TESTING THE FRUIT OF OUR LIVES
Paul the apostle, moved upon by the divine Person of the Holy Ghost, instructs the believers at Corinth to test whether or not they are truly right with God and ready to meet Christ. He is not speaking to lost people (1 Cor. 1:1-2). No he is directing this specific instruction toward “the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.” (1 Cor. 1:2) Wow! He is speaking to a gathering of believers who came behind in no gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 1:7
). Here is what the Holy Spirit sees fit for these believers and for all those who claim to know Christ to do:
“Examine (discern) yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove (test) your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
Well if you have been genuinely born again, you know it. But that is but the beginning of our relationship with Christ. The Bible speaks often of the many who after being saved were derailed from the narrow road that leads to life. See book entitled LIE OF THE AGES.
Internal then External Discernment
In the Sermon on the Mount, how did Jesus Christ tell us we would “know” (discern) people? (I believe this includes ourselves first and foremost.)
Before this Jesus speaks to us of “…the beam that is in thine own eye?…behold, a beam is in thine own eye?...FIRST cast out the beam out of thine own eye…” and then our LORD says “Ye shall know them by their fruits…by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:3-5, 16, 20)
First and foremost the Savior deals with us at the heart level. When He does we are then enabled to “see clearly.” But not until then!
“Thou hypocrite, FIRST cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and THEN shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Matthew 7:5
Before we look into a fabulous little passage of Scripture in Job 22, let’s use as a backdrop the importance of making sure we truly know the LORD Jesus very intimately. Do you recall what the Son of God told us is going to be the scene on Judgment Day?
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22-23
At this future event, did you note that these people all believe they are saved? Did you catch that? At His holy throne they are going to call Jesus Christ “Lord, Lord.” And yet He is going to tell these people to “Depart” from Him into eternal damnation. Scary isn’t it?
Can we be too sure we are authentically right with God? Only evil pride in our heart would be offended at such a proposition.
The LORD told us that there are those who “profess (claim) that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Tit. 1:16) Though they claim to know Christ as Savior and LORD, “in works they deny him.” The fruit of their lives does not affirm their salvation.
If you were accused of being a disciple of Jesus, would there be evidence enough to prove it?
- “Examine (discern) yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove (test) your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
Is there any reason a professing believer would be afraid to or hesitate to examine himself against the Word of God at this time? If so, why?
David was a man after the LORD’s own heart and not only was not afraid to examine his heart before God but actually cried out to the LORD to be searched, tried, known, and led into the right way everlasting.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24
What might one be afraid to discover in examining his true spiritual state under the light of God’s Holy Word? -That he truly is not right with God as he may have believed he was? Would we rather go on in deception or test our own hearts now before it is too late.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12
According to Proverbs 14:12, a person can fully believe he is right with God and be fully deceived. One can be sincere and at the same time sincerely deceived.
Friends, do we really want the truth now OR do we want to continue to deceive our own hearts and be shocked like those we are foretold of by Christ in Matthew 7:22-23? Can we ever be too sure?
This following passage was given me by a caring friend a number of years ago. When I began to read it - the first sentence – I was taken back. At that time in my life, I was offended a bit at the suggestion that I needed to get acquainted with the LORD. This clearly identified pride in my heart. Saint of Christ, please be blessed by the instruction of and promises found in this precious passage of divine precepts from the One who loves you more than words can express:
“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.” Job 22:21-23
What are the divinely breathed instructions in this passage?
- “Acquaint now thyself with him”
- “be at peace”
- “Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth”
- “lay up his words in thine heart”
- “return to the Almighty”
What divine promise is given to those who draw near to God this way?
“thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles”
Ready to be built up in Christ, strengthened by the might of His Holy Spirit in your inner man? If so, regard and embrace these simple instructions He gives us in this Scripture text.
Important Question: According to this passage tucked away at the end of Job 22, when are we going to be divinely enabled to “put away iniquity (sin) far from” our lives/tabernacles? When we:
- “Acquaint now thyself with him” (how well do we know Him? How intimate is my current fellowship with Him?)
- When we are “at peace” with the LORD through holy communion
- When we “Receive…the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart”
- When we “return to the Almighty”
When we seek the LORD with a whole heart as revealed in this portion of God’s Word, we have the divine promise that we “shalt be built up” and “shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.”
When we get more intimately acquainted with our Savior, become more at peace (one) with Him, get deep into His Word, and fully return to Him with a whole heart, all iniquity is going to be flushed out of our lives.
Are you ready now to be a doer of divine instruction and put 2 Corinthians 13:5 into action?
VALUABLE QUESTIONS TO ASK OURSELVES:
- Is my “salvation” about solving my own personal problems, or is my goal a deep and intimate communion with the LORD Jesus?
- Is my spiritual walk about obtaining attention for myself or is my goal an intimate relationship with the LORD Jesus and to point all glory to Him?
- Is my “salvation” based on my desire not to go to hell, or is my goal an intimate relationship with the LORD Jesus?
- In all of reality, is Jesus Christ not all that I have?
- Do I daily pour over His Word and seek His face in the prayer closet? - If not it is because I love self and not the LORD Jesus Christ. If I don’t make time to pray and study His holy Word, it is because He is not truly my LORD and first love.
- Is my “salvation” about belonging to some group for the sake of social activities and intellectual stimulation, or is my goal an intimate fellowship with the LORD Jesus?
- Is my spiritual walk about my own covetous greed to be rich in this life, or is my goal an intimate relationship with the LORD Jesus?
- Do I obey the Word of God or am i self-deceived?
- If I were stripped of everything, would I still seek, serve, and love Jesus?
- Isn’t He the only One I need and my exceeding great reward?
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, please search my heart. Probe the depths of my being and unearth anything that is offensive to Your holiness. I beg You to show me Your mercy by searching me, trying me, and cleansing me! Please shine Your holy light on all my darkness my LORD. I love You Jesus and am rejoicing at Your soon return! Amen.
LET’S LEARN GOD’S WORD TOGETHER - ONE TRUTH AT A TIME: Are you tired of reading Scripture or hearing a good message from the Word and not retaining it for yourself and to help others? We can help you. This message was sent out to each person who is on the Moments For My Master e-mail devotional list. In supplementation to your personal daily study of God’s Word, we would love to add you and have the privilege of nourishing your heart with God's Word (Jn. 5:39; 1 Tim. 4:6, 16; Heb. 5:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:2). Sign up here.
Pass This On!
Give Love Offering Online Here
Request Envelopes Addressed to SafeGuardYourSoul Here
The Laid Down Life
The creation and development of Scripture-intensive resources to build up Christ’s body, including leaders, and, the creation and distribution of evangelistic tools for the winning of lost souls into the kingdom of God. These are supplied to Gospel workers around the world. Preach, warn, and teach the truth (Col. 1:28). One of the central thrusts of our calling and service to Christ is to prayerfully, biblically, and diligently safeguard the souls of His people from deception by establishing in their hearts the final authority and eternal blessings associated with being personally rooted and grounded in His Word and in His love (Prov. 22:17-21; Jn. 5:39; Acts 20:20-32; Phil. 3:1; 2 Tim. 2:15;3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3-4,12-21; 1 Jn. 2:24-33; 4:1-3; 2 Jn. 7-11; Rev. 2:1-5).
Stand with Us!
BOOK: Deceivers & False Prophets Among Us
BOOK: Lie of the Ages: History’s Fatal Falsehood
God is Love and Jesus is Coming.
Supporting This Ministry
Please help support SafeGuardYourSoul in the work of the Gospel with either one time or monthly giving.
Are you born again? PEACE with GOD
Redemption Through Sacrifice
The Blood of Jesus
PASS THIS ON TO ANOTHER
NEVER doubt the power of God's Word (Isa. 55:11).
If you need Gospel tracts to help you reach the lost, click on the TRACTS button on this site.