Test Yourself - Are You In The Faith?
Corinthians 13:5-6 - Test [examine] yourselves
to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do
you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?unless
you fail the test. And I hope you will recognize that we do
not fail the test.
This is a command in scripture for anyone who believes they
are a Christian... test yourself to see if you truly are a
Are you upset that I'm asking you to test yourself?
Does it appear that I'm doubting you are a Christian? If this
request upsets you... if you do not think you need to test
yourself... then it is very likely you are not saved. That
you are not truly a Christian.
Because I'm not the one saying you should test yourself.
It is a command in scripture. Someone who does not desire
to obey God... who does not desire to obey scripture, and
examine themselves... is either a very immature Christian,
or is not saved.
Why is testing yourself
so important that scripture commands it?
Matthew 7:21-23 - 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.
On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we
not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name,
and do many mighty works in your name?" And then
will I declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from
me, you workers of lawlessness."
This is about people who were confident they were saved.
100% confident they were saved. It was obvious they were saved
because of all the incredible things they did. Yet when they
died and stood before Jesus Christ, He says to them, "I
never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."
These are words you NEVER want to hear. So, do as scripture
says, test yourself. Before it is too late.
Test Yourself - Are You
In The Faith? - Five Questions
Based on scripture here are five points that John MacArthur
has compiled. Do not be discouraged if you fail in some points.
No one is perfect. What you should look for are trends. Are
you improving in each of these areas?
1. Are you experiencing a growing knowledge of, and turning
from sin? Do you mourn over your sin? Do you run from
sin? (I Corinthians 6:18) Do you acknowledge (confess) your
sin to God? (1 John 1:7-10 and Romans 7:24). Are there things
you did that where acceptable several years ago, but today
you now know are sinful and have stopped doing them?
Or, do you sometimes do wrong things because you've been mistreated
by others, or because you had a childhood trauma. Is it your
lack of self-esteem that leads you to occasionally cheat,
lie, or steal? Do you feel you could be a good person, if
only your circumstances were somehow changed?
If you understand the problem is sin... your sin... and you
hate sin... run from sin... then you've passed the first test.
If you blame you sin on someone else, or on your circumstances,
then you fail the first test.
Do you desire what is right and pure? Do you have a deep
longing to obey the commands of God? Do you fully desire to
know and understand scripture? Do you strive to change the
way you think, having an internal desire for righteousness
that has changed who you are internally? Do other people see
a distinct difference in you now compared to what you were
like before you began trusting in Jesus?
Or, do you act good on the outside, but your true desires
are for sin? Do you redefine the Bible's definition of certain
sins so as to make certain behaviors "in our culture"
not sinful? (For example, sex outside of marriage, looking
at pornography, homosexuality, downloading pirated music from
the internet...) Do you study the scriptures to gain a better
and true understanding of how God truly defines right and
If your desire is to obey God... to know God's desires and
bring your life into alignment with God's desires... and to
know His desires they way He defines them, not the way our
culture defines them, then you've passed the second test.
If there are some of God's commands that you believe do not
apply in today's culture, or maybe that do not apply to you,
then you've failed test number two.
The following table compares external righteousness (most
likely unsaved), with internal righteousness, for five of
the Ten Commandments:
vs. A True (Internal) Change Of Heart
|| Internal Righteousness (Matthew 5:20)
|Does not murder
||Does not hate (21-22)
|Does not commit sexual sin
||Does not lust (27-28)
|Cleverly avoids false vows,
while deceiving others
||Does not lie (33-37)
|Limits vengeance to what
is allowed by law
||Does not retaliate at all
|Love friends, hates enemies
||Loves friends & enemies
|Parades itself before others
||Longs to be like Jesus (5:48)
Are you submissive to divine authority? Are you a willing
servant (Luke 11:25-35)? Do you submit to the authority of
scripture? Is your desire to understand scripture correctly?
Are you open to rebuke and correction from other Christians?
Or, do you believe scripture needs to be understood in light
of our current culture? Is your understanding of scripture
significantly different than the historical understanding
of scripture? Was the Bible written by people who did not
have the understanding of science and human psychology that
we now have, and thus they got some things wrong?
If you are submitting to the authority of scripture, and
are open to correction and rebuke from other Christians (as
commanded by scripture), then you've passed the third test.
If you believe that our understanding of scripture must be
based on science and the present cultural context, then you've
failed the third test.
4. Do you obey God? Is your desire to obey God, and
when you don't you mourn over your disobedience? (Luke 6:46;
John 8:31; John 14:15, 23-24; 15:10; 1 John 2:3-5; 3:24; 52-3)
If your desire is to obey God, and you read the scriptures
to learn what He says you should do or not do (if your focus
is on God), then you've passed the fourth test.
If you desire to be accepted by the world (be accepted in
the culture), or you desire what you want for yourself (your
focus is on yourself), then you've failed the fourth test.
5. Do you have love for God, for Christians, and for other
people? What does it mean to Biblical love someone? Do
you know how God defines love, based on scripture? (1 Corinthians
13:1-7, Romans 12:1-2; 9-21) Do you understand that love and
obedience to God (in all things) are the same? To love God
is to obey God (1 John 5:2). To obey God is to love God.
Are there Christians whom you avoid or hate? (1 John 2:9-11)?
Do you have an unresolved conflict with a Christian brother
or sister? Is biblical love a feeling? Is love a warm puppy,
a happy baby, or a spouse you feel close to? Is love a overwhelming
desire to be with someone? Can you fall into love... and fall
out of love?
If you understand that to love God is to obey God... if you
understand agape as sacrificially meeting the real needs (not
wants) of other people, without regard to whether you like
them. If you understand that people's greatest need is to
repent and trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior, then you've
passed the fifth test.
If there are Christians you hate, or with whom you have an
unresolved conflict... If you understand love as a feeling,
or as providing whatever anyone asks for, as a feeling that
can come and go... then you've failed the fifth test.
As fallen people none of us are perfect. None of us
will be perfect when examining ourselves using the above Biblical
test. The key question is: Do you know what the problem is?
Can you identify the problem we all have? Do you know the
solution to the problem... the only solution to the problem?
Fill in the blanks:
The problem is _____.
The solution is __________ and ______________________.
Has the answer changed your life? Has your behavior changed?
Are you literally a different person since the solution was
implemented in your life?
Here are the answers:
The problem is sin.
The answer is repent and trust that Jesus Christ has paid
the penalty you've earned for disobeying God.
If this does not make sense, please get in touch with me.
I'd love to talk with you and hear your comments on the above...
or answer your questions. You can reach me at: cbBibleChurch@gmail.com.
You can ask a question anonymously on our web site using
our online form: Got
Read another viewpoint on
Note: The book of 1st John provides 11 "tests"
that identify true believers. I'll look at those eleven "tests"
in another article.