Life is filled with tests.
You learn in first grade about tests. Math tests. Spelling tests. English tests. History Tests. And it doesn’t stop for the next 12-16 years or more.
Then there are drivers’ tests. Eye tests. And hearing Tests. If you want to be a doctor or lawyer you have to pass a test. I’m writing this aboard a Southwest Jet on the way to Tampa. Hopefully the Pilot passed his test and is qualified to fly. Many occupations have tests to certify you as proficient in your profession.
If you’re using Mark Roberts’ Bible reading program, today you discover another kind of test in 2 Corinthians 13:5.
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
There are several important things to note about this test.
(1) It is a faith test.
The expression “the faith” is used 39 times in the New Testament. It refers to the system of faith. The gospel. The one faith. It is the Christian faith. The Bible says our faith is more precious than gold or silver. However, it is possible to deny the faith. Make shipwreck of the faith. And lose our faith. Thus a test is needed.
(2) This faith test reveals whether or not you are in Christ.
This is another important phrase. 87 times in the New Testament Bible writers speak of being “in Christ.” To be in Christ is to be in a relationship with Christ. That begins when we are baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).
When you are in a relationship with Christ you enjoy all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph. 1:3). You are sanctified in Christ (1 Cor. 1;2). You have forgiveness of sins in Christ (Eph 4:32). And You have hope in Christ (1 Cor. 15:19).
When you take this test, you will soon know whether or not you really are in Christ.
(3) This faith test is a personal test.
While this is written to the church at Corinth, Paul is speaking to individuals about their faith. There is not a collective test that you can pass if other people are doing well. Just like in school, each student must take a test. Each one is accountable. Each will receive their own score. So, it is with this faith test.
(4) You must administer this faith test yourself.
It’s not something the preacher or the pastors are going to give you. You must do it. And you’re on the honor system to be honest. If you cheat, you’re just deceiving yourself. Because the Lord knows your score.
(5) Here are 20 faith test questions to consider:
Do I have the attitude of Christ in my life?
Am I conformed to this world, or am I transformed?
Is my conduct becoming to the gospel of?
Do I truly love God with all my heart, soul and mind?
Do I love my neighbor regardless of their skin color, ethnicity, or national origin?
Do I practice the “one another” commands that instruct me to love my brethren, care for them, forgive them, serve them, and encourage them?
Do I assemble with saints to worship God in spirit and truth and edify others?
Do I love the Word of God? And read and meditate on it often?
Do I pray persistently?
Am I pursuing and growing in the fruit of the spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
Am I guilty of practicing the works of the flesh?
Do I admit my sins, confess them and seek God’s forgiveness?
Am I a faithful and loving husband or wife?
Am I honest in business dealings?
Am I a good steward of my financial resources and share my blessings with others?
Am I really seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?
Am I a parent teaching and training my children in righteousness/
Am I a good example to others?
Am I truly seeing to walk in the light of Christ?
Are the trials and troubles of life making me better or bitter?
These questions are not meant to be creedal. Or some kind of litmus test. You might think of better questions for the test. But this ought to get you started. How are you doing? Passing? Or failing?
Oh, and here’s a bonus question: Is your heart right with God?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman