Christian, Examine Thyself

Christian, Examine Thyself November 28, 2018

No Christian is perfect, but there are certain things that believers should look for in their lives.

First John 1

The Book of 1 John may be one of the greatest self-diagnostic tools a believer has in their Bible. For example, it tells us what our relationship should look like with other believers and with the world. This book also tells us that “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6), however, “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Another attribute or character trait of the believer is that they admit they sin and then confess it. The Word of God says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8), so “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10). John wouldn’t have told us to confess our sins to God if it weren’t necessary. Besides, it’s for our benefit because He will “forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9b), and that’s just what we need after we sin. Next, we look at 1 John 2 and some of the attributes of a child of God.

Obedience

Jesus told His disciples that “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15), and “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10), so there is ample evidence that Jesus sees obedience as an expression of love toward Him. Someone who loves the Lord will naturally strive to please Him, and we please God by living in obedience to His Word. Jesus commanded us to love one another, and that love acts as an apologetics of sorts because all people will know whether we are His disciples by the way we love one another (John 13:34-35). To love God is to have a heart to obey God. “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him” (1 John 2:4-5), so you cannot say you “know the Lord” if you do not keep His Word, and while hating your brother or sister. God calls anyone that does this, a liar. The Bible says that many (not a few!) will claim to know Christ on the Day of Judgment, but these same many will be turned away because Christ did not know them (Matt 7:21-23). Its fine to say that you know the Lord, but your eternal destination depends on whether Jesus knows you!

Love

Jesus once told the disciples that it would be by their love for one another that others would know who His disciples are, so love is an outward character trait or attribute of the believer. John writes that “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness” (1 John 2:9). This would be like saying, “I love God but I can’t stand to be around His children.” I don’t believe God is pleased by someone saying they love Him but being hateful toward their brothers and sisters. This is incompatible for the child of God. The person with the Spirit of God cannot love God and hate others. We might have moments of course, but the overriding attribute will be love, even toward our enemies (Luke 6:27-28). My fear is that many have deceived themselves into thinking they’re saved, because the truth is, “whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness” (1 John 2:11a).

Practices

I once challenged the congregation to inventory their time for the next week and try and keep track of how much time they spent on all the different activities and the time spent in prayer and Bible reading/study. And the results were: No one had time to do it! We can get so in love with the things of the world (and I say we), that the world can gobble up most of our free time. When we spend more time on Facebook than in the Book, we are dying of malnutrition from the daily Bread of Life. Posting and reading daily devotionals cannot take the place of regular Bible study and reading. In this light, John writes, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Why would we love the things that are temporary because “the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17)?

Jesus’ Divinity

From day one of Jesus’ resurrection, there have been skeptics about His being raised from the dead and even His existence, but that shouldn’t surprise us because much of the world denies that Jesus is the Messiah or the Savior, and fewer still that Jesus is God. That’s not good because the Word of God says, “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). This clearly means that “No one who denies the Son has the Father” (1 John 2:23a), however “whoever confesses the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:23b). Jesus said that “this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Our eternity depends on Who Jesus is to us. Many see Jesus as just a good man, a prophet, or a holy man, and some even as a created being, but that’s not entirely Who He is. To know Jesus means to know that He is God Who came to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45), but for how many? The many (not all) are those who know Jesus Christ and the One Who sent Him (the Father). If you only have a created Jesus or only a human Jesus, you don‘t have the right Savior, and that means you will die in your sins.

Conclusion

Not every believer will always act in loving ways, nor will they always have a desire for the Word of God, but all believers will love their brothers, and true believers will strive to live in obedience to Christ’s commands (not perfectly of course). To say you love Jesus but don’t love obeying Him is to tell Jesus that you really don’t love Him. Again, Jesus says, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23), and “if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death” (John 8:51). That’s why it’s essential to “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” (2 Cor 13:5). The Book of 1 John lets you test yourself to see if you genuinely are in the faith. That’d be a great thing to get settled today, while it’s still called today (2 Cor 6:2).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

"Which planet are you living on? This is a hyper-spiritualisation of reality."

What is the Word of Faith ..."
"If I don't believe that there is a god, then that is my right and ..."

The Generous Giver But With Strings ..."
"wonderful choices are these...and all rock-solid in theology. I believe certain hymns teach us theology, ..."

Hymnal Theology
"Then don't be thankful..then don't believe..then don't be hopeful..then don't be positive...Then be hopeless...and be ..."

The Generous Giver But With Strings ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Evangelical
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • pud

    Good advice! Why don’t you take some?

    Examine why you would “believe” as a true representation of reality an ancient BOOK written by ignorant, superstitious savages whose names you largely don’t know, whom you know nothing about who wrote a BOOK filled with ridiculous, absurd and impossible claims? Why don’t you “believe” the Q’ran or the Vedas? Or the BOOK of mormon?

    “That’s why it’s essential to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.”

    “FAITH” is THE most DISHONEST position anyone can take. It is synonymous with gullibility. There is NOTHING a gullible person can’t take on “faith”

    PS…your BOOK IS NOT the word of any “god” or it is the words of the most stupid, evil, wicked, dumb deity ever invented.

    You are a very sick man jack

    • Miranda

      Ever thought to examine your obsession with Pastor Wellman and actually read some of your ribald barely coherent attacks that sounds more like Misotheism than aethism? You have a lot of hate for this ‘fictional’ God and his followers. Praying for You!

      • pud

        Have you ever thought?

        Tell me what is “incoherent” in anything I’ve ever written..be specific

        I don’t “hate” anything except stupidity

        I don’t have any obsessions other than a love of truth

        Pray your brains out….tell me why all those “prayers” failed the nearly 100 people burned to death in California…if your “god” could flood the world to KILL everything why couldn’t he answer the prayers of those people and send a rain shower?

        • Andres Desaya

          Humanity is still in the stage of being cursed, we are still paying the consequences of being exposed to evil. There is nothing we can do, anyway it is temporary.

          After He comes back then we will be fully redeemed…beauty and peace and perfection for eternity. That is our goal…and redemption is free.

          Unfortunately for those who threw away this gift of redemption, the arrogant, the unbeliever, the mocker, the one who refuses explanations…God can’t force them.

          Choose PUD, choose the gift gift. Nothing to lose, just accept. Don’t believe what the devil says…he wants to deceive you… to burn with Him.

          He tells you believing in God is “stupidity”. Be careful because in that sense, he telling you “believe in me instead”.

          Be really extra carerefull, he is very wily, he has his eyes on you. Be carefull!!!

          Again, it is a choice. It is what it is.

          Remember that God is good. Let’s just finish this fight. We will enjoy the rewards forever…

  • Andres Desaya

    As humans living in this temporary earth, we should always examine ourselves and strive to do our best to do something good and positive not only to benefit ourselves but also for others.

    To show love instead of hate, to share our blessings rather than enjoy it just for ourselves..and last but not the least, to share how good God is to us, our faith and to be grateful to God for the good things rather than focused on our difficulties.

    Easier said than done of course but we should always strive and desire…and when we fall short…we know God forgives us as He claims He understands our human nature and readily forgives.

    Thanks Pastor Jack Wellman for reminding ourselves.

    • Jack Wellman

      Oh, to finally be saved to sin no more!

      • Andres Desaya

        And no more crying, no more death, only peace, joy and love…and to be with the LORD FOREVER.

        Just the lyrics of Jeff Beck and Rod Steward song:

        “People Get Ready” in YoutubeChannel

        People get ready, there’s a train coming
        You don’t need a baggage, just get on board
        All you need is faith, to hear the diesels coming
        Dont need any ticket, just thank the Lord

        People get ready…
        Picking up passengers…
        Faith is the key, open the doors and board them
        Theres hope for all, among those love the most

        There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner
        Whom you hurt all mankind..
        Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner..
        For there is no hiding place for the kingdoms throne..

        People get ready…it’s free..just thank the LORD…

  • Carlos Santiago

    Amen Judge ourselves indeed! I’ve heard it said “love the sinner and hate the sin”. I think it’s better phrased “love the sinner and hate your (my) sin. I feel the thing that hurts the Christian witness most is judging others and not pressing for our personal fruit(Galatians5) . Somehow we choose to sit in judgement others despite instructions not to. Somehow we choose not to be kind to others(Paul said think of others as better than yourself). We should known without exception to be the most loving and generous people on the Earth…………..Studying ancient history and apologetics are good; love is infinitely better. Thank you Jack for speaking up. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8483f42709257fbf021c171c464df1d7df1171c0ddd995f0c4db6837177a98c9.jpg

    • Jack Wellman

      You wrote, “”love the sinner and hate your (my) sin” and I love it. I cannot caste the first stone unless it would be at me.

  • Miranda

    Knowing Thyself can be a very difficult thing as too often the image we get back is not pretty at all and we want to turn away from it, it’s easier to simply ignore it and just stop examining ourselves and focus on all the distractions you outline here.

    Really only when we see we can do good and can be good through the unparalleled act of mercy that was Jesus sacrifice and offering his grace to us can we look at ourselves not as irredeemably hopeless cases but works in progress

    One other point – “Posting and reading daily devotionals cannot take the place of regular Bible study” thats true in addition people also need to be careful not to focus on reading the Bible as opposed to acting out the love it enjoins by supporting others in the day to day trials of their lives – i.e. an intellectual rather than active Christianity – again the Pastors good advice of examining yourself and your actions is crucial here.

  • Truth IS! Faith will not create a religion for The Faithful ARE Family! (Ephesians 3:15)

    And we have our portion !NOW! in The One and “Only Pure Religion and Undefiled”!

    And James 1:27 reveals an Active Faith not a dead letter religion! (James 2:18-26)

    The Active Faith of those “Born Again” souls who have their portion !NOW! in The Family of Our FATHER and GOD, “of WHOM the whole Family, both IN Heaven and ON EARTH IS named”! (John 3:3,7, I Peter 1:23, John 20:17, Ephesians 3:15)

    Sadly, the pagan catholic and christian “churches” ARE but playgrounds for ‘d’evil spirit that IS “the god of this world” and religion’s way in this day and age! (II Corinthians 4:4)

    “Come out of her(babel/con’fusion/babylonworldreligion), MY people”! (Revelations 18:4)

    For multiplied billions have been enslaved and/or killed in the name of the god(s) of this, or that religion!

    TRUTH IS! “The WHOLE(not just a portion) world IS under the control of ‘d’evil one”! (I John 5:17)

    So it is that “whoever would be a friend of this world IS the enemy of GOD”! (James 4:4)

    FATHER Help!

    HE DID! and HE does…….

    HalleluYAH!

    • pud

      Bullshit. Define “truth” and tell us how you arrive at it. Explain the methodology you use to decide what is “true” and what is not “true” I think we’ll find that you haven’t a clue and are just another run of the mill mindless cult member swallowing whole the tripe fed to you absent your ability to critically think

      • TRUTH IS, that which IS, WAS and ALWAYS WILL BE!

        And a lie is not, was not, and is of those worldly and religious souls who have never “received a love of The TRUTH so that they might be saved” from their own self(“I”,ego,id,self,pride)life!

        SO IT IS The “I(ego,id,self,pride)” Must Die for The LIFE to Be!

        And in as much as i can ‘see’,
        That which is of the “I(ego,id,self,pride)” in me,

        So it is i yearn, and to Our FATHER cry,
        For deliverance from all that is of the “I”.

        The “I”, born of “imag”ination and selfish desire,
        As lust, greed, and pride, stoked a consuming fire!

        A fire burning out of control, as “I” leads the way,
        It’s smoke concealing the fleshly mind that leads one astray.

        Yet even in the smoke, searing heat, and blindness of ‘sight’,
        TRUTH can pierce that blackness of darkness, revealing “The Light”!

        And nothing can hide from “The Light”, so “Light” reveals the “I(ego,id,self,pride)”,
        Allowing one to “see” clearly, and clearly the “I” must die.

        Yet to live, yet die, seems an impossible task,
        And so we need of “Our FATHER”, the impossible to ask.

        Help me to “deny(die to “I”{ego,id,self,pride}) myself” FATHER!

        And as HE Helps, HE reveals evermore of “The Selfless One”…….

        The One who testified, “i can do nothing of my own self”! (John 5:19,30; 8:28-29; 7:16; 12:49-50; 14:10,23-24; 17:8,14)

        The One Who leads His brethren(naturally male or ‘fe’male) on “The Narrow Way” that IS “The Way, The TRUTH, and The Life! (Matthew 7:14, John 14:6)

        The One Who IS The Messiah, “The Only Begotten Son of The ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD(SPIRIT) and FATHER(CREATOR) of ALL”! (Matthew 16:16, John 3:16; 20:17)

        Simply sad for you and all worldly and/or religious souls…….

        Yet while breath(Spirit,air) is, Hope IS!

        For TRUTH IS! and Miracles do happen…….

        HalleluYAH!

  • TRUTH IS! The “I(ego,id,self,pride)” Must Die for the ‘We’ to be in The Family of Our FATHER and GOD, which IS “both in Heaven and ON EARTH”! (Luke 14:26,33, John 20:17, Ephesians 3:15)