"Prove Your Own Selves"
2 Corinthians 13:5
The only way to know
"whether ye be in the faith" is to bring your faith to the Word of
God, crying with David, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try (prove)
me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me (see if I am
in the way of the wicked), and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psa.
139:23-24). If God will "say unto my soul, I am thy salvation" (Psa.
35:3), I want no other proof. In his Word God has given us seven essential characteristics
of saving faith. If these seven things are consistent with my faith, then my
faith is genuine and I am a child of God. If these things are not consistent
with my faith, then my faith is false and I am not a child of God. (1) SAVING
FAITH CONFESSES PERSONAL DEPRAVITY AND SIN BEFORE GOD (Psa.51:3; Lk. ; Rom. ; I John 1:9). Faith confesses the deed of
sin (Lk. ),
the nature of sin (Matt. ; Psa. 51:5), and the sinfulness of all
deeds of personal righteousness (Isa. 64:6). (2) SAVING FAITH LOOKS TO THE
BLOOD OF CHRIST ALONE FOR ACCEPTANCE WITH GOD. Christ's precious blood
represents the whole of his obedience to God as the sinners' Substitute. And
faith sees everything it needs, everything God requires, in the blood of Christ
alone: Redemption (Eph. 1:7), Forgiveness (Col. 1:14), Justification (Rom. ), Sanctification (Heb. -14), and Reconciliation (Col. 1:20-21).
(3) SAVING FAITH KNOWS THAT SALVATION IS BY GRACE ALONE (Eph. 2:8-9). I do not
say that a person must be a Calvinist to be saved. Calvinism has no more to do
with salvation than Arminianism. Salvation is not in a system of doctrine, but
in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ! And all who know that Person know that
"Salvation is of the Lord" (Gal. 5:1-4; I Cor. ). (4) SAVING FAITH WILLINGLY SUBMITS TO
THE DOMINION OF CHRIST AS LORD (Lk. -33). Faith gives up the reins of life to
the hands of Christ (Mk. -35). (5) SAVING FAITH WORKS BY LOVE (Gal.
5:6). Good works attain nothing. And the lack of good works prevents nothing.