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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! 2 Corinthians 13:5.

We all need to check the quality of our professing faith against the fruit of salvation in our lives. We can do this by comparing our lives with the Biblical description of what the Christian life is supposed to be like. We can ask ourselves Bible-based questions that help us measure the genuineness of our faith by the objective standard of God’s Word. For example, we can ask ourselves questions like: Do we find joy in God? Do we want to be with other people who find their joy in God? Are we sinning less than before we came to faith in Christ? Do we feel conviction when we do sin? Do we want to obey God’s word? Do we even want to read God’s Word? Do we love God more than we love ourselves?  All this to say, we must obey the admonition of Scripture, “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!” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

None of us should foolishly buy into the false belief that salvation from sin is accomplished because we give verbal assent to the truth of the Bible. Even demons do that! James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” Real Christians – those who are being saved – experience the power of the cross to save them from sin more and more every day of their lives. We experience God’s power in real-time as God destroys our deadly sin patterns and gives us new life through our relationship with Jesus. We experience God’s power through the message of the cross every time that we are kept from fulfilling our sinful desires, we are enabled to deal with our messed up pasts, or we receive God’s grace to accept our own frailties, and love others despite their frailties. The power of the cross is a present-tense reality; it is not just a future hope. For the power of the cross is the power of God to put us on a new path, walking in newness of life. The longer that we walk on that new path, the more we will experientially know that, to those of us who are being saved, the message of the cross really is the very power of God.