Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you—unless, indeed, you fail the test!(2ndCorinthians 13:5 NET)
Examining yourself under a spiritual magnifying glass may not be as fun as shouting and praising God, but it is absolutely necessary as part of the devoted Christian life.
The test and examination of yourself is to clearly see if you are in the faith, genuinely (truthfully and honestly), and by fruit production. What does that mean?
What did Paul mean when he stated this examination was to be about whether or not we are in the faith of the Lord Jesus? The good news is we do not have to guess.
But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.”(Acts 24:24, 25 NASB)
Paul explained “faith in Christ” to Felix and Drusilla as: righteousness, self-control, and judgment to come. It made Felix shake and tremble. It’s time for people to shake and tremble by the power of the Holy Spirit as we minister faith in Christ Jesus as Paul did.
Jesus said the Holy Spirit was sent to convict concerning those things.
And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8).
We begin to look at these closely. These are powerful and revealing, and they are the very definition of faith in Christ. Faith in Christ is to include righteousness, self-control, and judgment to come, or it is something else. I don’t mean that every message preached or taught has to be specifically about these three subjects, but there needs to be an underlying current of truth in each message. We should never relegate to a backburner righteousness, self-control, or judgment to come.
I understand how foreign that sounds to our ears today because much of the modern church has gone after fluff and cotton candy preaching that RARELY mentions or teaches anything concerning these subjects. Yet, it is precisely what the Holy Spirit was sent to minister through the Church.
I will tell you this in advance. Each of those three things mentioned by Paul are vast in scope. You could probably preach on each one until Jesus returns and never run out. For example, did you know righteousness includes ALL Jesus provided for you and me through His awesome and mighty sacrifice? Righteousness includes every benefit of redemption, but did you know it also includes our moral behavior?
So, are you ready to be challenged and “rudely” interrupted from the traditions of men? Here is part 2!