Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
There is an old saying. “If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it probably is a duck.”
The word of God warns us that we should not fool ourselves into thinking we are saved, or people we know are saved, if we or they do not live like it.
Even the Apostle Paul warned the Corinthian church of this biblical reality.
“Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves. Know ye not yourselves how Jesus Christ is in you, unless ye be reprobate.” II Cor.13:5
It is by our fruits that we examine ourselves and prove ourselves that we are in Christ, and He in us. Paul calls on us to see if we are in the faith, not if we have faith.
The Corinthian church was filled with people who said they had faith, and had been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. They said they had received forgiveness of sins, and salvation in Christ. Yet many of them disturbed the Apostle Paul by their conduct. They looked like the world, and walked like the world, and spoke like the world, because they still thought like the world, and yet they said they were not of the world. Rampant immoral behavior along with constant strife and bickering in the church identified them.
This is exactly why Paul tells us who claim to be saved to examine ourselves.
If we are comfortable with living like the world lives it doesn’t sound like we are in the faith.
I know it makes all of us uncomfortable when we think of loved ones and friends who claim a salvation experience who fit this description. Let us not make ourselves feel so secure about a person’s salvation claim that is not backed up by a salvation life. Let’s not turn a blind eye to this peril. Speak sincerely with those who claim salvation, but who in no way live it so that they may finally hear what you are saying. Be a good witness before them, and pray for them. You may have to be their Nathan if they are saved, II Sam.12. Do not expect them to appreciate your concern at the time.
When Paul chided the Corinthians for their less than godly life style they didn’t reflect on the importance of what he was saying at the time. They turned on him instead of repenting, II Cor.12:15.
In II Cor.5:11-15 Paul reminded the church of the dread of the Lord upon the lost. “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God, and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them who glory in appearance, and not in heart.”
There are those who claim Jesus Christ is in their hearts, but their lives cause anyone who knows anything about Jesus Christ to pause at that claim. If Christ is in their hearts would He be at home in a sewer, or would He not attend the worship of His own Father in heaven on Sunday?
There is a good chance that if we are not into Jesus Christ, that He is not in us. There is a good chance that if we are not into worshipping with the body of Christ, that Jesus Christ is not our Head. This is another reason for those who claim to be in Christ to examine themselves. We know we are rebellious at times, and we do not always listen and follow our Exalted Head, Jesus Christ, but there are many who claim Him as Lord who live lives completely separated from their Head year round.
To give a simply illustration of this point consider this. A person can go without air for a short time, but eventually they have to stop holding their breath and breath in new air. Some swimmers can hold their breath for a long time, but if they do not come up for air they will die, and so they come up.
A Christian can hold their spiritual breath [that’s what we do when we are sinning against God] for a short while. Some Christians can obviously hold their spiritual breath longer than others. However, eventually all born again Christians will come up to get air, or we too will die. The failure to come back up for spiritual air is called the sinning unto death. This is the penalty for refusing to take in the spiritual air of the new birth of which a truly born again believer has previously taken. The Holy Spirit; the word of God and the loving believer calls for the wayward believer to come back up, Gal.6:1.
But if a person who claims to be saved never comes up for air while at the same time seems perfectly content with the world’s air then the reality must be that they can live without spiritual air.
The word of God says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourageth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, [God’s rod of correction] of which all [believers] are partakers, then ye are bastards, and not sons.” Heb.12:6-8
Let’s not make an illegitimate claim to God as being our Father if we are content in walking according to the father of darkness.
Forget what others think of your Christian life, and ask yourself as Paul asked the Corinthians; does the life I live make me a credible Christian in view of the Scriptures?