Truth Series: How do I know if I genuinely believe the truth? (Part 16)

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Mission | 0 comments

Back in my single days, when I lived in AB, I would make the occasional 2-3 hour drive to the West Edmonton Mall for a day of fun. On one particular visit, as I entered the Mall, an elderly bag lady approached me asking for a quarter. I told her I was sorry but I did not have one. I was surprised by her graciousness as she moved on. I then asked myself how it was that I could not make the effort to do something for her. Immediately I got the bright idea to break a $20 and be real generous by giving her a loonie or two. However, in the short time I made change she seemingly vanished. It was in that moment I was cut deeply by the realization that I could have just given her a $20 bill. It was also in that moment I saw something of my own self-serving nature, even as a professing Christian. I knew I had failed the test. I sat down, grieved that I missed this opportunity to serve another human being—maybe even an angel in disguise. I confessed my sin to God, repented, and was resolute not to miss another opportunity to generously serve another.

This experience from my life illustrates how our actions will, sooner or later, betray our true beliefs. Needless to say, it is not enough to “say” we believe. Just survey James 1:27, 2:14-17, 1 John 3:16-18, Matthew 7:12-27, 25:31-46, Luke 10:25-37.

Passages like these cut deep into our hearts; which unsettling experience is necessary. We must face how we come up short of the glory of God, we must feel the grief of our sin, so that we are driven to take refuge in Christ, and that we earnestly learn to walk in his ways. This is an essential, non-negotiable part of the Holy Spirit’s work in us.

In the next several articles I will walk through four foundational gospel truths—creation, rebellion, redemption, and consummation—in a way that we can test ourselves to see if we have believed the gospel of our Triune God. We need not fear the honest question (2 Corinthians 13:5, John 15:7-8): “Am I really a Christian? Is it showing in and through my life?”

Take heart. Your Heavenly Father wants you to know, and he wants you to have full assurance (2 Peter 1:10-11). So embrace the process of sanctification.

Thus, view this four-fold test as a means of grace to bring us to true belief, and also, as believers to discover and address the remaining areas of unbelief in our lives.

Let God search your mind, heart, and life; and do not resist his Spirit of grace.

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