Wednesday, August 13, 2014

DO YOU HAVE THE SON? (2 Corinthians Chapter 13)

2 Corinthians 13:5, “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!”

We’ve all taken tests.  They vary as to their degree of importance.  Few have life and death implications.  None rise to the level of importance of the matter spoken of here.  The key question in this spiritual self-examination relates to one’s relationship to Jesus Christ.  Are you “in the faith?”  Is “Jesus Christ in you?” 

With respect to salvation this is the key concern.  Religions falter at this point.  They forever deal with peripheral matters that have no bearing on a person’s eternal destiny.  The question is not “Are you a good person?”  Nor is it “Have you been baptized?” or “Do you go to church?” or “Do you read your Bible and pray?” or “Do you have church membership?” or “Were you raised in a Christian family?” or “Have you said the sinners prayer?”  John 1:13 speaks of the various ways by which a person cannot be saved.  No one can inherit salvation (“not of blood”).  Nor can they earn it by doing good (“will of the flesh”).  Likewise it is impossible to become a child of God through human decision (“will of man”).  Man cannot inherit, earn, or decide his salvation, it is instead a “right” given to those who receive Jesus, to those “who believed in his name” (John 1:12).

The issue is where do you stand with Jesus Christ.  And it is more than an academic matter.  A person might have doctrinally clarity regarding with the person and work of Christ, without being saved.  Another way to ask what Paul asked is to ask, “Are you born again?”  Have you trusted in Jesus?  Have you been born-again by the Spirit as a result of placing your faith in Him?  Where do you stand with Jesus?  Have you “been born of the Spirit with life from above into God’s family divine?”

Charles Spurgeon commented on this text, “Oh!  says one, "You may examine me whether I am in the faith; I am an orthodox Christian, fully up to the standard, good genuine weight; there is no fear whatever of my coming up to the mark, and going a little beyond it too.”  Ah!  but, my friend, that is not the question; I would have you orthodox, for a man who is heterodox in his opinions, will most likely be heterodox in his actions; but the question now is not whether you believe the truth—but whether you are in the truth?  Just to give you an illustration of what I mean.  There is the ark; and a number of men around it.  "Ah!" says one, I believe that ark will swim.”    Oh!" says another, "I believe that ark is made of gopher-wood, and is strong from stem to stern; I am quite sure that ark will float, come what may; I am a firm believer in that ark.”  Ay, but when the rain descended, and the flood came, it was not believing the ark as a matter of fact—it was being in the ark that saved men, and only those that were in it escaped in that dread day of deluge…Now, what is it to have Jesus Christ in you?  The Roman Catholic hangs the cross on his bosom; the true Christian carries the cross in his heart; and a cross inside the heart, my friends, is one of the sweetest cares for a cross on the back.  If you have a cross in your heart—Christ crucified in you, the hope of glory—all the cross of this world's troubles will seem to you light enough, and you will easily he able to sustain it.  Christ in the heart means Christ believed in, Christ beloved, Christ trusted, Christ espoused, Christ communed with, Christ as our daily food, and ourselves as the temple and palace wherein Jesus Christ daily walks.  Ah!  There are many here that are total strangers to the meaning of this phrase.  They do not know what it is to have Jesus Christ in them.  Though ye know a little about Christ on Calvary, ye know nothing about Christ in the heart.  Now, remember, that Christ on Calvary will save no man, unless Christ be in the heart.  The Son of Mary, born in the manger, will not save a soul, unless he be also born in your hearts, and live there—your joy, your strength, and your consolation.  "Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

1 John 5:11-12, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  Do you have the Son?  That’s the question.  It is a question of great importance bearing eternal consequence.

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