“The Test of Genuine Faith” September 22

 

Test Yourself “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?” (2 Cor. 13.5 NASB). In today’s New Testament reading the Apostle Paul talks about the test of genuine faith.

In today’s other readings read about:

  • The schemes of the enemy & how the devil wraps up sin so deceptively.
  • Imprecatory prayer.
  • The result of the failure to exercise self-control.

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 35 & 36
Psalm 109.6-13
Proverbs 25.27-28
2 Corinthians 13.1-14

 

:

What is the test of genuine faith?

 

In chapter 12 in yesterday’s readings Paul wrote:

“For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced” (12.20-21).

After that sharp rebuke, the Apostle wrote:

“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?” (2 Cor. 13.5 NASB).

As believers, we can and do sin, but genuine believers will experience conviction and, eventually, repent. If we can sin without any conviction, we too, should examine ourselves to see if we are really saved. A redeemed life will produce good fruit. Jesus said, “You will know a tree by its fruit” (Lk. 6.44). And John the Baptist warned the Pharisees, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Lk. 3.8).

No amount of “good fruit,” what is often called good works, can save us. The Prophet Isaiah said, “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Is. 64.6). Paul said, “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight” and when writing to the Ephesians he said:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Eph. 2.8-9).

We are saved by God’s grace when we put our faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross. But Paul when on to say in the next verse:

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Eph. 2.10).

While good works cannot save us, the result of a changed life is good works or fruit.

It will vary in degree and amount and even the speed with which it is produced, but that fruit should include:  Continue reading

September 22 “Don’t be disqualified” & LINKUP

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“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Cor. 13.5).

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 35 & 36
Psalm 109.6-13
Proverbs 25.27-28
2 Corinthians 13.1-14

 

Mans headIsaiah 35 & 36:

The schemes of the enemy

Chapter 36 repeats a story from the life of Hezekiah (2 Kings 19). The King of Assyria had sent the Rabshakeh as his representative to convince the Israelites to surrender. First, he stood outside the city wall and tried to intimidate them into surrendering. He even attacked their faith in God:

“Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, ‘The LORD will deliver us.’ Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria?” (v. 18).

When scare tactics didn’t, immediately, work, he tried sweetening the deal by saying, in effect, “Look, if you just surrender I’ll let you stay here in your own homes and your own land until later when I come back for you and take you to a really nice place, almost like this.”

In other words, see what I can do for you! Don’t trust your God, trust me! Continue reading