- Examine Yourselves, Prove Your Own Selves – This is a very important question that we should all seriously consider, “How Can I KNOW If God Has Saved Me?”. This question gets to the essence of what life is all about. God tells us everything we need to know with regard to His salvation plan for mankind in His Book, the Bible, and God explains that assurance of our salvation is indeed possible as 1 John 5:11-13 explains. We must realize that God does ALL the work of salvation. The Bible teaches that we cannot save ourselves. No church, no religious ritual, no person, and no human effort can save us. Only the work done by the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross and by the Holy Spirit in our hearts can save us. Believing, or having “faith”, in the Lord Jesus Christ is the result of salvation – not the cause of it. Rom 5:10 declares that if God has saved you, your spiritual war with God has ended: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life”. In other words: If God has saved you from Hell, the Lord Jesus Christ paid for ALL of your sins with His life so that you now have eternal life, and you made no contribution to your salvation in any way, as Tit 3:4-7 declares. However, if God does not save you before you die or the Lord Jesus Christ returns in judgment, you will face eternal damnation in Hell under the wrath of God as a payment for your own sins. If God has already saved you from eternal damnation, He has put His Spirit within you and resurrected your soul (that is, you became a new creature in Christ); as God stated in the verses Eze 36:26-27 and 2 Cor 5:17. In 2 Cor 13:5 and 2 Pet 1:10, God commands us to evaluate our spiritual condition to determine if we truly have received the gift of eternal life based on what the Bible teaches about salvation. In the next part of this study we will ask ourselves several questions based on the biblical evidences of salvation to help us “examine” the state of our souls.
1 John 5:11-13 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Tit 3:4-7 “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Eze 36:26-27 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2 Cor 13:5 “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 Pet 1:10 “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”
- Do you recognize Jesus Christ as Lord, God and your Savior? as one Triune God? – In Rom 10:10 we find this statement: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. God has much to say about a person who merely pays “lip service” to God and does not seek Him with all his “heart, soul, mind, and strength”. The word “Lord” here is actually conveys the idea that Christ “has lordship over” or “exercises dominion over”. We must never forget that one can only do this when one has become saved – or born from above since by birth and nature we have a sinful and wicked heart, as Jer 17:9-10 describes: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…”. Salvation is a matter of the heart as Rom 2:29 teaches: “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, …”. This is very apparent in Luke 6:45 “… of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh”. Salvation takes place spiritually in man’s heart, or soul, by the Word of God as well as by the will of God, which is what Jam 1:18 states, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth…”. Both man’s belief, or faith, and confession are the results of salvation and are never the means of salvation.
1 Cor 12:3 “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”
Col 1:14-16 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”
Isa 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor [Holy Spirit is the Counsellor], The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Tit 2: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
Phil 2:10-11 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Rev 19:16 “And he hath on his [Lord Jesus Christ] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
- Do you have the Authority of the Bible? – Do you believe that “All Scripture” is from the mouth of God? and are you humble enough to be corrected with the evidence of Scriptures, if you were under wrong understanding. Do you find that you have a strong desire to grow spiritually by reading and studying the Word of God, the Bible? The most important fact we need to come to grips with when studying or reading the Bible is that it is God’s holy, inspired, and infallible Word. It is the supreme authority for every believer, as we learn from 2 Pet 1:21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”. 1 Cor 2:12-13 provides the most significant principle for studying the Bible, which is “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” – comparing Scripture with Scripture, namely that we are to use all of the Bible and only the Bible to find truth. As we do this we must keep in mind that all of the Bible is written from three distinct vantage points: 1. Historical accuracy – recording actual people, places, events, and conversations, 2. Moral teaching – highlighting a moral command to be followed, 3. Spiritual meaning – pointing to some facet of the Gospel (incidentally, this is the most difficult level to ascertain, due to the intense amount of study and prayer that is required). The Bible is thus to be trusted implicitly given its divine authorship, as the sole authority in the life of the child of God. Rom 10:17 explains, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
2 Tim 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
2 Tim 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
1 Cor 2:12-13 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
Psa 119:97 “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.”
- Do you Fear and tremble before God and His Word? – By nature none of us have this fear of God as we learn from verses, such as Isa 29:13, “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men…”. This is a similar statement to what we find in Mat 15:9 where the Lord Jesus declares, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”. Genuine fear of God – like genuine worship of God – must be done according to God’s Word “in spirit and in truth”. Those whom God has saved, or reconciled, have a deep fear and sensitivity to God’s Holy Word, the Bible, because they are fully aware that His Word is an extension of God Himself. Everything in the Scriptures shows us that God is not to be trifled with or lightly esteemed, as we understand from a passage like Mat 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”. The child of God fully comprehends the ominous warning of Gal 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” and trembles as he recognizes that God works in him “to will and to do of his good pleasure”, as Php 2:13 teaches.
Isa 66:2 “For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
Heb 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
Php 2:12-13 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”
- Do you have an earnest and a continual Desire to Obey the Will of God as set forth in the Bible? – It is amazing that God would reveal Truth from His Word to those who have become His children by means of the new birth. Luke 10:21 states: “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight”. However, God also indicates that the truth which He alone reveals is meant to be obeyed. This is the thrust of the statement we find in Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” and should be the result of all Bible study. What we learn in the pages of the Bible is not to be used to show how much we know, or how much we can assimilate, or how much we can explain; rather, it is to be humbly obeyed. Rom 7:5 portrays man’s inherent inability to be under, or obedient to, God’s Word prior to salvation: “Because the carnal mind is enmity [or hatred] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”. It is important to recognize that the phrases “in the flesh” and “carnal mind” refer to one who is unsaved. On the other hand, the phrases “in the spirit” and “under grace” are speaking about one who is saved. Eze 36:26-27 so beautifully illustrates the reality of the new birth and the characteristic of one who have been raised from spiritual death to life and become a “new creature” – an insatiable desire to be obedient to the Word of God: “… I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them”. Obedience is the evidence of Salvation. John 8:31 continues : “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” and 1 John 2:6 insists as well, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he [that is Christ] walked”.
Eze 36:26-27 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
John 14:15 “If ye love me [Jesus Christ], keep my commandments.”
Rom 2:13 “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”
Jam 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
1 John 2:3-5 “And hereby we do know that we know him [Jesus Christ], if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
- Do you have “Spiritual peace with God” and “Spiritual peace of God”? – One of man’s greatest desires is to live in peace, or the absence of war and strife. However, wars are the result of man’s sinful nature and will never be abolished on this sin-cursed earth. As “the Prince of Peace” many people think that Jesus came to bring some kind of political or secular peace among nations or groups of people. Why then is the Lord Jesus called “the Prince of Peace” in the Bible? A spiritual war between God and rebellious mankind exists, as we read in Rom 8:7 “Because the carnal [unsaved] mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”. Jesus said He came to bring peace between God and His people in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”. The peace that results from salvation is called “peace with God” in Rom 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. True believers have peace with God because of the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross that has “reconciled” them to God, as explained in 2 Cor 5:19: “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation…”. Do you have an ongoing desire to thank and praise God through prayer as you learn to trust Him more and more in every aspect of your life? In other words, Do you have “peace of God”? When we have become reconciled to God by salvation, God also gives us the “peace of God”, according to Php 4:6-7. Faith to trust Him results from the “peace of God”.
Php 4:6-7 “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.
Eph 6:17-18 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
1 Thess 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Pro 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
- Does the Holy Spirit give you Assurance that you are Born of God? – One day we might “feel” saved; the next day, as a result of some sin, we don’t. We have to put our feelings aside, and only trust in what the Bible proclaims. An authentic Christian’s trust, hope, confidence, and faith needs to be firmly established in what God has written in His Word. Is it possible to know that one is a child of God from the Bible? By God’s mercy, the answer is yes, as 1 John 5:12-13 affirms that believers can “know” they have eternal life: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written [God’s Word] unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”. What is really in view in these Scriptures is the fact that believers receive assurance of their salvation from the Bible – the written Word of God – and the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit is yet another evidence of salvation. 1 John 4:13 reveals, “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit”. And Rom 8:9 affirms that one is NOT a child of God without the indwelling Spirit of God: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”. Now, to summarize what we have learned today: First, the Holy Spirit is given to the believer as the “earnest” (or down payment) of his salvation. Secondly, we are not to trust our feelings at all; we must lean altogether on what the Bible sets forth. At times, however, our hearts can work against us, as 1 John 3:18-22 indicates; but even when that happens, we must rest altogether in the work and faith of the Lord Jesus. Eph 3:12 testifies that a believer have boldness in the day of judgement, not because of his doings but because of what Lord has done for him at the cross: “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him”. The fact that our own hearts “condemn”, or blame, us does not necessarily signify that we are unsaved. On the contrary, it appears that as a Christian matures in grace, he is increasingly mindful of his own unworthiness and sinfulness. At the same time, he is increasingly aware of God’s unfathomable grace, as Rom 5:20b so powerfully insists, “… But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” The Scripture testifies that God is indeed “greater than our heart, and knoweth all things”. A true Christian’s heart can either serve to condemn or absolve him, as he obeys God’s Word or fails the various “tests” that God employs to determine his spiritual condition. Ultimately, a believer desires to be obedient to his Master above all else, as God works in him “to will and to do of His good pleasure”.
Rom 8:16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”
John 1:12-13 “But as many as received him [as in recipients], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
1 John 3:18-22 “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
- Are the “Works of the Flesh” Diminishing in your life – Are you continuing to turn from your sins? and leading a Godly Life? In Rom 8:13 we find these words, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die”. Mat 26:41 adds, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. From even a casual reading of the Bible, we are brought face to face with not only our innate weaknesses and inadequacies but, more importantly, with our sins that are sending us pell-mell to eternal damnation. This is the accurately painful description that Eph 2:3 paints: “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”. The word “conversation” means “lifestyle”. What is the lifestyle of someone who is NOT saved? Gal 5:19-21 itemizes the works of the flesh and warns: “… of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God”. On the other hand, 2 Cor 5:17 describes a born-again believers new nature: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. At this point in our discussion, I think it would be helpful to remind ourselves of each believer’s dual nature. Quite possibly the tendency to emphasize one aspect more than the other can shape how we look at ourselves in terms of possessing or lacking assurance of salvation. Let us consider each “side” of a Christian’s whole personality. Even after a person is redeemed he struggles with sin because his body still remains unsaved, even though in his soul he has received eternal life. This is clearly seen in a number of verses like Rom 7:20, “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me”. The apostle Paul, under divine inspiration, reveals in Rom 7:25 the Scriptural assessment that a child of God must constantly keep in mind, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin”. Gal 5:16-18 and verses 24-25 further add: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh [our bodies]… And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”. This internal dualism is the true Christian’s greatest spiritual struggle, bar none, as Rom 7:24 pinpoints, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” The deliverance that Paul refers to is found in the words of 2 Cor 5:1-4, which expresses the believer’s yearning to be forever clothed with his glorified spiritual body. 1 John 3:1-3 highlights this as well, adding the dimension of hope with regard to glorification, which is the final stage of salvation.
Gal 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Rom 7:21-25 “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man [or the soul]: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members [or my body]. 24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin… ”
Gal 5:16-18, 24-25 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh [our bodies]. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law… And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”
Rom 6:11-20 “For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”
1 Cor 9:27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Rom 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
2 Cor 5:1-4 “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle [our physical body] were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4For we that are in this tabernacle [our physical body] do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”
1 John 3:1-3 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he [Christ] shall appear, we shall be like him [Christ]; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him [Christ] purifieth himself, even as he [Christ] is pure.”
- Is the “Fruit of the Spirit” becoming more Evident in your Life? – We see in Eph 2:10 that true believers are God’s “workmanship”, which means “the fruit (or product) of a workman’s labor”. We also see in Gal 5:22-26 that true believers are governed by the “fruit” (or product) of the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives: “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: …”
- Love – It is interesting how God starts off this list of “fruit” with “love”. Of course, the greatest demonstration of love is found in the Lord Jesus Christ, as Rom 5:8 declares: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. There is no greater love than for God to become sin on behalf of His people, the elect, and to suffer the equivalent of eternity in Hell for them. As a result, God reveals that love is the chief hallmark of the Christian in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another”. God also goes to great lengths to define love in many verses, such as 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous”.
- Joy – In Hab 3:18 we discover this beautiful statement, “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation”. Each believer has been given “joy” as a fruit of the Spirit, which is a direct result of the incomprehensible salvation that God has granted. Neh 8:10 is a very comforting verse which declares, “… for the joy of the LORD is your strength”
- Peace – The Lord Jesus came to this earth on a mission of “peace” – but not in the physical sense that most people imagine. Because mankind by nature abhors God and holds Him in the highest contempt, Eph 2:14-15 describes the spiritual, eternal peace between God and man that Christ secured for many: “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace”. Isa 26:3 speaks of the wonderful peace that God has gifted to each of His children: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee”.
- Longsuffering – The “longsuffering”, or patience, of God can be readily seen throughout the Bible. Actually, it is astounding that God is so patient with rebellious man. Indeed, with the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives Col 1:11 admonishes us to be, “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”
- Gentleness – Following the pattern of their Master, those who are part of the eternal church are equipped with the fruit of “gentleness”, or kindness, as Eph 2:7 describes, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
- Goodness – Eph 5:9 gives us an excellent description of “goodness” as one of three main categories of the fruit of the Spirit: “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” We also read in 2 Chr. 6:41, “Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.” Remember that “priests” and “saints” are both synonyms for the children of God.
- Faith – Every believer receives “faith” as a result of salvation and are commanded to “walk by faith, not by sight” in 2 Cor 5:7. In other words, everyone who has experienced the new birth will understand the meaning of Heb 11:6 that says, “without faith it is impossible to please him [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
- Meekness – The Bible gives us some wonderful pictures of the “meek”, or those who have inherited the quality of “meekness”. Mat 21:5 portrays the Lord Jesus in such a fashion: “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” Moses, as a great type of Christ, is described in Num 12:3 in these words, “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.”
- Temperance – “Temperance”, or “self-control”, is a remarkable fruit of the Spirit that motivates the true follower of Jesus Christ to forsake sin and follow the commands of Scripture. The Greek root word is translated as “power” in Eph 6:10, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
There is “no law” against these nine fruit of the Spirit because they reflect the righteous nature of God Himself. True believers can sincerely exclaim the words of Eph 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ!”
Gal 5:22-26 that true believers are governed by the “fruit” (or product) of the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
- Are you able to love God and your fellow man also?
Matt 22:37-39 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Matt 5:43-45 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
1 John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:21 “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
Gal 6:10 “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
Gal 6:2,5 “2Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 5For every man shall bear his own burden”
Eph 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
- Are you finding that the pleasures of this world do not interest you as much as they did in the past?
1 John 2:15-17 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
Rom 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
- Do you grieve more and more in your spirit because of your sins, as you see yourselves in the light of the Bible and are you striving to eliminate those sins from your life for the glory of God?
Rom 7:22-23 “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
1 John 1:10 “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him [Jesus Christ] a liar, and his word is not in us.”
1 Tim 1:15 “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
Eph 4:30-32 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Col 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Col 3:23-24 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
- Are you becoming more comfortable with the True Gospel of salvation (based on the sovereign grace of God) so that it is neither foolish nor offensive to you? Do you fully understand that God does ALL the work of salvation and are you willing to give Him ALL the praise and glory for His precious gift of eternal life?
1 Cor 2:14 “But the natural man [unsaved] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
1 Cor 3:18-20 “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise [in the Word of God rightly dividing Truth comparing Scripture with Scripture]. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.”
Eph 1:3-6 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
Eph 2:8-10 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
- As you grow in grace, do you have a greater desire to be a witness for Jesus Christ? – Without a doubt, one of the most difficult arenas in which to be a witness is among our own family members. It is indeed a proving
ground without parallel, and we face all kinds of tests daily. How are we going to react? Are we going to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit
or the works of the flesh? Thus, family life according to God’s Word becomes the forge, hammer, and anvil that shape our Christian
living and growth.
Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
2 Cor 2:15-17 “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”
1 Pet 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
2 Cor 5:20 “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
- Are you ready to suffer for Jesus sake and Gospel sake?
Acts 5:41 “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”
Rom 8:14-17 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
1 Thess 3:3-4 “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 4For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.”
Phil 1:29 “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake”
Rom 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
- Do you yearn for the day when you will meet your Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, face to face?
1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
2 Cor 5:1-2, 6-8 “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven… Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight🙂 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”