Do We Pass the Test?

2 Corinthians 13:5-6 ESV

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.”

Permissive or Strict?

Many people these days see love as permissiveness, and they see strictness as meanness, but not everyone who is strict is mean. But, what most people don’t seem to realize is that permissiveness is pure meanness, for it has no regard for the harm that will come upon the people who become permissive or for the people they sin against.

I have also noticed that those who are permissive are usually well liked or idolized, and people are generally drawn to them, while those regarded as strict are usually avoided, not well liked, and don’t have many friends. There are exceptions to this, though, I know.

So, if you are one who is speaking the truth in love, telling people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, most likely you will not be well liked, and people will not want to be with you, and they may even speak evil against you, thinking you to be harsh and unloving.

And, this is largely because our church culture has promoted Christianity as something fun and entertaining, light and fluffy, comfortable and easy going, non-judgmental, and non-confrontive. So, they cater to the ungodly so as not to offend them with the truth.

Thus, they also dilute and alter the truth to make it more appealing to human flesh. So, they teach faith in Jesus as a mere confession or acknowledgment of Christ and of what he did for us on that cross, or as words repeated after someone in a one-time prayer.

And, change of lifestyle, of thinking, or of behaving is not required by them. In some cases, it is recommended, and in others it is even discouraged. For, many of them see repentance, walks of obedience, and surrender to Jesus Christ as “works-based salvation,” and thus they believe they are exempt from them.

And, since this is the foundation many people are receiving, there are many false professions of faith in Jesus Christ.

What’s the Test?

So, what is this test? How can we be sure of our salvation and of our eternal life with God? If we are to test ourselves, we need to have something to measure ourselves against. We do! It is the New Testament of the Bible, but it is Scripture taken in context, not out from the context in which it sits.

So, part of this test has to be to test what we have always been taught or what we believe against the Scriptures, in context, to see if what we believe is true or false. So, what are some key salvation Scriptures that are most often used to teach the gospel?

Eph 2:8-9 is one. It teaches we are saved by grace, through faith, and this not of ourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast. So, what most people teach here is some obscure faith in contrast to any requirements for repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ.

But, is that what this is teaching? No, it isn’t. Verse 10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

And, then we read in Ephesians 4 that we are not supposed to live like we did before we believed in Jesus, for the way we should have learned the truth which is in Jesus is that we are to die to our old way of living, to be renewed in our thinking, and we are to put on Christ and his righteousness.

So, while it is true that our good works, done in our own flesh, can do nothing to earn or to deserve us salvation from sin, it is also true that we are saved to good works done in the Spirit which we are to walk in. And, we are to die to our old lives, and now live the lives God had planned for us.

Also, in Romans 6 we learn that we are slaves to the one we obey, either sin, which leads to death, or obedience, which leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and its end, eternal life. And, in Romans 8 we read that if we walk (in practice) according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live.

So, when people quote Romans 10:9-10 as the essence of the gospel, it is missing several critical elements of the gospel, such as repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord.

For, taken out of context, it is interpreted to say you can acknowledge faith in Jesus, make a public confession of him as Lord, and you can be saved without repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ, which is not biblical.

Test Yourselves

So, not only do you need to go through the salvation Scriptures you learned and to read them in context (of the whole Bible book), and not only should you compare Scripture with Scripture, but you need to test your own life against those teachings of Scripture to see if your life adds up to one who is saved and who has eternal life with God.

For, we aren’t saved by a mere confession of faith or by a mere confession of Christ as Lord. For genuine faith in Jesus Christ results in changed hearts, minds, and behaviors, of the Spirit of God. And, this isn’t optional. We aren’t “saved” and then we get to choose how we live from then forward.

The essence of the gospel is this. Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And, in his death he gave his life blood for us to buy us back for God that we would now be God’s possession and that we might now honor God with our lives.

Also, if we claim that we are Christians or that we are saved from our sins or that we have fellowship with God but we continue living in sin, as our practice, then Scripture teaches we are liars who don’t live by the truth. And, they teach that we don’t have eternal life with God but a fearful expectation of judgment.

So, we need to examine our lives against these Scriptures. If we are still living for sin, walking in the ways of the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, then we will die in our sins, because we refused to die to our sins.

[Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; 2 Co. 5:10; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Co. 6:19-20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

5 thoughts on “Do We Pass the Test?

  1. Yes! Amen!
    I love that “strictness equals meanness” 😅😊 yes, people misunderstand that. For Christians, we are expected to live stricly by the standard of God. The Scripture is our standard and it could not be changed according to our liking or trend. We should change according to the Bible, not the Bible according to us.♥️🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

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