I once read, “resurrection means nothing until salvation is secure”. Spot on! It can be easy to follow the crowd, and say things like “happy resurrection day”. Yet do we know what this even means on a personal level? Who is Christ to us? There is a popular saying that “just like going to McDonald’s doesn’t make us a hamburgers, so too, going to church doesn’t make us Christians”. True again! Paul reminds us time and time again to check ourselves to see if we are right with the Lord.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” – 2 Corinthians 13:5
So how do we test ourselves? Well we can start with the obvious:
1. Do we believe Jesus Christ as our only Lord and Saviour for the forgiveness of our sins? Some people believe that their “niceness” will be enough. Comparing themselves to others, such as criminals, puts them in good standings with society. Yet, it isn’t so with God. If we could gain eternity with God through our own efforts, then there would be no need for Christ to go to the cross. Salvation belongs to the Lord! Our goodness is evidence of salvation, but never the means to it.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8
2. Do we believe the Bible as the Word of God? And do we obey His Word or do we cherry pick what scriptures we want to follow?
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” – 2 Timothy 3:16
Contrary to the flow of society’s actions, sinning, like sex out of marriage is not approved by Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, the one we claim to be our God and Saviour.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators (sex out of marriage), nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
I once had a friend who thought this meant that no one can go to Heaven based on that scripture from Corinthians. Well, no one can without Christ. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, yet Jesus Christ is willing to forgive those who REPENT (denouce sin) and put their faith in Him.
One might say that is extreme, and following like this is being “religious”. Many do not actually understand that there is a good form of religious behaviour (trusting in Christ, and showing that faith by loving others – James 1:27), approved by God and another that is not, like hypocrisy.
In any order, if we claim to be Christians, Christ must be the pilot of each of our lives, we do not co-pilot with Him by the way.
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15
3. Does sin in our lives bother us? If we are not bothered when we disobey God we most probably are failing the test which Paul spoke about.
4. Are we concerned about forgiving others, or do we hold on to grudges? It can be hard, we’ve all been there. Yet, how can we expect forgiveness from God, when we ourselves don’t forgive others? Let the enemy have no mouse hole in our lives! Unforgiveness is an incubation period that can birth sin. Let us ask God to help us to forgive quickly, and move on.
When it comes to church going, some things to look out for:
1. Going to church just to impress others (clothing items etc).
2. Going to church as part of tradition, but no real connection with Christ, nor a desire to obtain a relationship with Him.
3. Lack of interest in the Word (social networking on mobiles during sermons etc.)
4. No desire to worship God (not doing our best to worship through song and prayer)
5. No concern to really fellowship with other believers
If we are trying our best to seek Christ, great, He knows our hearts and is willing to aid us through His Holy Spirit.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” John 14:16-18
Let us hold each other accountable. Let us test ourselves.