How I Can Pass the Test of the Christian Faith
In school, you learn by studying. There are times when you test what you learn. They could be a written test, or a lab that gives you the opportunity to show what you learned.
Jesus gave Christians one subject to learn: love. He made it His commandment and His commission.
“He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”” (Matthew 22:37–40, CSB)
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:19–20, CSB)
The commission to make disciples flows out of the commandment to love. A Christian cannot pass the test without love. A Christian cannot be effective without God’s love.
Love is the command that Christians observe that allows others people want to be disciples of Jesus.
Matthew 25 are a set of parables that talk about the kinds of people who we care and love by the acts of love we share with them.
Jesus said when you love them in this way, you are loving Me.
Here in John 14, Jesus is sharing how a Christian will pass the tests of love that every Christian will face.
Jesus states a hypothetical statement:
““If you love me, you will keep my commands.” (John 14:15, CSB)
What are the commands that show that I love Jesus? In other words, what are the ways to prove that I love Jesus?
How can I test this hypothesis of Jesus? How can I see if this will be successful?
Jesus said one command that is expressed through the five tests of love.
As a student you test your hypothesis in a lab. For the Christian, life is the laboratory. Christians test how they love Jesus through the relationships that they develop.
The Holy Spirit is a Christian’s lab partner. (John 14:16-17)
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16–17, CSB)
5 Tests of Love That Every Christian Must Pass
Test #1: If I love Jesus, then I will obey Jesus.
“The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me…”” (John 14:21, CSB)
This is the test of spiritual growth. The more I understand God’s Word, the more I understand how to follow Jesus.
I love God’s word if I love Jesus. I will be willing to obey God’s Word.
“I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11, CSB)
Loving God’s Word and obeying comes out of a loving relationship with Jesus. I will only learn from God’s Word so much as I in a relationship with Jesus.
Test Question: Am I obeying Jesus?
Test #2: If I love Jesus, then I will enjoy a relationship with Jesus.
This is the test of fellowship.
““I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:18–20, CSB)
Question: Am I enjoying Jesus?
Test #3: If I love Jesus, then I will see a grow closer to Jesus.
This is the test of worship.
“…And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.”” (John 14:21, CSB)
There is a difference a fan and a follower of Jesus. That difference is worship.
If I truly love Jesus, then I will enjoy getting closer to Jesus. God will speak to me and show me more of Himself.
Test Question: Am I growing closer to Jesus?
Test #4: If I love Jesus, then I will choose to share Jesus.
“Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23, CSB)
This is the test of mission. After I choose to follow and obey Jesus, and I enjoy Jesus, and get closer to Jesus, there will come a time when I want to share that love with others.
This sounds similar to a statement that Jesus said to the church in the book of Revelation.
“See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20, CSB)
Jesus wants to have a special relationship with me. He wants to love me. He wants that relationship to grow. Yet, He also wants me to share that love with others.
Some people will say YES to Jesus. Yet, there will be people who will say NO to Jesus.
“The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me.” (John 14:24, CSB)
Test Question: Am I sharing Jesus?
Test #5: If I love Jesus, then I will remember Jesus and serve Him.
““I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:25–26, CSB)
This is the test of serving. When I remember Jesus, I don’t just remember what He did for me. I also remember what He wants me to do for Him. Jesus came to serve and He wants me to serve for Him.
If I love Jesus, then I will serve Him. I will listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His leadership.
One of the reasons that Christians celebrate the Lord’s Supper also known as communion is because we remember Jesus. We remember what He did and we remember what He called us to do.
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26, CSB)
We tell others about Jesus by the way we serve. Service is an act of love.
Question: Am I remembering Jesus by serving?
What will God say when your life is over? Will you pass the test of the Christian faith? Will you be able to show that God loved you through Jesus Christ and that you loved Him and others? Will God declare: “Good and faithful servant?”