God is testing our profession of believing in Him
Almost everyone has heard or been asked the question "If you died today do you know for sure you would go to heaven? " Some might say "I think so, I live the ten commandments" Does the Bible say living the ten commandments makes one right enough with God to get that person to heaven? Consider the Apostle Paul's words: "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:19-20 Is there any assurance here that living the law would get them into heaven with God, and not end up in hell with the devil and his followers? Someone else might say "Oh sure I will be in heaven because I believe in God" Believe what? All you have to do is believe Jesus died and rose again for us right! Right, did not the Apostle Paul say "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." 1 These. 4:14 The Apostle John also said: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Yes, all you have to do is believe. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance gives the following definition of the word believe: "to have faith in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing. By implication to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ" We see true faith calls to a commitment, and a living response to the one trusted.
The big question is who determines you believe, you or God? God's Word tells us He puts the reality of our faith on trial in ten different ways, to validate our profession of faith.
See if your faith will pass His test of reality.
1 The Professing Believers' Faith Is on Trial Regarding God's Word. "And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. Luke 8:21 "But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it." Luke 11:28 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:22 Someone wisely said: "True faith is committing yourself to God so that you respond to Him by acting on what He says." Does your response to God's Word validate the reality of your faith?
2. The Professing Believers' Faith Is on Trial Regarding Their Relationship to Christ. The Apostle John said: "11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" John 1:11-13 John also tells us: "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." 1 John 5:11-13 The Apostle Paul speaks of that relationship tested in another way: "14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Rom. 8:14-17 God makes it clear He determines the reality of the believers faith by whether or not they have followed His plan for adoption into His family, and are led of His Spirit. Is your faith validated by your by your receiving Christ, and being led by the Spirit of God?
3. The Professing Believers' Faith Is on Trial Regarding Their Attitude toward Christ "Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner," 1 Peter 2:7 To those that truly believe Jesus is so precious to them, they live for Him and not themselves, as spoken of by the Apostle Paul "14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again." 2 Cor. 5:14-15 Here we see God determines the reality of the professing believers faith by who comes first in the believers life Christ or the believer.
4. The Professing Believers' Faith Is on Trial Regarding Their Following Christ. "25Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30I and my Father are one." John 10:25-30 Jesus also asked the question "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46 Here we see God determines the reality of the professing believers faith by who the believer follows. If you cannot trust His way for your life, how can you trust Him with your soul? Who do you follow?
5. The Professing Believers' Faith Is on Trial Regarding Their Lifestyle. Of which the Apostle John spoke "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 Consider what the Apostle John had to say on the subject:" 5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:5-7 and again John said: "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." 1 John 2:6
Walking in His ways is living His lifestyle. The Apostle Paul spoke of the heart of the true believer in that regard when he said: "12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philip. 3:12-14 The Apostle Paul admitted he was not living a perfect life as Christ wanted him to, on occasion Paul failed to live a Christ-like life. However, he did not let past failures stop him, instead he fixed his eyes on Christ and pressed to the mark of Christ in his life. Paul's lifestyle was that of Christ not that of his failures.
It is clear to see God determines the reality of the believer faith not by the absence of failures but by the believers everyday walk in life. It is the everyday walk of the believer tells the truth of the believers faith. What does your lifestyle say of your faith in Christ?
6. Believers Faith Is on Trial Regarding Their Love For the Lord Jesus Christ. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." John 14:21-24 Does your response to God's Word validate the reality of your faith and love for the Lord?
Notice: God's presence is only assured through obedience to His word motivated by the believers' love for Jesus. Is your love for Jesus words known by your response in life to Him? Is your love for Jesus known to Him by your walk in life?
7. Believers' Faith Is on Trial Regarding Their Witness for Christ Spoken of by Jesus: " 26But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." John 15:26-27 Again Jesus said: "32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33 Does that leave any doubt as to the fact, God will determine the reality of the faith of the believer, by whether the believer tells others about Christ and what He has done for the believer or not?
8. The Professing Believers' Faith Is on Trial Regarding Their Service. Jesus said: "12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:12-15 Later Jesus said: 17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; John 17:17-20 Verse 20 tells us this prayer commits not only His twelve disciples to His service, but all that follow Him as a result of their word's concerning Him. That includes you and me. The Apostle Paul also speaks of the believers being committed to serving the Lord. "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2 Cor. 5:18-20 The Apostle Matthew also told about Jesus commanding His followers to serve Him. "18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:18-20 We can see God will determine the reality of the believers faith by whether the believer obeys and serves the Lord or not. Is your faith valid in the eyes of God?
9. Believers' Faith Is on Trial Regarding Their Love For The Brethern. Spoken of by Jesus: "34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34-35 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." 1 Peter 1:22-23 Also spoken of by the Apostle John: "14We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." 1 John 3:14-15 and again he said: "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him."1 John 5:1 It is very clear those that have faith in Christ and are born into God's family, love all those God puts into His family, for they are their brethren in the Lord. Therefore, we can see God will determine the reality of the believers' faith by the believers' love for others in God's family. If one says they believe God and trust Him with their life and their soul, should they not also trust Him in His choosing their brothers and sisters in Christ? When God looks into your heart does He find love for all that are His in you? Is your faith valid in the eyes of God?
10. Believers' Faith Is on Trial Regarding Their Attitude Toward the Church. Spoken of by Luke in the book of Acts "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common." Acts 4:32 Consider the Apostle Paul's words: "25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." 1 Cor. 12:25-27 Paul also said: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 There is no room for doubt that God will determine the reality of the faith of the believer by the believers attitude toward the Church for which Christ gave His life a ransom. What does God see your attitude toward the church to be? Are you of one heart and mind, faithful to be with your brethren in the Lord?
Is your faith valid in the eyes of God? It is true, all you have to do is believe that Jesus lived and died and rose again for you to be saved? Yes, however we have seen ten tests God has for determining the reality of the faith of the one professing of believing on Him and His Word. These are the standards God uses to determine faith that is real from the unreal. Will your profession of faith in Him pass His test? Consider Jesus Word's concerning the importance of being sure of your faith is valid with the Lord. "21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:21-23
Notice many that professed faith in Him as Lord, thought they would be in heaven, did not make it because they did not do the will of the Father!
Each test God used to determine the reality of the faith of the professing believer challenge the believers' obedience in following Him. Perhaps you say you obey most of God's will for your life, but how much of God's will can you fail before God says your profession is not Valid? Will you gamble your soul for that the number? If you are not sure your verbal profession of faith in Christ is validated by your response to God's Word consider: 2 Peter 1:10 "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"
Review these ten tests of God to validate true faith and make sure they are the desire of your heart and your response to God's Word. Then confess any failure to the Lord. If it is a need to trust Jesus lived and died for you tell it to God in prayer [talking to God as you would to a friend that wants to help you] He will hear you and give you the faith to believe if you are real with Him in your request. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephes. 2:8-10
Notice: God gives the faith to be saved, expecting those that receive it follow the will of Christ for their lives. As Paul said: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.." Romans 12:1-2 Following the will of God gives us assurance of our salvation and being with Him in heaven. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Romans 8:14-15
Consider the importance of having a valid testimony of faith in Christ in the world as expressed by the Apostle Paul " Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." 2 Cor. 3:2-3 Consider what happens when the believers life does not have that testimony: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." 2 Cor. 4:3-5
The life of the true believer is a living Bible. Giving evidence that the Bible is true and Christ lives in them, demonstrating the will of God in the world. Or it is a stumbling block through which the unbeliever cannot see the light of the gospel and be saved. If you have any other doubts follow the Apostle Paul's response "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philip. 3:13-14
May this be the desire and goal of all in Christ, for in it is the peace of God that passes all understanding.
If you are in doubt of your salvation Please Press Here
It is my prayer that this little pamphlet will help you be assured God sees your faith in Him as real and valid, acceptable to Him. That you are not only assured of your being in heaven with Him, but in the place of God's blessing so that you may face Him with joy and not shame.
Now go do what is right in the eyes of the Lord and may your decisions bring you the promise of Romans 8:28 " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Your friend in Christ Warren T. Smith
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