"I'm a Christian too" or "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith"?

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cris

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi my friends,

I have just published this on Facebook. Because there are so many "Let's find x million Christians".
Please tell me what you guys think. This is it:

"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?" (Paul to Corinthians)

Since there are so many lists and groups like "I bet there are x million Christians on Facebook", "I am a Christian", "I love Jesus", etc, I thought I should write this. I have been thinking about this for a long while.
We gladly start these lists and sign them, but the problem is, how many of the signers are really Christians?
And to a certain extent, I think they are "counterproductive", if I can say so, because it can give us a false perception of security. We can easily think we are Christians when in fact we are not.
I think we should rather ask ourselves "why exactly am I a Christian!?"

Yes, we repented and believed, but isn't there some evidence that can (and should) validate our faith? Jesus never said "you can't judge a book by its cover". In fact, he said. "You shall know them by their fruit".
This is no salvation by works, neither adding something to salvation. Salvation is by faith alone, and if we truly repent and believe, Jesus will save us. But there are several things that must happen that certify that our faith is genuine:
- Not only will we have a new relationship with God, but we will have a new relationship with sin. We are supposed to hate sin. We have a God who is "holy, holy, holy"
- We will want to grow in knowledge: reading the Bible, hear it being preached. Even when we talk among ourselves, we should want to talk about our faith (don't we, as Christians, so often talk about everything under the sun, except about Jesus?)
- We will want to be among other believers (the Church). It's impossible to read the New Testament and not notice that Church is inseparable from Christianity
- Not only did we repent back then, but we also repent every day, because we sin every day. And we are growing in repentance (as we mature in our faith, we will notice eve more things that are wrong with us as Christians, things we didn't see when we were babies in Christ). Christianity is not a flue shot, like "I did what had to be done back then and that's it".
- There was always in the history of the Church a major concern in regards to separating from the world, which seems to be almost lost now. I believe if we don't have room for worldliness (in fact against it) in our theology, there's something wrong.
None of these will be perfect from the first day. In fact believing and repenting might be feeble in the beginning. But if we are not going in this direction (the items above) as the years go by, I think there is something wrong with our Christianity.

There was a time in my life when I thought I was a Christian, but I wasn't.
All the feedback (and we are always looking for it) I got from the Christians around me was similar to these "Let's find x millions Christians". I was "one of them", and thus, a Christian.
I looked, talked, and to a certain extent, behaved like one, but I wasn't one.
I wish someone told me back then something like "If you are a Christian, let's look for evidence in your life"
But no-one did.

Thx a lot for your feed-back
Cristian
 

Iconoclast

Puritan Board Junior
Well I hope this might generate some discussion with your friends.You should perhaps consider some follow up material to offer any of those who do respond to your writing.
Perhaps you could recommend some reading, or sermons that have helped you work through these important issues.;)
 

cris

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you very much for your post, Anthony
I will do just that, what you suggest
 

cris

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you Norm, Andrew
Actually, no wonder the title of the sermon is the same, since it's a verse in the Bible. I think I've seen it before. I wish there were more sermons like his.
As about my post, no-one replied until now, but it might be useful even if there are no replies. I pray the Lord will use it.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
The Parable of the sower was helpful in understanding this deep, fearsome truth.

Matthew 13

3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Many, many people profess to be Christians but are not. Their lives prove out they are not. The world, flesh and the devil overtake because they were never elect in the first place.

Those who have been redeemed will show evidence over time. It may be obscured more or less at times, but there will be fruit because it flows from a nature God has changed. Jesus prays for them at the right hand of Father and will preserve them to the end.

It's painful to realize how many people think they are God's but are not, and all the more reason to glorify God in your life for redeeming a sinner such as yourself!
 
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