Summary: How would you score on a test that determined how to measure your successfulness as a Christian?
How would you score on a test that determined how to measure your successfulness as a Christian? On the surface it probably appears very easily that everything is ok, because we are doing a good job. In fact I’m convinced that most everyone would say if asked (how is your faith walk with God doing), they would say just fine!
I’m afraid we are like the fellow in the story who showed up for a court hearing concerning an accident in which he had been involved.
His arm was in a cast, and there were bandages covering a great deal of his body, and the parts that were exposed were clearly covered with bruises, scratches and cuts. The judge asked about his injuries and he replied, Judge I’m in a terrible condition.
The judge said I don’t understand. The incident report filed by the officer at the scene at the time of the accident says you were stated as saying “you were doing just fine”.
Well judge I would like to explain that right there! I was driving my pickup and pulling a trailer. In the bed of the truck was my old dog Shep and my mule was in the trailer that I was pulling.
All of a sudden an 18 wheeler sideswiped me, knocking me off the road. As a result, my pickup truck and trailer rolled over and over down a steep embankment. The next thing I remember, a police officer was picking his way through the wreckage and came across my mule. After he made a quick examination of the situation I saw him take out his gun and shoot my mule between the eyes! Next he found old Shep and after examining him he shot him too, now judge he then walked over to me and asked how I was a doing ………. I looked up at him all broken up and hurting and said I’m doing just fine!!
In our text today Paul challenges the Corinthians and us to examine and test ourselves to see how one measures up.
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
5 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?
This passage urges us to give ourselves a self-check and in that we should be looking for a growing awareness of Christ’s presence in our lives. Paul says we should do this examination “to see whether you are in the faith”. Goals? Using talents?
We must be careful not to drift away and ignore our salvation!
Hebrews 2:1-3 (NIV) Warning to Pay Attention
2 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,
It is possible to drift to a point of an evil heart of disbelief! Evil?
Hebrews 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
So…..Is it possible to know how we stand before God?
1 John 5:12-15 (NIV)
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
We must Is Christ in me? because the Holy Spirit lives in Christians and we can embrace it or deny it but we most assuredly can know God’s will for us and thus we are able to determine if we have passing or failing the test!
John 14:15-17 (NIV) Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Sometimes taking a test causes anxiety. What if these were tests you had to take!
Here was one for an engineering student: the disassembled parts of a high powered rifle have been placed in a box on your desk. You will find an instruction manual printed in Aramaic on how to assemble the gun. I 15 minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the test room. Take whatever action you feel appropriate, and justify your decision.