Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Lost Doctrine - Regeneration

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
I found this exegesis of 1 John somewhere on the internet, and I thought it is a profound test in scripture. One of the things I find wrong with many churches today, is they are satisfied with a intellectual consent of their belief in Jesus rather than going through scripture with them to see if God truly regenerated that person. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. " Matthew 7:21

I would hope anyone who reads this blog would open their Bibles to 1 John and see for themselves if God is truly doing a work in their lives. This is not a check list like you would do in a magazine, but every one of these points needs to have some growth that can only be done by the Holy Spirit.

1. Do you enjoy having fellowship with Christ and His redeemed people? (1 John 1:3)

2. Would people say you walk in the light, or walk in the darkness? (1 John 1:6-7)

3. Do you admit and confess your sin? (1 John 1:8)

4. Are you obedient to God's Word? (1 John 2:3-5)

5. Does your life indicate you love God rather than the world? (1 John 2:15)

6. Is your life characterized by "doing what is right"? (1 John 2:29)

7. Do you seek to maintain a pure life? (1 John 3:3)

8. Do you see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life? (1 John 3:5-6) [Note: this refers to not continuing in sin as a way of life, not a total absence of sin.]

9. Do you demonstrate love for other Christians? (1 John 3:14)

10. Do you "walk the walk," versus just "talking the talk"? (1 John 3:18-19)

11. Do you maintain a clear conscience? (1 John 3:21)

12. Do you experience victory in your Christian walk? (1 John 5:4)

There are a few "tests" in scripture like what the Puritans used in the beatitudes in Matthew 5. Whatever the case, it is important to test ourselves in light of scripture rather than comparing ourselves to Christians who compare themselves with other Christians.

"It is not a time to be silent; it is time to speak out. We have kept quiet too long, somehow feeling that if we opposed these unbiblical practices we might be hindering the good work of evangelism, believing that among the multitudes of "decisions" there are some genuine conversions. But with every passing week thousands are being counseled into a false hope! Men are directed to walk aisles when they should be pointed to Christ alone. The high calling of preaching has degenerated into a series of gimmicks and tricks. These false practices have resulted from the perversion of biblical doctrine. In the midst of this darkness let us pray that God may be pleased to revive His Church again. This revival can come only through Christ. Men must turn afresh to His directions for counseling, to His free invitations to sinners and to the preaching of His gospel. Only then will our labors bring glory to God; and if God grants, many sinners will be converted for His glory."

James E. Adams

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