Monday, May 19, 2008

The Character of Genuine Saving Faith

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

1. Evidences that neither prove nor disprove one's faith.
A. Visible Morality: Matt 19:16-21; 23:27
B. Intellectual Knowledge: Rom 1:21; 2:17
C. Religious Involvement: Matt 25:1-10
D. Active Ministry: Matt 7:21-24
E. Conviction of Sin: Acts 24:25
F. Assurance: Matt 23
G. Time of Decision: Luke 8:13-14

2. The Fruit/Proofs of Authentic/True Christianity
A. Love for God:
Ps 42:1; 73:25, Luke 10:27, Rom 8:7
B. Repentance from Sin:
Ps 32:5, Prov 28:13, Rom 7:14, 2 Cor 7:10, 1 John 1:8-10
C. Genuine Humility:
Ps 51:17, Matt 5:1-12, James 4:6,9
D. Devotion to God's Glory:
Ps 105:3, 115:1, Isaiah 43:7, 48:10, Jer 9:23-24, 1 Cor 10:31
E. Continual Prayer:
Luke 18:1; Eph 6:18; Phil 4:6; 1 Tim 2:1-4; James 5:16-18
F. Selfless Love:
1 John 2:9, 3:14, 4:7
G. Separation from the World:
1 Cor 2:12; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17, 5:5
H. Spiritual Growth:
Luke 8:15; John 15:1-6; Eph 4:12-16
I. Obedient Living:
Matt 7:21; John 15:14; Rom 16:26; 1 Pet 1:2,22; 1 John 2:3-5
J. Hunger for God's Word:
1 Peter 2:1-3
K. Transformation of Life:
2 Cor 5:17

If List 1 is true of a person and List 2 is false, there is cause to question the validity of one's profession of faith. Yet, if List 2 is true, then the top list will be also.

3. The Conduct of the Gospel
A. Proclaim it: Matt 4:23
B. Defend it: Jude 3
C. Demonstrate it: Phil 1:27
D. Share it: Phil 1:5
E. Suffer for it: 2 Tim 1:8
F. Don't Hinder it: 1 Cor 9:12
G. Be not ashamed: Rom 1:16
H. Preach it: 1 Cor 9:16
I. Be empowered: 1 Thess 1:5
J. Guard it: Gal 1:6-8

It is possible to find many people who profess to be Christians and who are able to say they have fulfilled both 1 and 2. Now, look at list number 3. The Mormon's who feel they are Christians by virtue of saying they qualify, are unable to accomplish this list. They will not "Guard" the Bible as the ONLY VALID book from God! They will hinder it because they are teaching a false doctrine and a false Christ. Many so-called Christians also do not qualify on list 3 due to the inability to suffer for it. There are many "Christians" who will start childish arguments, they will bait others into an argument just for the sake of arguing. Don't fall for it. The serpent is crafty and if you get caught up into playing "games" of the mind, then you will fall for his tricks.

Stand firm in your faith.
Repent of your sins!
Put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ alone to save you!
And may you display the character of genuine saving faith!
God bless


Question of Identity said...

This is a great and thought provoking post. Had to think for a moment why 'Conviction of sin' is in section 1 and not 2. I guess like the others in section one, non Christians can be convicted of sin, but not respond to Christ. Repentance needs to come after conviction.

pastorbrianculver said...

That's right! How many times have you heard a pastor or someone say,
"confess your sins" but they never follow it up with the need to repent of their sins! Without repentance, there is no denying that there is no salvation. that is why repentance is in the second category.