"PROVE YOUR OWN SELVES"
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
-- 2 Corinthians 13:5
The only way to know "whether ye be in the faith" is to bring your faith to the Word of God, crying with David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try (prove) me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me (see if I am in the way of the wicked), and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa. 139:23-24). If God will "say unto my soul, I am thy salvation" (Psa. 35:3), I want no other proof.
In his Word God has given us seven essential characteristics of saving faith. If these seven things are consistent with my faith, then my faith is genuine and I am a child of God. If these things are not consistent with my faith, then my faith is false and I am not a child of God.
1. SAVING FAITH CONFESSES PERSONAL DEPRAVITY AND SIN BEFORE GOD (Psa.51:3; Lk. 18:13; Rom. 7:18; I John 1:9). Faith confesses the deed of sin (Lk. 15:18), the nature of sin (Matt. 15:19; Psa. 51:5), and the sinfulness of all deeds of personal righteousness (Isa. 64:6).
2. SAVING FAITH LOOKS TO THE BLOOD OF CHRIST ALONE FOR ACCEPTANCE WITH GOD. Christ's precious blood represents the whole of his obedience to God as the sinners' Substitute. And faith sees everything it needs, everything God requires, in the blood of Christ alone: Redemption (Eph. 1:7), Forgiveness (Col. 1:14), Justification (Rom. 3:23), Sanctification (Heb. 10:10-14), and Reconciliation (Col. 1:20-21).
3. SAVING FAITH KNOWS THAT SALVATION IS BY GRACE ALONE (Eph. 2:8-9). I do not say that a person must be what men call a “Calvinist” to be saved. Calvinism has no more to do with salvation than Arminianism. Salvation is not in a system of doctrine, but in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ! And all who know that Person know that "Salvation is of the Lord" (Gal. 5:1-4; 1 Cor. 15:10).
4. SAVING FAITH WILLINGLY SUBMITS TO THE DOMINION OF CHRIST AS LORD (Lk. 14:25-33). Faith gives up the reins of life to the hands of Christ (Mk. 8:34-35).
5. SAVING FAITH WORKS BY LOVE (Gal. 5:6). Good works attain nothing. And the lack of good works prevents nothing. In the kingdom of God, "faith which worketh by love" is everything.
6. SAVING FAITH IS INVOLVED IN A WARFARE (Gal. 5:17). The flesh and the Spirit are constantly at war within the believer's heart. The Spirit rules! But the flesh will never surrender.
7. SAVING FAITH PERSEVERES TO THE END (Col. 1:21-23; Heb. 10:38-39). It simply will not quit!
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #787
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 606-236-8235 - Email email@example.com