10 +1 Reasons for the Christian to Examine Yourself (part 2)
As we continue to study 'What is Christianity" The second half of the 10 + 1 reasons we should take the time to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith … least we fail.
6. What is it to be “In the faith”?
Ephesians 4:5 says that there is "one faith”, but 1Timothy 4:15 predicts that men would "abandon the faith" and follow different teachings. This shows that "the faith" is the Gospel message that produces our faith. In Galatians 1:23 "the faith" is what Paul preached when he preached the Gospel. In 1Timothy 4:6 the "good teaching" which Timothy followed is called the "truths of the faith”. 1Timothy 5:8 says one can "deny the faith." Therefore, we must be in the teaching of the faith, or we are not in the faith. Being "in the faith" is being within the faith's message.
7. But I Feel Saved
No one would argue that you do not have cancer just because you feel free of cancer. It would be foolish to depend upon how we feel as to if we have high blood pressure or not. However, many sincere people believe that they are in the faith because of their feelings. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Proverbs 14:12 warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to Death”. Everyone at one time or another has been on a wrong road while sincerely feeling that it was the right road, but sincere feelings did not make it the right road, nor did it get you to where you wanted to go. Feeling right is not the same as being right.
8. Lost People Can Feel Saved
Rule 1 – Feelings Lie! Chief sinner Saul of Tarsus said that he was fully convinced by his conscience to believe assuredly that he should oppose Christians (Acts 23:1 and 26:9). While murdering Christians like Stephen in Acts 7, Saul zealously trusted the traditions of his fathers, which made him feel saved (Acts 22:3 and Galatians 1:14.) He often later uses his own conversion to beg his fellow Jews to see how they, too, were zealous, convinced, sincere, and yet sincerely lost. Jesus told the Jews that they thought that they had eternal life, but did not (John 5:39). These examples are in the Bible to warn us not to trust our eternal soul upon our deceitful and momentary feelings. Lost people can feel saved today.
9. Many Will Be Misled
In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus warned His religious countrymen that the road to eternal destruction is broad and has a wide gate through which many are lost. "But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” The reason is given immediately after in Matthew 7:15 - 23 that false teachers would cause many to say on the last day, " 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then will I tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.’ " This isn’t just occupying space in your Bible, Jesus spoke it to warn you, if you apply the warning or not is entirely up to you. You may think you are saved by following the ways of men, but be lost on the last day. Jesus stressed that most people ‘Christians’ would be lost while thinking they are saved.
10. A Changed Gospel Damns
Paul's shocking warning in Galatians 1:6-8 applies today: "You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.”Only the true original Gospel can save us from ourselves. This is why a changed gospel condemns, because while it makes you believe / feel you are saved, when in reality you stand on the edge of the abyss. A different gospel damns instead of saves.
+ 1. Obeying, Not Just Believing
When a young man joined a popular denomination, he was taught to ‘accept Christ as his personal Savior and to receive Jesus into his heart’ so that he would be saved. When he did this, he really felt saved, even though he only believed the good news and was not obeying it. By accepting a changed gospel he had not actually obeyed the Gospel. The two verses below illustrate the difference, “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness”.Romans 6:17-18“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God”.1Peter 1:22-23
Believing the Gospel without obeying the Gospel does not save.