Using the Scriptures to examine yourself or others for discipleship
This is not a commentary, and it certainly is not a teaching of the below Scriptures; it is a general outline. If you have not yet done so, before you go any further, please first read my Gospel tract here.
Is there is an examination that a professing Christian can take to help discern if they are saved or not? The answer is yes, but this process can be painful to some, but affirming and assuring to others.
In 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 Paul told ‘professing’ Christians to;
“Examine ourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.”
Though the subject in question can do this alone with the Scriptures (Lord willing). But it is better to be Biblically discipled by a true convert that appreciates old-school Biblical discipleship. Many years ago a true brother was willing to sit me down, and go through some of the below verses. It was then that I realized I was a false convert. But by Gods’ grace, He chose to later save me.
As we go through these below verses, our individual lives and fruit (or lack of) must be evaluated, while comparing ourselves to the Scriptures. Though we will all fall short (aka sin), but the point of this examination is this. Is our life-style (or way of life), and our fruits consistently known as a person that struggles against sin (as we all do), and that continually repents. Or is our ‘way of life’ a lifestyle of practicing sin with no genuine repentance.
As Charles Spurgeon said;
“If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord’s will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel, insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.”
A good place to start this examination process is by going thru each and every one of the below verses (and passages), then compare and judge yourself to each one. Before you start this examination, please begin by reading the first four verses.
Jesus said in Luke 9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
Jesus said in John 3:21 “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Jesus said in John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
Peter said in 1 Peter 1:13-16,
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
How are you doing so far? And now we will dig-in deeper beginning with the first epistle of John. But first a word from Dr. John MacArthur;
“Obedience to Gods command constitutes a third test of genuine fellowship. First John presents two external categories of tests that demonstrate salvation; both doctrinal and moral. The doctrinal tests consist of confessing a proper view of Christ, and of sin (see 1:1-4 and 1:5-2:2), while the moral tests consists of obedience (vv.3-6) and love (see also vv.7-17). Subjective assurance of salvation comes through the ‘internal’ witness of the Holy Spirit (5:10; Rom. 8:14-16; 2 Cor.1:2), but the test of obedience constitutes objective assurance that one is genuinely saved. Obedience is the ‘external’ visible proof of salvation (see notes on James 2:14-25; 2 Pet. 2:5-11). The false teachers failure to obey God’s commands objectively demonstrated that they were not saved (Luke 6:46). Those who are truly enlightened and know God are obedient to His Word.”The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Tennessee: Nelson Books, 2005), pg. 1952
The following verses were written to ‘professing’ Christians. Remember to judge yourself, and compare yourself to each and every verse.
It says in 1 John 1:5-10,
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us oursins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
1 John 2:1-6 says,
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God [a]is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
1 John 2: 9-11 says,
“He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
1 John 2:15-17 says,
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
It says in 1 John 2:29, “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.”
1 John 3:1-9 says,
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
1 John 4:2-3 says, “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
1 John 4:20-21 says “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”
1 John 5:2-3 says, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”
And some additional verses for you.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 compared to vs 11
- Galatians 5:19-21 compared to vs 22-26
- 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.
As I stated at the beginning, if you haven’t read my Gospel tract, please do so below.