Thursday, July 21, 2011

Self Inventory

2 Cor 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. "

More of Paul's in your face confrontation. He is wrapping up his second letter to the Corinthian church and here are some of his final words: "Examine yourselves. Test yourselves. Are you really saved?"

Complacency is a really bad thing. Sometimes I think that we think that all we have to do is say a prayer, or raise our hand, or walk to the front, or whatever and we are good. I know that I really struggle when we have a children's event and the gospel is shared and then whoever is speaking says to the whole group: "Now if you want to receive Jesus, just pray this prayer with me." And then a bunch of kids all start repeating a prayer together. This is dangerous. Why? Because if Billy next to me is doing it, then I think I should do it. If I hear a bunch of kids saying this then I should too. Where is the genuine repentance? Where is the realization that I am a sinner and I need a Savior and the only way that I am going to have a relationship with God is through His Son? Does it happen? Oh, sure. I think that there was a girl in my small group in VBS who truly got it. But there were three others who mouthed a prayer and now they may have a false sense that they did something that gave them fire insurance.

Frankly, the proof of genuineness is in the life. The evidence that someone is saved, either in children or adults is fruit. Does my life prove that I am in the faith? Do my actions prove that I am a believer? Do my attitudes reflect that the Holy Spirit is in me? Are my words consistent with the words of Christ? Are my reactions God-like? Or, am I living the same way I was living? Do I think the same thoughts, respond the same way, follow the same path? If so, then I need to be concerned. If I continue to practice what I have always practiced, then genuine repentance, genuine faith, a genuine relationship with God is not there and I am in trouble.

These actually are great final words for a church that was messed up. These are great final words for a church that seems to be running smoothly. There is nothing wrong with asking the question: "Am I really a believer? Do I really see evidence of God in my life? Is He really at work there or am I just playing a game?" This is not to make people doubt, this is to make people come to grips with the truth. This is to make me come to grips with the truth. What do I see? Do I pass the test?

We all need to do this self inventory and if what we see is not consistent with what God's word teaches, we need to turn around. If what we see is consistent with Jesus living in our lives, then be humbly thankful.

No comments: