A friend of mine has been asking lately what the difference is between a true Christian and a false one.
My answer is simple. A true Christian is someone who believes in Christ alone, through faith alone, by grace alone.
But my friend continues to ask, “But what about the evidence in his life?”
James says, “Faith without works is dead.” And God says the greatest work is to believe in His Son whom He has sent into the world so all men may be saved.
Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” – John 6:28, 29 ESV
So if you believe that Jesus Christ is your Savior who died on the cross to pay the price for your sins, then this is counted as a good work in God’s eyes. In fact it’s the greatest work because without faith it is impossible to please God.
John 15 says, if you are a branch that is united to the vine, then you will show forth good fruit. Have you ever seen a branch huffing and puffing and sweating to produce grapes?
The same is true of you. As a Christian you are doing good works all the time, but most of the time you won’t see them because you’d be tempted to pride. But God sees them and He is pleased with you because you are in Christ. See Romans 6. Ephesians 1 & 2.
And remember, all your works are tainted with sin, even good things like prayer, witnessing, giving to the poor. They all must be mediated by Christ in order for God to accept them.
So I told my friend to stop worrying and start singing.
You do the same.