Scriptures teach that our heart is deceitfully wicked, even to the point it will deceive itself (Jer. 17:9). And this often happens in regards to true salvation, or the difference between saving faith and non-saving faith. That is why we are commanded to examine ourselves, to take on the difficult task of self-examination, in order to see if we are truly saved. And often this self-examination is both painful and revealing. Consider the following:
2 Corinthians 13:5 – Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?— unless indeed you are disqualified (reprobates, those not approved, those who fail the test).
Ouch! That stings.
How can we go about looking at our spiritual lives in the light of Scripture? What questions do we ask ourselves? How is the process of self-examination and salvation accomplished?
And how can we know we are saved and not disqualified?
Self-Examination and Salvation
The answer is found in 1 John. In fact, one of the key goals of 1 John is for believers, people like you and me, to be able to know we have eternal life. Look at what John says towards the end of his book:
1 John 5:13 – These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, (why) that you may know (what) that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Using 1 John as our source, let’s look at each of the following questions in detail in order to determine our spiritual state. After all, what could be more important than that?
- Do you enjoy having fellowship with Christ and His redeemed people? – 1 John 1:3
- Would people say you walk in the light, or walk in the darkness? – 1 John 1:6-7
- Do you admit and confess your sin? – 1 John 1:8-9
- Are you obedient to God’s Word? – 1 John 2:3-5
- Does your life indicate you love God rather than the world? – 1 John 2:15
- Is your life characterized by “doing what is right”? – 1 John 2:29
- Do you seek to maintain a pure life? – 1 John 3:3
- Do you see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life? 1 John 3:5-6
- Do you demonstrate love for other Christians? – 1 John 3:14
- Do you “walk the walk,” or just “talk the talk”? – 1 John 3:18-19
- Do you maintain a clear conscience? – 1 John 3:21
- Do you experience victory in your Christian walk? – 1 John 5:4
Again, don’t take this time of self-examination lightly. These may be the most important questions you have ever asked yourself. And your answers may indicate if you exercise saving faith or non-saving faith. And the difference between the two is the difference between heaven and hell. So set apart some time for this self-examination and let’s look at His Word together.
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