Their is a test that every Christian must take from time to time in their Christian journey. What is this special test that each person in the church of Jesus Christ must take periodically? It is an examination of the quality of our lives. The test is to see whether we are in the faith or not. It is a look at the validity of our faith, and the soundness of our character, our prayer life, our praise life and our life of repentance.
The Apostle Paul taught that each child of God must examine themselves when he addressed this to the church in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 13:5. He stated as follows:
“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?”
Paul is basically saying to us that we should test ourselves to see if we are saved or not. He was saying in essence, that unless Jesus Christ is in us, we are a reprobates. How is reprobate actually defined? It means: morally depraved, unprincipled; rejected by God and excluded from the number of the elect (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reprobate).
What Should We, Then Use To Measure Our Faith By?
Should we measure our faith by the majority of other Christians that we see? No, those Christians with whom we are comparing ourselves to might not truly be in the faith either. Then, should we examine ourselves by our particular church’s doctrinal teachings? No, because that particular church denomination’s doctrine might not be based exclusively on the Word of God, but on some person or persons’ opinion about what they think God is looking for in a Christian. Denominational doctrine is a flawed measure of the test of our faith!
What, then, should we as Christians use to measure our faith, and our salvation by? What should be used to take the test of our faith? We should use, exclusively the Word of God, which is the Bible. Furthermore, we should use a genuine version of a Bible translation, at that; particularly the King James version Bible.
This Bible (the King James version, that is) is not a perfect translation of scripture, but it is the best translation, bare-none of any other sold today because it has been translated from the accepted ancient manuscripts (that are still in existence today) used by the early church fathers (who were leaders appointed by the original Apostles of Jesus Christ). Some other popular modern translations were translated from unacceptable ancient manuscripts used by early false teachers who were not acceptable teachers from the viewpoint of the early Apostles (who were hand-picked by Jesus Christ to lead the early church).
The doctrinal teaches found from these false teachers (like the Gnostics) was considered to be heresy to the early church fathers, and Jesus condemned their beliefs, Himself, in His message to the seven churches of Asia Minor found in the book of Revelations. These are not the manuscripts that should be used to translate any Bible, but, unfortunately, they were used in many modern Bible translations.
How Should We Use the Bible To Test Ourselves?
Once we have the correct Bible version, then, we should use it as a mirror. A mirror reflects what is actually there; be it the good, the bad, and the truth. We should, then, use the teachings of God’s commands for our lives to see how we really measure up to God’s standard of holiness as found in His Holy Word. We should see if we, indeed, have the fruit of the Spirit or the fruit of the world.
We must take the test of the Word to see if we truly love God, for example,” …with all of our heart, our soul, our strength and our mind…” as commanded by Christ Jesus (Luke 10:27). Then, we must see if we truly love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27b). We, also, have to test our forgiveness toward others, so that we can be forgiven by God (Matthew 6:14-15); this is very important!
These are the type of things that we must use the Word of God to test from time to time in our Christian walk. And as we examine ourselves, we must be brutally honest with ourselves about ourselves. Or, we may find one day that we have deceived ourselves about who we really were; and that is very dangerous to our faith!
In conclusion, as the song, ‘Put Your Hand In the Hand,’ (written by Gene MacLellan) says,
“Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently
By puttin’ your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.”
That is to say, we should examine ourselves, first, before we can examine other people. We must take the test that examines our faith, and our salvation in Christ Jesus. Does the fruit of my life:
- my character,
- my integrity,
- and my relationship with God and with others,
suggest that I am a child of God? Does my conversation and behavior reflect the fruit of the Spirit being active in my life as found in Galatians 5:22-25 when it says,
(22)”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
(23)”Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
(24)”And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
(25)”If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
And let us not get it confused or twisted, it is by the POWER of the Holy Spirit working In us the very grace of God, enabling us to have the will and to do whatever God wants us to do and whenever He wants us to do it (Philippians 2:13)! A-MEN