Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

2 Corinthians 13:5

Why should God allow you into Heaven?  Should God allow you into Heaven because you were a good person? Should God allow you into Heaven because you were baptized? Should God allow you into Heaven because you put money in a plate every Sunday? The Bible is clear that you will not get into Heaven because of the works of the flesh no matter how ‘good’ they might be. The only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ.

For the past three Sundays I have been looking at the first eleven verses of Romans 8. The Apostle Paul has stated that there is “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). There is no final judgment to those who are redeemed by Jesus Christ. The wages or payment for sin that is death (physical, spiritual, and eternal) was paid in full once for all when He died on the cross and rose again three days later.

He contrasts this freedom in Christ with those who are living in the flesh. “For to be carnally (fleshly) minded IS death…” (Romans 8:6). Having a fleshly mindset does not lead to death, it is death. The person who does not know Jesus Christ as their Savior is dead. Before I accepted Christ as my Savior, I was dead in my sins. I was on the path to Hell, but when I accepted the free gift of salvation I was filled with the Holy Spirit to have a mindset of God.

When we are in Christ and have our mind set on the things of the Spirit we have “life and peace” (Romans 8:6b), but the mind that is in the flesh is “enmity against God.” The unredeemed mind is at war with God. Those who are still in the flesh, those who have not accepted the free gift of Christ are “not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7b-8). No matter how many ‘good’ things they have done, if they were not done in Christ they are all for not. Isaiah writes “we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

A believer in Jesus Christ, someone who is in the Spirit, will sin (look at Romans 7:13-25), but they are not controlled by the flesh nor are they under the condemnation of sin. Paul goes on and says, “you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” (Romans 8:9). Both the Roman Christians that read these words 2000 years ago and believers in Christ reading it now are “not in the flesh…” Those redeemed by Jesus Christ are not in the flesh, but rather in Christ. Our old self (the flesh) was crucified with Him. As Paul would write over in Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The Spirit of God dwells in believers.

The person who gives no evidence of the presence, power, and fruit of God’s Spirit in his life has no legitimate claim to Christ as Savior and Lord. The person who demonstrates no desire for the things of God and has no inclination to avoid sin or passion to please God is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit and thus does not belong to Christ.

John MacArthur

As Paul would ask the church in Corinth, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are a child of God? Do you know of a moment in time when you personally accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? It is not a game and it is not something you want to gamble. Do you know for 100% certainty that you are going to Heaven? You will not go to Heaven because of good works, money given in an offering plate, a family history of attending church, or any other thing. Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). As long as there is breathe in your lungs and a pulse in your body, you still have time to accept Jesus Christ.

It is as simple as A, B, C:

A: Admit you are a sinner. We have all sinned and fall short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23). It doesn’t matter if it is a ‘tiny’ sin like a ‘white lie’ or a ‘big’ sin like murdering someone. One sin will condemn me, one sin will condemn you to be separated from God forever in a terrible place called hell. There was nothing I could do to get of that, and there is nothing for you either. That is why Jesus Christ came.

B: Believe on Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God. He was the only One to be perfect and sinless and He paid the high cost by dying on the cross. He did not stay dead, but He rose again three days later. The bill that was too big for me, too big for you was paid in full. We just have to accept the free gift (Romans 6:23) that He gave us.

C. Confess Jesus as Lord/Master in your life. Asking Jesus to forgive you of your sin and ask him into your life is not a religion, but a relationship. It is a relationship that has been broken. A relationship with God has been completely restored.

You might pray a prayer like this. It is not the prayer that saves you, it is Jesus Christ. He knows your heart, your inner most being. Be genuine with Him. If you want Christ, He will not deny you.

Dear Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner. I have done bad things and I know that the payment for those things is to be separated from God forever in that terrible place called Hell. I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven and I believe that His payment on the cross of Calvary was enough. That His blood paid for my sin. Please come into my life right now and save me. Thank You for saving me! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

If you did that today for the first time, I welcome you to the family of God. If you live near our church, I would love to invite you to join us as you grow in your walk with Jesus Christ. If you live somewhere else please reach out so we can help you find a Bible-believing church where you can grow in your walk with Jesus.

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