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Prayer Book English Service

A modern prayer book service, with well known hymns and the Lord's Supper

Family English Service

A contemporary, family friendly service with a creche, kid’s & youth program.

Family Mandarin Service

A contemporary, family friendly service in Mandarin, with an English speaking kid’s & youth program.

Cantonese Service

A service in Cantonese, with a friendly group of around 70 adults.

Korean Service

A contemporary, family friendly service in Korean.

Modern Mandarin Service

A service mostly in Mandarin, with some English, especially for young adults whose main language is Mandarin, and second language is English.

Indonesian Service

A contemporary service in bahasa Indonesia.

Modern English Service

A contemporary evening service with modern music and worship band.



Weekly Lift

#140. How do I know?

Bruce Stanley

February 5, 2023

How do I know?

I often struggled with English exams. I never knew if the answer I had written was "right". How do I know if it's right? It's not like maths where the answer is either right or wrong. There is perspective involved. It's not simply wrong or right. There are degrees of wrong or right. If a maths answer is right, It's right. But an English essay can be poor, ok, good or excellent!

We are calling 2023 our "Year of Evangelism" as a Church. (Our special launch date is February 19th - so stay tuned!) A question I often hear people ask is "How do I know if a person is a Christain?" Or "How do I know if I am a Christian?"

The "maths" answer is that you either are or are not. But there are so many ways we choose to determine if a person is or is not a Christian.

The maths answer is simply "Have you prayed to God and committed your life to the Lord Jesus? Have you repented (turned away) from your sin, admitted you were wrong, and asked for his forgiveness? Have you turned your life over to Jesus and been "born again"?

If the answer is yes, then you're a Christian and God's Holy Spirit is at work in you.

But the English essay answer is this:

Galatians 5:16-26

16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

This is what Christians do - this is what they look like. A Christian chooses not to give in to the desires of the flesh.

A Christian is also not under the law so they are free to do whatever they want.

Yet, they choose to live by the Spirit. So what does that look like?

They display the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are the physical fruits that we see in their actions.

But perhaps you see a "Chrisitan" not showing self-control. Does that mean they are not a Christian?

Perhaps you see a non-believer showing kindness. Does that mean that they are a believer?

This is difficult isn't it? Because we are not the judge. God is. God judges our hearts. He knows if we have committed our lives to him. And he knows when we stumble and make mistakes. These checks and balances in Galatians are for us to look at ourselves, not to judge others. Of course, we can also use them to help each other - as a way of checking in on each other - are you showing love to that person? Are you being kind? Have you given up selfish ambition and drunkenness?

But the question remains: how do you know if someone is a Christian or not? In many ways, only they and God himself know the answer to that. But Galatians gives us a way of reminding ourselves what a Christian "should" look like in the world - how we should stand out.

If you have committed your life to the Lord Jesus as King, you are a Christian. That is the only way it happens. But Galatians reminds us of what that should then look like. Forget trying to evaluate whether a person is a Christian or not. Share the gospel with all people. Share your faith with them. And never stop acting out what you believe.


Heavenly Father, help me to walk the faith that I have committed to in Jesus. When I struggle, call me back to love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Help me not to judge others for their faith, but to remember that you are the judge of all. And help me to share my faith with all those around me, not only in what I say, but also in how I display the fruit of your Spirit.


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    St Philip's Eastwood Anglican Church

    Cnr. Shaftsbury Rd & Clanalpine St, Eastwood NSW 2122

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