Have you ever heard the expression, only God knows their true heart? It usually comes about in conversations when someone questions the salvation of another and a third person makes that statement and implies two things, first who are you to judge, and second, we (other Christians) have no way of knowing.
Biblically their statement, only God knows their true heart, is a half-truth. They are correct we can not look into the heart of someone and be 100% certain of their redemptive status. HOWEVER, we can and should judge, those who claim to be saved by their profession and their actions.
Do they profess to be saved and if so do they profess and support basic biblical doctrines such as the Authority of Scripture, the Sovereignty of God, Salvation by grace alone through Christ alone, Man, the Church, the Necessity of evangelism, etc.
Second, do their actions line up with their confession? Do they walk the walk and not just talk the talk? 1 John 2:4, makes it clear if they are not obeying God’s law they are not His children.
The remainder is an excerpt from Got Questions Ministries, What are some of the signs of genuine saving faith?
Jesus said that it is by our fruits that we are known as His disciples (Matthew 7:20). Fruitless branches—professing believers who do not display the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) are cut off and thrown into the fire (John 15:6). Genuine faith is one that not only believes in God (the demons themselves do that – James 2:19) but leads to open confession of sin and obedience to Christ’s commands.
There is a series of tests in 1 John that we can use to examine ourselves and our faith. As we look at them, remember that no one will perfectly fulfill all of them all the time, but they should reveal a consistent trend that characterizes our lives as we grow in grace.
1. Do you enjoy having fellowship with Christ and His redeemed people? (1 John 1:3)
2. Would people say you walk in the light, or walk in the darkness? (1 John 1:6-7)
3. Do you admit and confess your sin? (1 John 1:8)
4. Are you obedient to God’s Word? (1 John 2:3-5)
5. Does your life indicate you love God rather than the world? (1 John 2:15)
6. Is your life characterized by “doing what is right”? (1 John 2:29)
7. Do you seek to maintain a pure life? (1 John 3:3)
8. Do you see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life? (1 John 3:5-6) [Note: this refers to not continuing in sin as a way of life, not a total absence of sin.]
9. Do you demonstrate love for other Christians? (1 John 3:14)
10. Do you “walk the walk,” versus just “talking the talk”? (1 John 3:18-19)
11. Do you maintain a clear conscience? (1 John 3:21)
12. Do you experience victory in your Christian walk? (1 John 5:4)
Are you truly repentant today? Are you fully committed to Christ as LORD AND SAVIOR?