2 Corinthians 13:5 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.
“I know I am saved because I love Jesus with all my heart”. “I am God’s child because I was baptized”. “I am a Christian because I never miss church on Sundays”. “I am going to heaven because I am a good person!”. “I am a Christian because my pastor invited me to sing ‘Just as I am’ and come to the altar, I did so, and he told me I am now a Christian”.
Simple professions of faith such as the above really amount to nothing, I hear them all the time. Paul said to examine ourselves to deem if we are in the faith. The faith he speaks to is saving faith.
This should always be a thorough examination. Questions that should be asked in this test. What have you been saved from? Have you been reborn, meaning has your life went from old desiring sin to new hating sin and desiring holiness? What have you left to follow Christ? Have you been separated from the sinful fallen world, or are you going on as business as usual with your professing catch phrase “I love Jesus”. Have you repented of sins and continuing to repent? Are you growing in the Spirit or are you an empty shell with a silly professing of faith? More importantly do you really love God and His laws, and His children? If so, how?
One can love an idea of something, but not the thing. So someone can say “I do love God”, but merely loving the idea of God based on their terms they have given to Him. A set of conditions God must abide by first to garner this love. He must stay out of one’s life for example and only enter when called upon. He must not be sovereign, in that man is in control of his or her destiny by religious works. He must overlook some sins as no harm, no foul and see His commandments as subjective based on just trying to keep them. And some believe He can only be loved if He found their church (although it is still lost) such as Roman Catholicism. He can only be loved if He licenses idolatry and man’s tradition and religiosity and rituals. This is not love at all, but lust based on conditions!
Has your life really changed? If so, you will be able to do as Peter said, “provide the hope which in you”, seamlessly. You will not say “my faith is between me and my God”, but openly declare His Good News and how He saved you from His own wrath on your sins!
I have witnessed some newborns really giving this examination thoroughly of themselves, and it is awe inspiring. They have asked “am I born again?” for example, and continue to ask because they wanted to make doubly and triply sure. They have taken their new life in Christ serious as we all must do! Leaving no stone unturned is their test, they grow closer to God. Each we pass the test, the closer we get to Jesus Christ and His glory! Don’t scoff at testing yourself, embrace it! It might be a scary thing for the insecure in their world religion, but those set apart by God it is reassurance you are walking with the King!