Are You a Christian?

In the 1600’s Puritan pastor Richard Baxter believed firmly in personally catechizing his congregation.  He believed one of its chief benefits was that it allowed him to gauge the spiritual condition of the members of his flock.  For those he talked to who were unsure of whether or not they were Christians, Baxter asked them three questions to help them determine their standing.  I think these questions are an excellent test:

1. “Can you truly say, that all known sins of your past life are the grief of your heart, and that you have felt that everlasting misery is due to you for them; and that, under a sense of heavy burden, you have felt yourself a lost man, and have gladly entertained the news of a Savior, and cast your soul upon Christ alone, for pardon by His blood?
2. Can you truly say, that your heart is so far turned from sin, that you hate the sins which you once have loved, and love that holy life which you had no mind to before; and that you do not now live in willful practice of any known sin? Is there no sin which you are not heartily willing to forsake, whatever it cost you; and no duty which you are not willing to perform? 
3. “Can you truly say, that you have so far taken the everlasting enjoyment of God for your happiness, that it hath the most of your heart, of your love, desire, and care; and that you are resolved, by the strength of Divine grace, to let go all that you have in the world, rather than hazard it; and that it is your daily, and your principal business to seek it?
     Can you truly say, that though you have your failings and sins, yet your main care, and the bent of your whole life, is to please God, and to enjoy Him forever….and that your worldly business is but a traveler’s seeking for provision for his journey, and Heaven is the place where you take for your home?”

Taken from “The Reformed Pastor” by Richard Baxter 

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