Faith is, without question, a significant part of our lives and is something that we must continue to grow as we age. Too many people have a false mindset that they are able to stop growing in their faith just because they have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. While acceptance of Christ is a most important step, growth is necessary in our Christian lives as we are to separate ourselves from this worldly system and be one with Christ.
Lamentations 3:40 reads “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.” Different times within scripture we are instructed to be fruitful but we also learn to gauge and judge someone by their fruits. In Mathew, Jesus tells us that we will know someone by their fruits which is the difference between the true followers of Christ and the false prophets. Christ uses the illustration of grape vines and fig trees but any tree that is not producing fruit will be cut down because it is useless and this is why we are to check ourselves.
Christ has made us all unique and given us talents and unique talents that we are to use for His glory. However, if we do not properly use our talents and let them go to waste, what good are we? If we are not producing fruits then it’s likely that we are leading people in the wrong direction. Our actions, our words, our deeds are from the heart and we see this with thieves as the evil they produce is produced from an evil heart just the same as the goodness that is produced from a missionary, a minister, or an everyday person with Christ in their heart as Christ instructs us in Matthew 28:19 to “Go ye therefore, and ||teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
In his letter to the church of Corinth, Paul instructs in 2 Corinthians 13:5 that we are to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” What Paul is saying here is that we are to constantly examine ourselves and the lives that we are living to find if we are truly believers or not. Just as in any relationship, if there are any problems or doubts, they must be confronted and this includes in our Christian lives and if we do not confront any problem or doubt that we may have, they are likely to boil over and become an obsession.
In Paul’s letters, he does not question the salvation of the readers as he refers to them as “babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1) and explains that their “body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:15-20) so we know that the assurance of our salvation is not in our works or deeds but in Christ alone and we cannot forget this but we do need to examine ourselves. If we do not, we do not grow and often times, become complacent which is why we must continue to grow and mature in Christ so we can ensure that we are doing our best for the service of Christ with the talents and gifts that we have been given.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”–2 Corinthians 13:5