Ephesians 4.22-24 explains, you were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
The Christian life begins with repent, turn from our old selfish way and turn toward God and His ways. His ways begin with Jesus, that He did all the work required for earning God’s pardon for our sin. I no longer need worry about doing enough good or only good to please God for all the good I need for acquiring God’s favor has been earned through Jesus and appropriated to me if I believe in Him by faith that He alone is able and sufficient for obtaining my salvation.
Upon repentance, from earning my own way to heaven, and belief, that Jesus alone can make me good before God, I am to live like Jesus, like an adopted son of God. It behooves us all to look at our lives and measure them by Christ to see if we are indeed living differently than we did the day we first came to faith in Jesus.
If we have merely believed in Jesus then we simply have added information to our brain but little transformation will be evidenced by our lives. How we thought, what we did, who we tried to please, will all be the same as before we were ‘Christians.’ In reality, if this is true of us, we are most likely not truly children of God regardless of what we call ourselves for when we measure our actions by God’s words we will see ourselves falling far short of obedience.
Conversely, if we see our lives have changed, our goals are different, our thinking is different, our spending is different, our wanting is different, all these things seem to be pointed toward honoring God by loving people into greater knowledge of Him, then we can be certain that His Spirit is accomplishing His will through us. The will of God, by the Spirit of God, is for us to be totally formed into the First Born Son of God.
If we are increasing more and more in our giving, our serving and our sacrificing for others to know Jesus as Savior we can be assured we are truly Christian and can truly look forward to that day when we shall see our God face to face where He will welcome us into His presence and give to us our eternal reward.