"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test?" - 2 Corinthians 13:5
Do you ever wonder about your salvation? Do you ever wonder whether you REALLY prayed that prayer right? Or maybe you were baptized as a baby, always went to church and are wondering what Jesus means when he told Nicodemus that "you must be born again" in order to see the kingdom of God. Satan's good at putting doubt in our heads about all kinds of things but this one is a biggy - wondering if we are truly saved or not.
The following is a test of sorts, totally and unashamedly ripped off from an amazing episode of WretchedTV I watched over the weekend. [The ten points and the questions in bold belong to Todd Friel. The verses are all God's (through the apostle John). The rest of the commentary and text is mine.]
This "test" doesn't come with a big SALVATION TEST heading in the Book of First John from which it was taken. One has to dig a little bit to find the questions. There aren't actually any questions there anyway! But the answers are there. So here is the list of evidence, right out of the Bible, that will indicate whether or not you are truly saved. Open your Bibles to 1 John, Chapters 1-4.
- Do you enjoy getting together with other believers? (1 John 1:7) “7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, . . . “ Do we like spending time at church? Do we hang out with other church members "after hours" or in a small group? We should. And fellowship isn't just "hanging out" after church. It's hanging out, and talking about Jesus!
- Do you know that you are a sinner, deserving of God’s Wrath? “(1 John 1:8) “8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” I used to think because I believed in Jesus I was good to go no matter how much I sinned. Not so. One key word was missing - repentance. Even Satan believes in Jesus. We need to turn away from our sins and turn toward Jesus, seeking His forgiveness.
- Do you keep God’s Commandments? (1 John 2:3) “3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.” Gulp. This one is a toughy. I'd say most of us keep most commandments but when Jesus says when we look at someone with lustful thoughts we have already commited adultery in our hearts (Matthew 5:28). Or have we ripped a friends CD and not paid for the songs on your Ipod? That's stealing. Commandment #8. Mhmm.
- Do you love the world? (1 John 2:15) “15 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.” Shiney cars, beautiful people, really nice houses. Do we love these things? Are they important goals our treasures in our lives?
- Have you ever denied Jesus? Do you follow the RIGHT Jesus? (1 John 2:23) “23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also." Are we afraid to talk to other people about God because we're afraid they might think of us as weird? If we deny Him, He has promised to deny us our entry into heaven.
- Can’t wait to see Jesus? (1 John 3:2) “2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” This is at the heart of every born-again believer in Jesus Christ. We cannot wait to get to heaven. It's not a suicide thing, it's more of a graduation / promotion thing.
- Do you still live in sin? (1 John 3:8) “8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” If we call ourselves a Christian yet live in un-repentant sin and think nothing of it, we ain't no Christian. We should examine ourselves daily.
- Do you love your brothers and sisters? Does it show? (1 John 3:14) “4 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” The people at church, do we love them like they are our brothers and sisters. We should . . . because they are.
- Do you like to hear teaching? (1 John 4:6) “6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” Do we enjoy hearing sermons? Or do we just want to go home and turn on the ball game? We should long to spend time in His Word and learn more about Jesus every day.
- Do you believe Jesus is God? Do you share Him with loved ones? (1 John 4:15) “15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” Do we really believe that Jesus is who He said He was? We should if we are truly born again. And do we share our faith and beliefs with others? We should. We are commanded to!
7% of professing contemporary evangelicals say they are born again. That's down two points since a 2006 survey.
2% of professing contemporary evangelicals actually share their faith.
Christians should be exhibiting ALL these characteristics in some form. When we receive God's Holy Spirit we are transformed. "The old is passed away. The new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are liteally born again.
Born Again by Third Day
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." - Colossians 3:1-10