‘Examining Your Christian Faith’ provides a thorough exploration of your spiritual journey. Enhance your understanding of the Bible, align your beliefs with biblical teachings, and foster spiritual growth through self-examination. Embrace the path towards a deeper and more fulfilling Christian life.
Examining your Christian faith is an essential task for any believer, as it helps us deepen our understanding of our beliefs, values, and relationship with God. The apostle Paul encourages self-examination in 2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV), saying, “Examine yourselves, 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!”
The purpose of this examination is not to induce guilt or anxiety, but to reflect on our spiritual state and growth. It encourages us to consider if we are bearing the fruit of the Spirit, as noted in Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
In the Old Testament, King David provides an excellent example of self-examination in Psalm 139:23-24 (ASV), “Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” David recognizes God’s role in guiding us on the path of righteousness.
Furthermore, examining our Christian faith involves determining if our faith aligns with the fundamental teachings of the Bible. The apostle John admonishes in 1 John 4:1 (ESV), “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
In the modern world, where numerous interpretations of the Scripture exist, it is vital to discern what aligns with the biblical truth. It means delving deeper into the Word, engaging with Bible study, prayer, and maybe even seeking counsel from trusted spiritual leaders.
So, examining your Christian faith involves self-reflection, checking your spiritual growth, ensuring your beliefs align with the Scripture, and seeking God’s guidance in all things. This process helps you to grow spiritually, fortify your faith, and ensure your beliefs align with biblical teachings.
Is your faith genuine? Is it the kind of faith that shrinks every time there is a difficulty in your life? Or, is your faith strong, having been built on deep research into God’s Word? Is your faith strong enough to carry you through to the end? – Matthew 24:13.
The apostle Paul, writing to the Philippians, said, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil. 4:9) This begs many questions: What did these early Christians learn from Paul? What had they heard? What had they seen? What had they received? They saw the apostle Paul as the second-best example of faith only after Jesus Christ himself. They knew Paul was willing to go through all types of sufferings, persecution, trials and even face death on many occasions without shrinking back. They read letters that spoke of his experiences; they heard oral accounts of his suffering for the good news. They knew that Paul believed in Jesus Christ and that he proclaimed that Christ, the king of the kingdom, had given his life-saving mankind.
These are just a few of the things that the Christians in the Philippian congregation and around the then known world knew of the apostle Paul. It was through his letters and many personal associations that Paul helped to grow the faith of others in the first-century. They knew the message that Paul proclaimed and that he lived and died by following the very counsel he offered them. These Christians learned and received and heard and seen and accept the life and ministry of Christ and the apostle Paul, as well as the truth of God’s Word. Now what? Will you, the reader of this blog and a faithful follower of Christ practice these same things? If you are saying yes, with what result? Yes, it will be as Paul said, “the God of peace will be with you.”
How can “the God of peace will be with you” today? First, Jesus said that we are not to be a part of the world, i.e., humanity that is alienated from God. Paul cleared that up for us. We are not to isolate ourselves from the world (depraved humanity) but rather to use it to a limited degree to carry out the will of the Father. Yes, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Yes, the “the God of peace will be with” those doing the will of the Father. (Matt. 7:21-23) The father expects exclusive devotion, meaning that we serve him with our whole mind, soul, and strength. This will evidence our genuine love and faith. What is the primary will of the Father? It is the great commission to proclaim the Word of God, to teach the Word of God, and to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Thus, we are to love our neighbor, that is, our fellow man or woman enough to help them become a disciple of Christ Jesus. Being a Christian means that we are Christlike in all that we do. In order to truly walk in the footsteps of Christ, we must have accurate and full knowledge of his life and ministry. We will want to copy him in everything he did, meaning that deep Bible study is paramount. Our next few blogs will discuss how you can be courageous and strong through your faith.
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