From time to time, I take personality tests. I loved it since there are no right or wrong answers. These tests, like Enneagram, DISC, etc., give me further awareness and insights about my traits.
However, there is an exam that I consider critical in our lives: a spiritual test.
When I was a teenager, I had to face the reality of these two diagnostic questions my teacher asked:
The first is this. Have you ever come to appoint in your spiritual life where you know for certain that if you were to die today you’re going to heaven?
And the second is, suppose you were to die today and God would ask you, why should I let you into my heaven? What would you say?
Here are apostle Paul’s advices for your consideration: “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.”
1. Think About What You Really Believe.
What you say could be separated from what you believe.
I once met a person who got the answers to the diagnostic questions right. But then I soon found out somebody taught her how to answer, even without believing in what she has to say.
As such, I really encourage you to answer with all your heart.
It’s a tragedy of life when someone is trying to fool someone—and that someone is one’s self.
Apostle Paul admonished Christians to thoughtfully and purposively “examine” (Greek peirazu) themselves. In fact, it does not only mean “to test” but also “to tempt” or “to trap,” depending on the intention.
For this reason, Paul specified the motive: “to see whether you are in the faith.”
2. Test Yourself.
If you would ask someone “Are you a Christian?” a lot of people, especially Filipinos, would answer, “Yes.” But if you make a follow-up question, “How did you become a Christian?”
You’ll probably hear things like, “I was born a Christian,” “I’m not a Muslim, that’s why” “My parents are Christians,” or “I grew up in a Christian home.”
Today’s lack of self-examination has led to a massive but thoughtless Christianity that used spoon-feeding of faith to make co-dependent followers.
Apostle Paul used the Greek word dokimazu for his encouragement to “Test yourselves.” Like testing the purity of metals, it means to test your faith, scrutinize what you approved, and examine your beliefs.
Whatever people tell you to believe in, test it if they are from God—and that includes what I also say. I often instruct the people I influence to be mindful of what they also believe.
“Whatever I say, if it is consistent with God’s Word, think about it. Apply it. But if it is not, then forget it. You have nothing to lose. What matters most is that you reflect about what you believe based on the Scriptures as I did for mine.”
3. Trust in Jesus Christ Alone.
If you profess to be a Christian, think about this.
No one is born a Christian because it is a conscious decision to become a follower of Jesus.
Being a non-Muslim doesn’t make one a Christian as you would a non-Hindu or non-Buddhist.
Yes, your parent may be Christians or that you grew up in a Christian home. But still you have to own your faith and make a personal decision to really believe and follow Christ.
As apostle Paul says, “Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test.”
The problem with assumptions is this. It’s not an assurance. Assumptions can’t pass the test. A person must certainly know and understand what beliefs he has, lest he fails the test.
Believing in the sufficiency of Christ Jesus the Lord and Savior is the core of the Christian faith.
Are you afraid that your belief systems would be tested or not?
You should not be.
The truth is not afraid of scrutiny. Neither should you—if you want to know and hold on to the truth.
Glenn Plastina © 2017