Treating The Symptoms
It can be difficult for a physician to find the cause of his patients* symptoms since different diseases can cause the same symptoms. Treating the symptoms rather than the disease can be the worst thing to do. Which disease afflicts a patient is sometimes discovered by a process of elimination. A physician might prescribe treatment for each disease one at a time until success is achieved.
Determining whether one is an unbeliever or a Christian is difficult because many carnal Christians and unbelievers have the same symptoms. Many religions treat symptoms (sins) without treating or even knowing their root cause. Sins are the natural symptoms of a deeper problem. The problem is not merely what sinners do, it is what sinners are. They sin because they are sinners. The solution is not just stopping the sinning. The solution is changing what they are and who they are. Believers and unbelievers alike can discontinue some of their sinning but they cannot change what they are. Only Jesus Christ can do that.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Some of what the Bible communicates is for and about unbelievers. Some of what it communicates is for and about spiritual believers. Some of what it communicates is for and about carnal believers. The Bible can meet the needs of all three types of individuals. If an individual believes he is something that he is not and takes the wrong kind of medicine it will not help him and might harm him.
Many times unbelievers band together and find ways to convince themselves and one another that they are believers. They say and do many things that believers say and do and thus convince themselves that they are believers. Carnal believers often behave so much like unbelievers that they also unwittingly help to convince them that they do not need Jesus to change them.
2 Corinthians 10:12: For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
The only one you should trust to inform you that you are a believer is The Holy Spirit Himself. Not others and not yourself.
Romans 8:16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
The only prescription that will change a wrong kind of individual into a right kind of individual is receiving Christ as Saviour. You cannot receive Him without receiving the changes He wants to make in you.
Sin is a fundamental relationship, it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God.
Galatians 6:15: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.