Look for Evidence of Faith
Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
As Paul closes the book of 2 Corinthians, he urges his reader’s to take a close look at themselves. He says, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” In Paul’s’ letters to the church at Corinth, he addressed a number of problems. The church seemed to be confused about or ignorant of several things that perhaps they should have known. Paul brought clarity to areas of confusion and also pointed out sin that required repentance. Then he asked them to examine themselves to try to determine if they were truly in the faith, that is, whether they were true believers.
As we read Paul’s words, we ask ourselves the same questions. You may have often heard the famous quote, “if you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” We would hope there would be plenty of evidence that we are true believers. What might that evidence look like?
The Reformation Study Bible offers a footnote with suggestions worth sharing. I’ve taken the liberty of adding a little.
Have you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Are you holding fast to Him? “And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” Heb 3:6
Do you walk in obedience to Him? “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matt7:21
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Are you growing in holiness? “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Heb 12:14
“And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3
Is the fruit of the Spirit being produced in you? “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Gal 5:22-23
Do you have love for other Christians? “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” 1 John 3:14
Do you have a positive influence on others? “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Are you adhering to apostolic teaching? “ By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” 1 John 4:2
Do you have the testimony of the Holy Spirit? “ By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” Romans 8:15-16
We know that our salvation is by grace through faith and that we can produce none of the above in ourselves. But we are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God Who works in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Phil 2:12-13
Examining ourselves is a good thing. Perhaps the questions above will help us as we follow Paul’s admonition to test ourselves.