Most Believers would say "Yes!" from their own perspective.
The Scriptures, however, give us a measuring rod that we can use to examine ourselves, and to measure ourselves, allowing us to know for certain whether or not we are indeed 'in The Faith,' from Yahuweh's point of view.
Let's notice the following passage:
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves..." (2Co 13:5a)The phrase "the faith" appears in 42 verses of Scripture, with the above passage being the 13th appearance of the phrase. Thus we already have a clue as to what "The Faith" is, against which to test ourselves.
As we saw in Contending for the Faith, we must understand that 'The Faith' is not a general quality of faith and trust that we are to have, of which faith we are all given a certain measure. Instead, this phrase speaks of a particular system of Truth that is described throughout Scripture. One is either 'in' or 'out' of this system of Truth — for there is no middle ground. Thus the phrase "in the faith" is used in the above passage to describe its nature.
In the Faith: The TestThe test of whether we are "in" the faith or not, is 'hidden in plain view' in the next part of this passage.
Notice the last half of this verse:
" ...Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2Co 13:5b)Here we see there are only two choices: Either 1) Yahushua is in you, or 2) you are reprobate ("unfit, not approved, not accepted"). The test thus far has a yes-or-no answer. Either Yahushua is in us, or He is not. There are no gray areas. But let's notice what the test is!
Our first clue seen is the phrase itself — "the faith." This phrase appears in 42 verses, and we know from Scripture that the number '42' speaks prophetically of the appearing of Yahushua, and in particular, His appearing in us. Thus we have an additional confirmation that the passage above tells us that our test for being 'in The Faith' is to discern for ourselves, whether Messiah is in us, or not.
But how do we know whether He is in us? The passage above tells us we are reprobate, if we "know not how Messiah is in us." Thus the test to see if we are "in the Faith" becomes a test of whether we are able to know (discern) whether Messiah is appearing in us. Based on this, let's look at a few of the test questions that will show us the answer.
Messiah-In-YouIf Messiah is in us, then He abides in us, and we in Him. But notice the following:
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1John 2:6)If Yahushua is abiding in us, John tells us how we would know this — we will walk even as He walked. As we saw in WWYD - What Would Yahushua Do?, if Yahushua is abiding in us, then we will be doing what He did, and avoiding what He avoided.
But what did Yahushua do? And what did He avoid?
Here is a short list by which we might examine ourselves:
What Did Yahushua Do?The above list is a clear [though brief] account from the study of Scriptures, of things Yahushua actually did. These things are possible for us to observe as well, as we are seeking to 'walk as he walked.' Do we see in this list any of Yahushua's activities that we are not doing?
- He did not His own will, but the Father's will (Luke 22:42)
- He was immersed ['baptised'] in water (Matt 3:16)
- He was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1)
- He was led by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1)
- He showed His love for His Father, by keeping His Father's commandments (John 15:10)
- He kept [observe, guard, preserve, keep; the Hebrew word is 'watch'] His Father's Sabbath Days (Mark 13:37, 14:14; Luke 4:16)
- He observed His Father's 'true' Passover (Luke 22:11; John 18:28)
- He kept His Father's Feast Days (John 7:10)
We must also ask ourselves, "Are there some things to avoid, in our walking with Yahuweh?" We are surrounded daily by religious activities and customs that would 'press' on us to observe, that take the place of things Father would have us do. Thus our test includes avoiding things that Yahushua avoided, as we see from Scripture. Let's list some of these.
What Did Yahushua Avoid?This list is also a clear observation from the study of Scriptures. Do we see in this list anything Yahushua avoided, that we have not yet begun to avoid? We are 'believing' in Yahushua when we become "DO-ers" of Yahushua's Word. Let's look at this.
- He avoided keeping the pagan sun-worship rituals in their many forms [x-mas, easter, saturnalia]
- He avoided other pagan religious ritual celebrations [birthdays, valentines, lent]
- He avoided becoming ensnared by the Commandments of Men, and the Doctrines of Men
- He avoided practicing the Dogmas [Decrees] of Men, holding instead to living in obedience to His Father's Torah.
Believing in YahushuaAfter looking at the above lists, someone might say, "Well, I believe in Yahushua!"
Fair enough. Let's look at the reply given by the apostle James and Yahushua, to those who believe:
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19)
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22
But if ye believe not his [Moses'] writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:47)In the above passages, we see that James tells us that the devils [demons] also believe. James is telling us this, so that we might ask ourselves, "How does my belief differ from that of the devils?"
James answers the question for us, by telling us that from a Biblical perspective [from Yahuweh's point of view] we are not truly 'in the faith' [truly believing] unless we are "Do-ers" of the word [the words of Messiah] and not hearers only. You see, the devils 'believe,' but they are not "Do-ers" of Messiah's words. That is the difference.
So we see that to 'believe' in Messiah, is to believe in His words — that is, to be a "Do-er" of Messiah's words.
Let us now see what this means, as we look at Yahushua's response in the above passage in John 5:47.
Here, we see Yahushua asking His hearers, and us today, the following question. "If we do not believe [become a "Do-er" of] Moses' words, how can we believe [become a "Do-er" of] Messiah's words?"
The answer is, we can not. For as we saw in The Ten Commandments, it was Messiah Himself who spoke the words, and wrote the words with His own finger, and gave the words to Moses. Moses' Words are Messiah's Words — Moses' Words and Messiah's Words are one and the same.
So we see that if we are not believing [being "Do-ers" of] Moses' words, we are not believing [being "Do-ers" of] Messiah's words. What irony!
It is for this reason, that we see the words of the Disciple whom Yahushua loved, saying the following words:
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1John 2:4)It is important to note that in the above passage, that John is writing to those who have already been justified freely by Messiah's Grace, through the Redemption that is in Messiah Yahushua (Romans 3:23).
Thus the above words 1John are expressly written to those who have [already] been justified by Faith, outside of the deeds of the Law [the Torah] (Romans 3:28). It is then, by their on-going Faith, that they establish the Law (Romans 3:31) in their own lives — by allowing the Spirit of the Living Word to live within them, and to walk within them, in obedience to Messiah's written Word.
We must remember that we are Born-Again, not based on any works we have done, nor the keeping of any commandments, but based only on the Blood-Redemption Messiah has provided for us. Only after we have been Born Again — after Messiah has been 'birthed' within our inner being — only then can Messiah begin to live within us by His Spirit, and to walk in us, by His Grace, His enablement.
Only then can Yahushua lead us, by His Spirit, to walk in obedience to His Commandments, in accordance with His New Covenant promises (Jeremiah 31:31-33; Ezekiel 36:26-27).
Stop Committing SinsOnce we have been redeemed by the Blood of Yahushua, and have been forgiven of all our past sins (Romans 3:25), we are then exhorted to cease from committing further sins. But notice the following passage:
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1John 3:4)In the above passage, the apostle John tells us that 'sin' is transgression of the Law (1John 3:4). And so it is for this reason, that John urges us, as Believers, to confess and forsake our sin, our 'transgressing the Law' (1John 1:9; 1John 2:1).
Not only John, but Messiah Yahushua Himself continues to call us to repent from sin, from 'transgressing the Law' (Luke 5:32).
The apostle Paul also, in writing to the Believers, tells us we should not continue in sin, in 'transgressing the Law' (Romans 6:1-2).
And so it is, that we see throughout the New Testament writings, the Born-Again Believers are given many exhortations not to return to the bondage of sin — not to return to the bondage of transgressing the Law.
The Proverbs are written for our growth in wisdom, and they too advise us to confess and forsake our 'transgressing the Law' (Prov 28:13). With such abundant testimony advising us to stop sinning, to cease 'transgressing the Law' [disobedience to Torah], we would think the message would be clear.
Yahushua is giving His Blood-redeemed, Born-Again, water-baptised, Holy Spirit-filled people a choice today. Either we choose to repent, and be converted — to change our minds, turn around in our walk, and stop sinning, and begin to observe Father's ways (Prov 23:26), by obeying Father's Law — or we choose to continue sinning ['transgressing the Law']. This is the choice that we all must make as we examine ourselves.
Beloved, let us be among those who, like the apostle Paul, choose to believe [be "Do-ers" of] all that is written in the Law and the Prophets (Acts 24:14). Only then may we do as Messiah said to do, "Go and transgress the Law no more" (John 8:11).
ConclusionThe above lists, of What did Yahushua Do, and What did Yahushua Avoid, are presented, not that we might examine each other — but only ourselves. There is no condemnation in these lists. They are simply given so that we might see what the goal is, for those who desire more. Yahushua's life, and the lives of His Disciples, are for our examples, so that we might see them, and examine ourselves in quietness and in privacy, as we study the Scriptures.
If Yahushua lives within us, then we will be actively feeding on the Scriptures, and we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). If Yahushua abides ['remains'] within us, then we will be actively seeking to keep His Commandments, and seeking to walk as He walked (John 15:10; 1John 2:6).
It is only in this way that we begin to allow Yahushua to manifest Himself in our lives, in our own body, in the same way He did when He was in His own body two thousand years ago.
For starters, we can begin to do those things Yahushua did, and to avoid those things Yahushua avoided.
However, if we have been Born-Again, and filled with the Holy-Spirit, but are not doing these starter items, then it is not Messiah who appears in us, but the carnal, 'old man' of the flesh. We should then question whether Messiah is truly living within us, growing and maturing within us. Perhaps we should ask ourselves whether we have wandered away from The Faith as seen in Scripture.
For those who love their Master, let us continually examine ourselves against Scripture. Let us repent [change our mind] and convert [change direction, returning to obedience] to Messiah's Commandments, beginning with those Messiah gave to Moses.
As a result we will abide ['remain'] in Him (John 15:9-10), and will gain a much better understanding of our relationship with our Heavenly Father (John 14:15; Luke 5:32; 1John 1:9).
Then as we continue to examine ourselves, we will know for certain that we are indeed in the Faith!