Summary: A plea to determine whether a person is in Christ.
By Bart J. Leger
Have any of you had a check up lately? You know, many people go to the doctor only when they’re about ready to die. We had a couple of folks go to the doctor the past two weeks. It’s a wise thing to do because when something serious is found early enough usually something can be done about it. A good friend of mine went to the doctor this past year for a checkup and found he had colon cancer. They performed surgery, he went through the treatments and he is better today.
But the kind of check up I’m really talking about this morning is not a medical check up. It’s an eternity check up.
I. It’s Time To Examine Ourselves
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates
A. We all need self-examination
· Examine – to make proof or trial, put to the proof, subject to trial, put to the test.
a. It is possible we may have fooled ourselves. (Matt. 7:21-23)
Here is the source of a grand delusion among men in regard to religion. They see, it to be, true, and they really rejoice in contemplating it; they do not enter into its relation to themselves, and so they love to hear such preaching, and say they are fed by it. But mark! They go away and do not practice. See that man! he is sick, and his feelings are tender. In view of Christ, as a kind and tender Savior, his heart melts and he feels strong emotions of approbation towards Jesus Christ. Why? For the very same reasons that he would feel strong emotions toward the hero of a romance.
But he does not obey Christ. He never practices one thing out of obedience to Christ, but views him abstractedly, and is delighted with his glorious and lovely character, while he himself remains in the gall of bitterness. Thus it is apparent that your faith must be an efficient faith, such as regulates your practice and produces good works, or it is not the faith of the gospel, it is no real faith at all.
(Lectures to Professing Christians Charles G. Finney)
b. It is possible we may not understand how to become a Christian.
a. Now! (2 Cor. 6:2; James 4:13-14)
B. We need to determine whether we are “in the faith”.
1. Have we trusted Christ?
2. Have we surrendered ourselves?
II. A True Examination Requires Objective Proof
The only way to prove our Christianity is by examining our actions.
A. Our actions must stand the test
1. Prove – to prove by trial, to test, assay metals, scrutinize, discern
2. Our claims must be backed up by our actions (1 John 2:3)
B. Let’s take a Practical test to see if we are truly saved
1. Do we love the brethren? (1 John 3:14)
2. Do we practice righteousness? (1 John 2:29; 3:9)
3. Have we overcome the world? (1 John 5:4)
4. Do we have the Holy Spirit? (Rom. 8:9)
Bogus Christians abound. You better make sure you’re the real thing. In this day of satanic counterfeits, it is important that professing Christians know that they are saved. Your entire eternity hangs in the balance. Please don’t rely on a feeling or an experience. Right now, honestly ask God to reveal to you your true condition. Are you in the faith and in the family? Or are you a counterfeit? Your eternity depends on it.