The reason this question is relevant is because within the context of Salvation, until we are able to UNAMBIGUOUSLY recognize the FACTORS and INGREDIENTS in the equation of Salvation, we might profess Faith and believe in Christ Jesus but if these vital and key factors are missing, it therefore stands to reason that one is a FALSE, PSEUDO, LIE, COUNTERFEIT BELIEVER.
Hence it is necessary to carry out a scriptural and biblical test, examination and inspection of the premise of one’s salvation.
Why is this necessary, or rather is it possible for one to claim to Believe in Christ Jesus and be false?
A classic biblical example is Simon the Sorcerer. Scripture records;
Acts 8:9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
8:10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
8:11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
Few verses later we see a twist in Simon
Acts 8:13 Then SIMON himself BELIEVED also: and when he was BAPTIZED, he CONTINUED with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
Scripture affirms that Simon did three things
1. He BELIEVED
2. He was BAPTISED and
3. He continued with Philip.
Meaning that Simon exchanged his books 📚 of sorcery for a Bible 📖, He dropped his sorcerer apparel for a suit and tie, He relocated from his sorcery coven into church ⛪ and He might have even replaced his sorcery stick with that of a microphone 🎤 .
Simon was now as it were a “believer in Christ Jesus”
But few verses below we see Apostle Peter’s recommendation to Simon who sought the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
8:19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
8:22 REPENT therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
8:23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of INIQUITY.
Simon was said to have believed and was baptised but the act of Repentance was never mentioned in his salvation story and this was exposed in his search to recieve the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Hear Paul talk to disciples who were yet to receive the Holy Spirit
Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of REPENTANCE, saying unto the people, that they should BELIEVE on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
19:5 When they heard this, they were BAPTIZED in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Contrast it with Peter message on the day of Pentecost to those who were also to receive the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
2:38 Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be BAPTIZED every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the REMISSION of SINS, and ye shall RECEIVE the GIFT of the HOLY GHOST.
So from Apostle Paul and Peter we see that Believe, Faith in Christ Jesus must have two vital ingredients
2. WATER BAPTISM
Simon was said to believe in Christ Jesus and was baptised but it was never mentioned that He repented and we see Peter calling for his repentance during his search to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
This stands to reason that for Genuine Faith and Believe in Christ Jesus to be possible the two vital ingredients of Repentance and Water Baptism must in place.
The question then is, is your Believe in Christ Jesus similar and akin to Simon the sorcerer?
Scripture admonishes that we
2 Corinthians 13:5 EXAMINE yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
~ Akhidime Ehigbai.