How to Test Your Faith
By Alan Griffin
“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 NIV
What makes a true Christian you might ask? We should examine our lives to find out whether we are true believers or not. Doubting our salvation is not necessarily wrong. We all struggle with our Christian confidence at one time or another. Satan likes to sneak doubt into our minds, and we should immediately rebuke him and cast the thought aside. A Christian is not necessarily one who upholds to a moral standard or someone who reads their Bible daily. I know people who appear to be righteous in every way. Many live by a code I could never reach, and I have met Bible scholars who have doctorates in theology and are not even close to being saved. They are experts on a book they don’t believe in.
True Christians dwell in Christ, and Christ dwells within them. A true Christian is a person, that through their actions, there is evidence of a personal relationship with God. Our friends generally notice the change first. They tell us there is something different about us, which allows us to share Christ with them. We have an inner witness in the Holy Spirit who attests to our belief. We are a new creation with desires that are born in the heart of a new Christian. We have a longing to spend time with other Christians and a newfound passion for the word of God. We experience a turn of direction. We turn away from the things we know are wrong and turn towards God. Our attitude, behavior, and character change.
New Christians should examine themselves to help bring us in line with Biblical doctrine. However, being too critical of ourselves leads to depression. We must remind ourselves that we came to God to do for us what was impossible to do for ourselves. We trust in Jesus to do the saving and we do the believing. We grow in faith through Bible study, worship, and prayer. One of the worst things we can do is compare ourselves with other Christians. This is not self-examination but rather self-justification. On one end we look at other people’s lives and say, “ They do this and they do that so it must be okay for me to do it too,” or we look at someone who has devoted their life to Christ and get discouraged because we can’t live up to their expectations. How does faith reflect in our lives? What should we do to grow in faith? Here are 5 simple steps to make sure you pass the test.
We are to confess our sins and seek forgiveness – We are to go to our Heavenly Father in prayer earnestly seeking forgiveness for our sins. My friend, your Father knows everything about you. You cannot hide anything from Him. He requires this time so that the two of you can have a personal relationship with each other. He paid a very high price so that we could communicate directly with Him. I discuss with Him the things I know I am struggling with. I don’t ask Him to forgive my sins, I thank Him for forgiving me because I know He already has.
We are to desire what is right – There are many here on earth doing what is wrong. It is very easy to fall into the crowd and go along. I find it challenging to do what is right. Striving to better ourselves is rewarding in many ways. It makes us more confident in our relationship with Christ. It builds the courage to share our testimony with others. We develop Christian character. We are more successful with our relationships with friends and family. “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate,” says the Lord. “Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor. 6:16—7:1) (NKJV)
We are to submit ourselves to the Word of God – We are travelers in a world that is not our own. We are not from here. We do not live our life for evil desires. We need to surrender our lives, our thoughts, our emotions, and our possessions to God. Without Him, they aren’t worth anything anyway. It is not how it seems. We need to surrender control of our lives to set ourselves free. We have to give ourselves away, to gain control through Jesus Christ. The more we submit ourselves to God the greater the blessings He bestows on us.
We are to love God and all others – We are to love our God with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our soul. We are to love one another as we love ourselves. These are the two greatest commandments. If we do these two things everything else will fall in place.
We are to bear fruit – We are finally here! This is the test that most Christians fail. Those of us who fail the test still have major sin in our lives and generally, the sins where God is considering giving up on us are the sexual sins of homosexuality, sex out of wedlock, and adultery. People involved in these and other sins put God up on a shelf and bring Him down only when they need Him. They have not given themselves over to Him. They are expecting God to give Himself over to them. It never ever works that way. We go through all the motions. We get baptized. We join the church. We try to commit to lead a better life for ourselves and our family, but we don’t produce fruit, or as James tells us, “faith without works is dead.” But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? James 2:18-20 (NKJV)
We are to serve God in some sort of capacity. The Body of Christ has perhaps 22 spiritual gifts. Combine those with the diversity of mankind and you have untold billions of spiritual combinations. Each person serves Christ in their own special way. We all have a ministry in Christ. We just don’t go to the church on Sunday and listen to the minister. We are ministers, every single one of us. If you aren’t, you have failed the test of faith. You can’t just sit back in a pew and let other people do all the work. God requires a service from you. The least of which is that every single person you come in contact with personally, it is your responsibility to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” James 2:24 (NKJV) Listen to me very carefully. We are justified by faith through our works. Faith comes from hearing, reading, and studying the Bible. This is the only way the Holy Spirit can have a work inside of us. Through this relationship with the Holy Spirit, we learn our spiritual gifts and what our ministry is to others. One goes hand in hand with the other. Pray to God to reveal your gifts and ministry. I promise you when you combine the two, God blesses you wholly, mightily.
Alan Griffin started the Kindsnchrist ministries in November 1997. He has worked with inner-city kids for 21 years. He found a need for specialized Biblical literature that would reach people of all ages and has been writing since 2005. The ministry has expanded its websites to reach around the world. Kindsnchrist.com, millennialchristian.com, teensnchrist.com, seniorsnchrist.com, picture-verse.com, and soulworks-smallgroups.com. We had an outreach of over 13,000,000 people last year with 36,000,000 impressions. If you have any questions for Alan you can reach him at email@example.com
Read more good Christian news from Alan Griffin here.