A self-Examination Of Our Faith

February 2, 2015

                                                                      A Self-Examination Of Our Faith

“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?” (II Corinthians 13:5).

It is disgusting to find out that someone sold us a false bill of goods. This is what happens to many people after their death and they find out that what they were told about the way to heaven was false. The only knowledge we have about what happens after death is what we read in the Bible. John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

In spite of what we sometimes hear, there aren’t many roads that lead to heaven. If you want to go to a certain city, you can’t take just any road and expect to get there. What reason do you have therefore for believing that there are many roads that lead to heaven? If we accept what the Bible says, we have to accept the fact that there is only one road to heaven.

Jesus said very plainly “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:5). We also read in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” A decision of such magnitude shouldn’t be taken lightly. Men have their opinions, but we better find out what God says about it. That’s what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.”

Even in our evangelical churches, it’s very possible that there are some who aren’t genuinely saved. They may think they are, but that doesn’t mean they are. Perhaps they made what they thought was a decision. Perhaps they repeated a prayer after some Christian worker, but they never repented of their sins and asked God from their heart to save them. Salvation doesn’t come by repeating some magic words. It is best done by coming to God personally, and asking God in your own words, to forgive you and accept you as one of his children.

If someone claims to be a child of God, there should be some outward manifestation of it in his life. I have said that “After I die I don’t want people to be surprised to hear that I was a Christian.” In Matthew 7:16 Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” II Corinthians 5:17 also says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

To be “in the faith” means that the person placed his faith in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for your salvation. Romans 5:8-10 makes it adequately clear that salvation is only possible by means of the shed blood of Christ. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.   Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

It is unfortunate that many trust in their own merits to give them standing before God. They have lived a decent life. They have been good to others. They are respected by many. They say, “That has to count for something.” The Bible says, however, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost: which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our savior” (Titus 3:5-6).

The word “examine,” used in II Corinthians 13:5, is the same word we use for an exam taken in school. It most often consists of questions. To examine ourselves means we need to ask ourselves questions and answer them honestly. The following are some questions you could ask yourself:

  1. Has there been a time when I personally remember having asked God to forgive me of my sins and accept me as one of his children?
  2. Do I enjoy reading the Bible and spending time with God in prayer?
  3. Do I enjoy going to church and growing in my knowledge of God through the preaching and teaching of the Bible?
  4. Do I choose my close friends among those who love God and walk with him?
  5. Have I experienced the reality of II Corinthians 5:17?
  6. Do I give other Christians reason to believe that I’m a Christian?

Paul also says in II Corinthians 13:5 that we should prove ourselves to know whether Jesus Christ is in us. Every time a small plane comes out of the factory it goes through a stress test before it goes out to be sold. There are pilots who take the planes up in the air and put them under stress to prove that they are flight worthy. The test you give yourself in the above questions is to give you assurance that you are on the road to heaven. If the answer to the majority of those questions is “no,” that should give you reason to think you aren’t genuinely saved.

It is unfortunate that some Christians go through life without the assurance of their salvation. That shouldn’t be your experience. The Bible says we can know that we are saved. I John 5:10-13 says, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.   And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Some refuse to examine themselves for fear of what the answer will be. They are like those who refuse to go to the doctor for fear of what his diagnosis will be. The fear that some have of examining themselves is the fear that they would need to make some dramatic changes in their life. For some it might be that they would have to admit to all their friends in church that they have been living a lie. They have professed to be something that they weren’t. For others, it might be that they would need to leave their church, and seek out a church that preaches and teaches the Word of God. Don’t let pride keep you from making the most important decision you will ever make.

If your examination leaves you in doubt about your salvation, you need to tell God that you aren’t sure about it. Ask him to forgive you of your sins and make you a child of his. Then you can claim the promise of John 1:12. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

If you have questions or comments you can send them to us at the following address: rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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