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Test Yourself



"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves." 2 Corinthians 13:5 On what basis do you feel comfortable that you are "in the faith?" The Word of God tells us not to take it for granted, but to "test yourself." If you go to church on Sundays, does that prove that you are "in the faith?" Does going to church make you a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ? If so, then that would mean that in a church of two or three hundred persons, every one there is "in the faith." Of course we know it doesn't work that way. If your unbelieving spouse goes to church with you because it's a good thing to do or maybe just to keep the peace, that certainly doesn't make him or her "in the faith." If a person goes to church because he was brought up to go to church every week, then it's more an act of tradition and it certainly doesn't prove that one is "in the faith." If you try to be "a good person," does that prove that you are "in the faith?" Have you noticed that when people from a cult come knocking on your door, they're usually very good people? Some of them live far cleaner lives than many of us. So whether one is "a good person" or not, it surely doesn't mean one is "in the faith." Consider that many atheists are "good" people and pride themselves on that. If you tithe faithfully and give to charity, does that mean you're "in the faith?" And of course we know that members of cults do the same. So that can't be a criteria proving one is "in the faith." So ...how does one "test" himself? How much time do you spend with the Lord himself? If he speaks to you, do you "hear?" If you haven't heard from the Lord in a long time, you might want to "test yourself" to see whether you are in the faith. "In the faith" implies a relationship, it implies action as a result of hearing from the Lord. If you don't hear from the Lord, then how can you being living in faith? And how does one hear from the Lord? Often, the Lord will speak to a believer as the believer spends time in God's Word (the Bible.) It's preferable always to have your prayer time BEFORE going to the Bible, because many times you'll find in your reading for the day an answer to what transpired between you and the Lord during your quiet time. Speaking through his Word is the primary way that God speaks to one's heart. There are other ways of course. Sometimes the Lord will speak directly to one's heart in answer to a question, or sometimes one's understanding is suddenly opened on a specific subject; then sometimes the Lord will answer by simply orchestrating circumstances in response to prayer. So if you don't hear from God, if you aren't reading his Word daily, how do you expect to be "in the faith?" And finally, all of the above is predicated on the assumption that you've been born again in the first place. One is not born again by attending church. One is not born again by being "good." Being born again is an act, a transaction between a person and God. All human beings are born in a fallen, sinful nature. All human beings are born into a fallen world. 2nd Corinthians 4:4 tells us that Satan is the god of this world that we have been born into, and it is necessary to be born again ...into the Kingdom of God. That's what Jesus Christ came to tell us. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 vs 7: Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You MUST be born again.’" Leave religious practices that are simply traditions you grew up with, and seek the Lord himself. ASK to be born again into the Kingdom of God. Then ...just watch! MORE: How Is One Born Again?