2 Cor 13:5
Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith:test yourselves
The next verse shows what Paul means by this - it is NOT primarily about what they believe and what they do (although Paul gets round to that ) - first and foremost it is about 'is Jesus IN you'? This is the main purpose of God's actions for and in humanity - this is the new covenant prophesied in Jeremiah - he will be IN our hearts. Has there been a point in your life at which or after which your life was different because Jesus became part of your life and began making a difference ....
This is being in the faith - this precedes what we believe and what we do. This is why Paul can talk about all the things the Corinthian Christians did ( greed, sexual sin etc etc) but they were Christians!!
IF you know you are IN the faith (as described earlier) then are you letting that FACT impact all you believe and all you do? Are you letting Jesus do all He wants to do in and through you - is our life beliefs and actions becoming more and more aligned with Jesus.
We are not called to believe and act in certain ways in order to become a Christian, we are given the desire and ability to do so WHEN we become a Christian...... after we are IN the faith.
Gordon Fee: ethical teaching in the bible isn't there to regulate our behavior , it is there to illustrate what 'keeping in step with the Spirit' will actually look like .
Theae teachings are word descriptions of God's character, to which we are increasingly aligned as we keep in step.
Phil 1:6 - great promise
'....he who began a good work in you, will bring it to completion'
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Location:Kings Church, Edinburgh