Test of Faith

Nov 8, 2023 | The Chuck Wagon

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; Examine yourselves!”
2 Cor. 13:5a; NASB

There is something about this passage that strikes a nerve in many people, and not in a good way. What Paul is forcefully telling the Corinthian church is extremely important. There were problems within their church that he heard about and wanted them to change. If the issues he brought up in his two letters were true, he was certainly justified in his concern. The overarching point of the two letters is that no church of solid believers should allow these things to become such issues. Issues such as unchallenged sexual immorality, lawsuits between believers, unstable marriages, arguments about spiritual gifts, embracing false teachers, and even Paul’s authority as an apostle. What was going on with them?

Sadly, everything I listed above is in our churches today. Not just a few of our churches, but a great number of them. The first response to this might be that, given the human condition, these things are unavoidable in any church. This is quite true. Worldly issues will crop up in any group of believers, but if we would deal with them biblically as they occur, they would not continue to grow. A church built from a small group of devoted believers dedicated to presenting themselves before God as acceptable to Him will not be plagued with these things as the church grows. That is not because those issues do not arise, but because they are dealt with biblically as they do.

One big problem in the church today is mass delusion. There are countless numbers of people who think they are Christians, but have never received God’s gift of salvation. Even before Jesus began His ministry as man, John the Baptist laid the basic foundation of salvation. He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2). He also clearly stated, “bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt. 3:8). The church is filled with people who have been told they are saved because they raised their hands and repeated a “sinner’s prayer.” There is no salvation without repentance. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is both offensive and lifesaving. If you did not change noticeably to everyone that knew you at the time, chances are you were not saved. I know this is a bold statement, but it has to be said. This does not mean you cannot be saved; God is calling you to repentance if you have not done so.

If you are truly concerned about your eternal life, you will take the time to examine yourself in prayer. Repentance is a complete change in the way you live your life. The way you think and act will be completely different after repentance. This is because prior to salvation, your father is the devil (see Jn 8:43-44). Once God, through Jesus Christ, becomes your Father, everything changes. This can only happen through repentance. Paul continued today’s verse with, “Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” I strongly suggest you read the book of First John if you need help with the test.

Many churches today are in grave danger because they have failed to hold their people accountable to living biblical lives. Paul told the Galatians, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness” (Gal. 6:1). If all believers were to follow this directive, the church would not be in the condition it is in today. Test yourself. If you fail, cry out to God for direction. If you pass, begin boldly and lovingly addressing these issues with other people in your church group. The rewards are awesome for those who seek His guidance in these things.

God bless and have a great week

Share This