The Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character
The Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character by Gardiner Spring
What must I do to be saved? How may I know that I am saved? It is obvious that these are two different questions, and it is just as clear that the Bible gives a specific answer to each of them. In answer to the first question, the Biblical directive is unmistakable. One must repent of sin and believe in Jesus Christ the Lord if he is to be saved (Acts 20:21). All Spirit-wounded, convicted sinners must be urged to look away from themselves, and in a penitent faith to fix the gaze of their souls upon Christ alone for mercy as He is offered to them in the Gospel. But the second question demands a different answer. How one may know that he has truly repented and believed is not a question touching the ground or means of one's acceptance before God, but rather the proof and evidence of one's saving relationship to Him in Christ. The Bible's answer to this question is that we must "examine ourselves and prove ourselves whether we be in the faith." Accompanying that command the same Scriptures lay out objective evidence of the fruits of true repentance and faith.