Text: “Examine me, O lord, and prove: try my reins and my heart.”
Good morning, well tried Christian! When you and I first received God’s grace and were born again - Spiritually regenerated by the Lord - many around us were quick to say, ‘It will never last; it is just a funny phase he/she is going through.’ We were being examined; we were being proved; we were being tried by the world, the flesh and the Devil. Praise God, years later, thirty-four in my own case, we can reply, ’The Lord has saved me, and it is He that will keep my soul near His Presence and serving Him.’ Hallelujah! We are saved by the Lord God, and kept by Him also. Glory to His Name!
“Blessed (blessed with blessings) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again (born again) unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are KEPT by the power of God through faith unto Salvation.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
It is one thing to profess to be a true Bible-believing Christian, but it is an altogether different thing to prove to the world all around us that we most definitely are what we profess to be - God’s chosen people, redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. Amen?
Jesus teaches us, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you.” (John 15:16)
If, therefore, true Christians are to ’…bring forth fruit…’, what is this ’…fruit…’ that we should be bringing forth day and daily? Think the Word through, Christian!
The ’…fruit…’ we should be bringing forth daily is the fruit of Christ-likeness - it’s as simple as that. If we profess to be Christian, then it logically follows that we must try to be like the Christ in every area of our daily lives, to the best of our limited abilities, and at all times by the grace of God and the enabling power of God the Holy Ghost.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
This is the litmus test of a true Christian believer. A true Christian believer is NEVER perfectly like Christ, nor indeed can ever be so. We are born sinners and we shall die sinners, if the Lord tarries; we can never attain the perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus, but praise God, when we are saved by His grace, His own righteousness is imputed to us, put by faith to our account. Wow! Now this is something to get excited about, Christian friend! We are imputed the complete righteousness of Christ Himself. (See the doctrine of Imputation by using the ‘Search’ facility on my website www.ulsterchristians.org )
Imputation of Righteousness: God imputes vital righteousness unto all those whom He grants faith to believe and receive Christ Jesus as their own personal Saviour and Lord. (Ephesians 2:8-9) (John 3:16)
In this manner, God placed all the guilt and the sin of ‘His people’ on the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus on the Cross , and punished Christ as our Substitute in order to pay the full penalty for all our sins. (Matthew 1:21)
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)
Imputation: "Imputation is an act of God as Sovereign judge, at once judicial and Sovereign, whereby He:
(1) Makes the guilt, the legal responsibilities of our sins, really Christ’s, and punishes them in Him. (John 1:29) (2 Corinthians 5:21)
(2) Makes the merit, legal rights of Christ’s righteousness, ours, and then treats us as persons legally invested with all those rights. (Romans 4:6; 10:4) (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) (Philippians 3:9)
As Christ is not made a sinner by the imputation to Him of our sins, so we are not made holy by the imputation to us of His righteousness. The transfer is only of guilt from us to Him, and of merit from Him to us. He justly suffered the punishment due our sins, and we justly receive the rewards due to His righteousness." (1 John 1:8-9) (A.A. Hodge, Outlines of Theology, Chapter 30, Question 15.)
Imputation: "The doctrine of Imputation is clearly indispensable to the Biblical doctrine of Justification. It has been attacked by modernists and so misrepresented as to be absurd." (Alan Cairns, Dictionary of Theological Terms, page 187)
Being so graciously dealt with by our Holy Lord God in this ‘imputation’, it most obviously becomes our duty as true Christians to examine ourselves, prove ourselves, and try (or test) ourselves whether we be in the faith or not daily. It is our utter duty.
Thought: When we Christians examine ourselves - we prove our faith genuine.