How can I tell (or test) if my children are saved?
Paul laid out a faith challenge in 2 Corinthians 13:5. “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?”
There is fruit, not perfection, produced from a new life in Christ that is evidence of passing the test of Christ in you. Here are some indicators that believers should experience:
- 1 Peter 2:2. “…Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” What are you feeding your spirit? Or are you fasting God’s word? A truly converted person wants to grow in their salvation.
- John 14:15. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Do you do what Jesus commanded? Or do you offer excuses, saying, I memorized your commands in the Greek, Jesus. Or, Some friends and I discussed what it would look like if we did what You said. Jesus isn’t simply looking for talk or study. Carrying through on what He said is the obedience which is a sign of conversion.
- Romans 12:1. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Are you choosing a holy lifestyle? This might best be defined as physically pure and morally blameless.
- Matthew 28:19-20. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” Here is how you might know if this is part of your life. Do you have a burden for the lost? Do you share the good news with others?
- Galatians 1:10. “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” A clear difference seen here is based on who are you trying to please, men or God?
- Proverbs 29:25. “The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.” Are you living your life to please God or those around you? A man-pleasing religion falls into the Pharisee category.
As you look at this test, do you see the evidence of new life in Christ through meeting these criteria? Granted, we stumble and fall in each of these areas, but is the trend moving the right direction?
Matthew 3:8 says, “Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance…” Fruit takes time to grow, but becomes evident eventually. We can clearly see Paul was a changed man. Have you seen a change in your life since you’ve repented and turned to Jesus?
Let’s move to 45 AD about eight years after the conversion of Paul.
Acts 13:1-4 says, “Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas…and Saul. While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit…”
During the early church they were serving the Lord with fasting. It seems it was one of the ministries they engaged in to better discern what God was saying. And Saul has moved from being a brother in the church to being listed as a prophet or teacher. There is a growth path available in Christ for us as seen in Paul over these eight years.
Have you or others noted spiritual progress and growth in your life? There is a danger in not moving forward in your walk with the Lord; “It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men Who are stagnant in spirit, Who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good or evil!'” (Zephaniah 1:12).
It should be your heart desire to know Jesus more and move forward in your relationship with Him. Paul had various experiences as part of his life in Christ. We need to help create opportunities for our children to have their own experiences with Jesus so they have a personal relationship and testimony.
Later in this chapter, Paul was being opposed by Elymas the magician. Acts 13:9 says, “But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, and said, ‘You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.'”
He wasn’t speaking of his own initiative, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Greek indicates this was a specific filling for this event.
How do we tap into this source of power and authority? God isn’t looking as much for ability as availability. This encounter led to the proconsul’s salvation.
How available are you willing to make yourself for the Holy Spirit to work through you? Availability may require risk. Remember Ananias? Paul was launched out in ministry by the church in Antioch. Here we see him moving in faith and experiencing the power of God in his life.
One of the keys to spiritual development is stepping out in faith and experiencing the Holy Spirit ministering through you. Have you had life encounters where you know Jesus moved through you in a powerful fashion? Having experiences in our Christian walk increases our faith.
My oldest, Corrie, was 19 years old when she told me she thought the Lord wanted her to work for a political campaign. She had volunteered for a few years.
I thought I’d throw some water on her idea and created conditions including she’d have to get paid for her time. She asked me if it was OK to pray about this. I said sure, that way if nothing happened it wouldn’t be my fault.
A couple days later, the wife of a candidate called Pat and asked if they could interview Corrie. She got the job. Then at a Sunday night service she got up and shared a testimony about this story.
It was very touching and I still remember her conclusion: “It’s not just the faith of my father any longer, it’s my faith.”
This is our goal!
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