Thoughts on life and Scripture...

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Christian Test: Part 3

This will be the last post about assurance of salvation. I have been trying to show from the Bible that there are certain questions we can ask ourselves to determine if we are indeed saved and so gain an assurance of our salvation. In the last post we saw there must be repentance, faith, obedience, the work of the Spirit and answered prayer in the life of a Christian. Now without further delay, here are the next traits of a Christian.

1) Do you love other Christians?

 A true Christian loves Jesus Christ. The one born of God will love God and will love those who are His children. 1 John 5:1-2. Jesus Christ loves His church. He suffered and died for her. And so a Christian will love the church as well. "The one who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brothers is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes." 1 John 2:9-11.  Consider also this verse, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." 1 John 4:20.  It is not enough to say that you love your friends at church. But do you love all of those born again because God loves them and saved them and adopted them into His family; the same family that you are now part of? Do you love Christians who disagree with you on points of doctrine and practice or are not very lovable at times? Do you love the church where ever she may be found and seek to do her good? If you truly love God and have been born of God, you will seek the good of His church.

2) Are you disgusted with worldliness?

"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves, the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15. The world is the collective mass of sin and error of the people in this world. It is the kingdom of darkness over which Satan rules. The world's values, habits, beliefs and pleasures are seen on the movie screen, on TV, on the magazine rack, in liberal churches, in Buddhists temples and so on. Can you love sin? Can you love worldly wisdom? Can you be at home among ungodly friends?  If so, then there are some serious problems in your life and you may not be a Christian. Christians reject the world. The philosophies of this world are repulsive to the believer. The humor and entertainment of the world is nauseating. The Christian will walk against the grain of society, because he loves God, and truth, and holiness, and seek after His kingdom and righteousness first of all. "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God ? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." James 4:4.

3) Are you persecuted for the sake of Christ?

   A Christian will hate the world, but the world also hates the Christian. The world loves darkness and hates the light. Since Christians are of the light, the world will hate them and persecute them. "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." 2 Timothy 3:12. Cain killed Abel. Why? "Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous. Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you." 1 John 3:13. And so this has been the case from then until now. The children of Cain hate the righteousness of the children of Abel because it bothers their consciences and condemns them. "This is the judgement, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." John 3:19-20  Have you suffered for Christ? Maybe you have not been tortured or put in prison. But have you been excluded from others because you are a Christian? Have you been mocked or insulted because you bear the name of Christ?  Have you been slandered against because you are of the Light? Have you shared in the sufferings of Christ? If you have, you can be sure that you are part of the Kingdom of Light. The more godly you will live, the more people will hate you and the more joy and assurance you will enjoy.

 This is the end of the Christian test. I know it wasn't exhaustive, but I think I covered most of the questions. If there was something I missed, let me know. A good resource is  the book 'Biblical Doctrines' edited by John Macarthur and Richard Mayhue. See pages 649-653.

  Hopefully, after looking over these questions, you will gain greater assurance. If you did, then praise God and continue to make your calling and election sure. But if you don't see these qualities in your life, then maybe you aren't a Christian. Or you could be an immature Christian who needs growth. I would advise you to talk to a mature Christian for further counsel.


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