? No, only corrupt judges do that.
The place of eternal punishment is Hell.
But listen! God made a way for justice and goodness to meet. God does not want you to perish. He is rich in mercy and compassion. You cannot earn it; you do not deserve it, but offered to you is eternal life! God provided a way for you to be forgiven as proof of His love for you.
We broke the Law, but He became a man to pay the fine. Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ suffered and died on a cross as payment for our sins.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Do what he commands: “Repent… that your sins may be wiped out and times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) Desire to have nothing to do with sin, and surrender your life to the One who can save you. Jesus died to set you free, and then he rose from death to be your Lord.
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) If you will confess and forsake your sins—repent—and trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, God will forgive you and you’ll pass from death to life.
If you are not sure how to pray, read Psalm 51 and make it your prayer. Or you can pray something like this—“Dear God, today I turn from all my sins (name them), and I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Please forgive me, and grant me your gift of everlasting life. Amen.” There is nothing magic here—it is the attitude of your heart that is important.
To personally trust in Jesus is to trust in a parachute if you had to jump 25,000 feet out of airplane. You don’t just believe in the parachute; you put it on! So the Bible says, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ…” and you will be saved. Many people believe in Jesus, but not all “put him on.” You may still have questions, but it is better to put on the parachute and then ask questions than to jump out of the plane without it.
God will transform you from the inside out. You will think and feel differently as you learn to trust and obey Him. God will give you new strength to live right and love Him above all else. Read your Bible daily and obey His Word. You can trust God—He loves you and will always be faithful.
To help you get started, you may also want to read “10 Principles for New and Growing Christians.”
If you’ve decided to reject the gift of forgiveness and you die in your sins, there is no hope for you. There is no purgatory. The wrath of God abides on you and you will spend eternity in Hell.
“Am I saved?”
Do you think you may be saved but are unsure?
John Piper writes the following in Don’t Waste Your Life:
Jesus is the litmus test of reality for all persons and religions. He said it clearly: “The one who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16). People and religions who reject Christ reject God. Do other religions know the true God? Here is the test: Do they reject Jesus as the only Savior for sinners who was crucified and raised by God from the dead? If they do, they do not know God in a saving way.
The apostle John said “Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God” (2 John 9 – also see 1 John 2:23).
Are Catholics, Jews, Muslims, etc. saved?
These verses also address other religions who claim “God”—if they don’t accept Jesus as their only Savior, they are not saved.
Does this sound like you?
A good tree with solid roots bears good fruit. A bad tree bears no fruit. These are the fruits of a “good tree” – the evidence of a true believer in his or her life:
- Repentance (Matthew 3:8) – Mere belief in God is not sufficient for salvation. James 2:19 says, “Even the demons believe—and tremble!” Salvation requires belief accompanied with repentance (Luke 13:3) and faith in Christ (Acts 20:21).
- Thanksgiving – Hebrews 13:15 reads, “Through Jesus, …let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.” Constant thanksgiving to God is present of a “good tree.”
- Good works
Colossians 1:10-12 says to “live a life worthy of the Lord” and to “please him in every way” includes “bearing fruit in every good work…”
- Fruit of the Holy Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. A true believer exhibits these qualities stemming from the Holy Spirit.
- Righteousness (Philippians 1:11) – The apostle Paul prayed that believers would be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ”. Righteousness should come from Jesus Christ, the one who saves, thus the saved should naturally be “morally upright; without guilt or sin” (the dictionary definition of righteousness).
Stop having merely the appearance of a Christian.
Revelation 2:2-5 reminds us not to forsake Jesus as our first love. Do you love Him more than yourself, your family, and anyone or anything else – is he YOUR first love?
If not, pray and ask God to forgive you; repent. Give your life back to God.