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EVALUATE YOUR CHRISTIANITY
J. Cherreguine

We are a generation of passive and vain Christians who easily accept new teachings, new practices, and new trends without careful examination of their veracity. Majority of churchgoers are totally ignorant of their religious beliefs and teachings. Majority of true Christians today are ignorant of the true Bible doctrines. They are familiar with their church doctrines. There is only one Bible doctrine but people continue to invent church doctrines.

To be free from heretical, deceitful, and man-made doctrine, we have to make several evaluations.

EVALUATE YOURSELF

IF YOU ARE IN THE FAITH:

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Majority of believers are the product of shallow or no Gospel presentation at all. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God not hearing story of miracles and emotional testimonies. Salvation comes from understanding that Christ took our sins on a cross and gained the only access for man to approach Christ. The Gospel of salvation must be presented in the simplest terms that are easily understood by many. But simplicity does not imply the pulling out of truth from it. There is no salvation without the presentation of the true Gospel.

We must know what we believed and believe what we know. We are familiar with patterned Gospel presentation used by various Christian organizations, designed to manufacture instant Christians without the reality of salvation. The Holy Spirit does not use human wisdom, human expertise or human power in bringing salvation into a person’s life.

Majority of believers are the product of manipulation techniques used by preachers whose priority is church statistics and not spirituality. They use several techniques such as:

PRESENTATION TECHNIQUES that applies psychological, emotional, or rational manipulations resulting to false professions of faith. Such preachers are like salesmen capable of selling anything even rotten tomatoes. False professions of faith are common in many local churches.

INVITATION TECHNIQUES are employed during the invitation by preachers who wanted to make impression that a big number of people are being saved in his ministry. Everything are designed by the preacher to mislead the people starting from music, the songs, the terms used by the preacher, and other props. Such human manipulations are effective in the business world but have no place in the Christian realm.

These manipulations produce nothing but false profession of faith, resulting to fake Christians who climb the local church leadership manufacturing many problems. These are fake Christians serving God without the reality of salvation. They were taught the doctrine of sacrifice but not salvation.

EVALUATE YOUR SPIRITUALITY

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, the Lord disciplines us in order that we may not be condemned along with the world (1 Corinthians 11:28-32).

The above verses refer to doctrines of rebound and divine discipline. The phrase “let a man examine himself” speaks about the free-will rebound of the believer after the realization that he has committed a sin. The three categories of divine discipline are mentioned; weak (warning discipline), sick (intensive discipline) and sleep (sin unto death). If a believer sinned but immediately rebound, one of these four things may happen:

1.    God may remove the discipline

2.    God may reduce the discipline

3.    God may enforce full discipline but turned it into blessing

4.    Enforce full discipline

Every believer must learn to use the privilege of rebound every time he sinned in order not to suffer under divine discipline. But the real issue is not to escape discipline but to go back to the realm of spirituality, restored back to fellowship and in position to receive blessing from God.

EVALUATE YOUR WORK

But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For every believer shall bear his own load (Galatians 6:4-5).

Growing believers are always in danger of doing the right thing in the wrong way and then compare his work with those of others. Examining your spiritual progress and achievement with others will cultivate arrogance complex in the soul of the believer. You will always find yourself either inferior or superior with others.

Christ is the only model of the Church Age believers and the only standard. We are no match to the life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything we have comes from His justice. There is nothing we can do to gain the approval and acceptance of God except through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Evaluating our spiritual progress and work is not for the purpose of creating a monument to glorify our ego, but to see whether if they are done under divine adjustments of salvation, spirituality and spiritual maturity. Anything we do apart from personal relationship with God, without spirituality and not based on Bible doctrines in the souls are not acceptable to God. They will be listed in the book of good works, which God will use as evidence of spiritual failure. It will be a revelation against ignorant and immature saints who did not grow spiritually.

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one, which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work, which he has built upon, it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:11-14)

EVALUATE YOUR DOCTRINE

Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so (Acts 17:11).

Ours is a generation of submissive but blind followers of questionable human teachings. Majority of Christians today are ignorant of the very doctrine they embrace. When confronted by the cults they became hostile being unable to depend their faith. They became blind followers of blind leaders whose gods are their own stomachs.

Christians are free to believe, live and grow in the faith. Freedom, however do not leave room for ignorance and passiveness. Christians ought to study their doctrines for the purpose of verifying the truth.  Church doctrine must be verified on the truth of the Scripture. The Scripture is the canon, the measure of standard, not human experience, not our viewpoint or our church beliefs, traditions, or the things we use to do.

The daily progressive, systematic, and continuous intake of Bible doctrine has amazing effect and fantastic benefits for every Church Age believer beyond human imagination. Believers also ought to understand every angle and every sides of teaching proclaim from the pulpits. We cannot just accept any teaching without careful examination of their veracity on the context of the Scriptures. Every new teaching must be put to test and do not just accept them without careful examination. It is not that we doubt, but it is simply that we wanted to be sure.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1)

There is only one Bible doctrine and numerous church doctrines. We have to be sure that what we believe is the Word of God.

EVALUATE EVERYTHING

“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good”

(1 Thessalonians 5:21)

Believers are commanded to examine everything including new teachings, new trends, new church programs and new practices introduced to local church by some traveling preachers.

“Good” refers to intrinsic value as results of Bible doctrine resident in the soul. The term “good” does not refer to good standard of the world, but the perfect standard of God.

Every believer has the right to put any church practice into suspicion that it is not biblical. Every believer has the right to question the truthfulness of any church program. For example, the practice of raising hands in worship has to pass the test of truthfulness.

EVALUATE YOUR PRIORITY

“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts (1 Thessalonians 2:4-6).

The citizen of heavens residing on the planet earth whose souls are set on the things above must evaluate their priority from time to time. Our priority is the Word of God, our spiritual growth and advancement. We have a solid objective in the Christian life and that is spiritual maturity. Everything we do must contribute to our spiritual growth or spiritual advance toward maturity. Nothing should take the place of our priority and hinder our spiritual momentum.

Some are converted to the preacher’s opinion or human viewpoint but not to Christ. These preachers sympathize with the souls who find it difficult to get right with God but such preachers used manipulation techniques to make it easy for them to feel right with God.

Some are converted to the preacher’s emotional appeal that provides fake access to God.

The preaching of the truth brings every person to God’s judgment. The creative power of redemption comes through the preaching of the Gospel, but never because of the personality of the preachers. Anything that flatters a preacher in his preaching of the Gospel makes him a traitor to God.

In salvation, we do not decide for Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ did not ask anyone to do that. He asked for man to yield their lives to Him. Nobody is in position to decide for God, but to simply abandon themselves upon God.

In the Christian life, one of the most dreadful snares is to measure your spirituality by your “success” in the ministry. Their success becomes their god, which they worship in the podium of human approbation.

The most common counterfeit of true obedience is a state of mind in which you find occasions to sacrifice yourself. It is easier to sacrifice yourself than to fulfill your spiritual destiny and fulfill the purpose of God in your life. Most Christians are right in most minor aspects but careless in most major aspects. The issue is carnality.

Today, work is overemphasized and the believers who are slow to work are accused of laziness. Majority of saints are doing work at the incitement and provocation of old sin nature. Working for God is never the measurement of spiritual maturity or spirituality. Most of those too busy for God are carnal and ignorant of Bible doctrine.

No Church Age believer has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. One who does not dictate to Christ but one who intends to be with Christ. To be with Christ means to be occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ, it is a soul focus on the Lord.

Believers are challenged not to waste their time in endless church activities and church programs, but instead to get soak on Bible doctrine. Over-active believers will crack when the tension comes. Soaking on Bible doctrine is getting rooted and grounded in the Word of God.

People converted to religion, church doctrine or preacher are callous and insensitive to the truth of God’s Word. They are incapable of evaluating their position before God since they cannot see their true condition. People who are sincere and dedicated in serving God in manner they thought the right way to serve God will have difficulty in seeing their true condition before God. Their sacrifices and so-called labor of love prevent them from beneficial evaluation.

Unregenerate people cannot repent since no indwelling Holy Spirit will do the work of convicting their souls of personal sins. Repentance (the act of changing their mind) is exclusive for the believers. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting the believers to rebound in order to restore fellowship with God and regain the access to all spiritual blessings.

When God wants to show a person the reality of human corruption He has to show it to youin yourself, nobody is more qualified than yourself. You are not commanded to judge others but yourself only. Examine yourself and His righteousness will open your own grave and expose the dirty things that you cherish for a long time.

 
                   
 
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