22 May 2011

The Character of Genuine Saving Faith

Christians are called to examine themselves in order to ensure their faith is true. In the pages of the MacArthur Study Bible is a useful resource to help us do just that:

The Character of Genuine Saving Faith 

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! (2 Corinthians 13:5)

I. EVIDENCES THAT NEITHER PROVE NOR DISPROVE ONE'S FAITH: 
  • Visible Morality: Matt. 19:16-21; 23:27
  • Intellectual Knowledge: Rom. 1:21; 2:17 ff
  • Religious Involvement: Matt. 25:1-10
  • Active Ministry: Matt. 7:21-24
  • Conviction of Sin: Acts 24:25
  • Assurance: Matt. 23
  • Time of Decision: Luke 8:13-14
II. THE FRUIT/PROOFS OF AUTHENTIC/TRUE CHRISTIANITY:
  • Love for God: Ps. 42:1 ff; 73:24; Luke 10:27; Rom. 8:7
  • Repentance from Sin: Ps. 32:5; Prov. 28:13; Rom. 7:14 ff; 2 Cor. 7:10; 1 John 1:8-10
  • Genuine Humility: Ps. 51:17; Matt. 5:1-12; James 4:6, 9 ff
  • Devotion to God's Glory: Psalm 105:3; 115:1; Isaiah 43:7; 48:10 ff; Jer. 9:23-24; 1 Cor. 10:31
  • Continual Prayer: Luke 18:1; Eph. 6:18 ff; 1 John 2:15-17; James 5:16-18
  • Selfless Love: 1 John 2:9 ff, 3:14, 4:7 ff
  • Separation from the World: 1 Cor. 2:12; James 4:4 ff; 1 John 2:15-17, 5:5
  • Spiritual Growth: Luke 8:15; John 15:1-6; Eph. 4:12-16
  • Obedient Living: Matt. 7:21; John 15:14 ff; Rom. 16:26; 1 Peter 1:2, 22; 1 John 2:3-5
  • Hunger for God's Word: 1 Pet. 2:1-3
  • Transformation of Life: 2 Cor. 5:17
If list I is true of a person and list II is false or non-evident, then there could be cause to question the validity of one's profession of faith. If list II is true of a person, then list I will be true as well.

Source: MacArthur Study Bible, 2010

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