I CAN FAIL THE TEST
THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH
It is a tribute to the Serpent's cunning that this vital part of salvation is so often ignored by modern Bible teachers. And yet, from Genesis through Revelation, the Bible teaches that God tests His people in order to determine their faithfulness. In the book of Genesis, we see that God tested Adam and Eve.
"And the Lord God COMMANDED the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil, THOU SHALT NOT EAT OF IT: for in the day
that thou eatest thereof THOU SHALT SURELY
Through the experience of Adam and Eve we can gain understanding on the subject of testing. From that model we see that God tests His people by commanding certain things and then warns them of the consequences for disobedience. If the people believe God and obey Him, they pass the test. If they refuse to obey, they fail the test and will be shut off from the tree of life for eternity.
This same pattern of testing is repeated throughout the history of
"After these things God tested Abraham..."
God commanded Abraham to take his only son
and sacrifice him
"For now I know that
you fear God, seeing you have not
God tested Abraham's faith by commanding
him to sacrifice that
"...BECAUSE YOU HAVE
DONE THIS, and have not withheld
"But wilt thou know, O vain
man, that faith without works is
Was not Abraham our father justified by works WHEN he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" (James 2:20f)
James was careful to emphasize that Abraham was justified WHEN he had offered Isaac. Yes, it is true that we are justified by our faith, but as James points out, that faith must be tested in order to receive eternal life. He wrote:
"Blessed is the man who ENDURES trial,
That one sentence contains the three facts necessary to understand
1. Christians must ENDURE TESTING.
Those who STAND THE TEST receive the CROWN OF
3. The crown of life is promised to those who LOVE GOD.
The apostle John defines how to LOVE God:
"For this is the love of God,
there it is - God's plan of testing for all who will accept the
THE CROWN OF LIFE IS PROMISED TO THOSE
As we continue to look through the scriptures we will often see this concept
of testing through obedience. For example, in the book of Exodus we
find that God chose the Israelites and called them out of
forty years in the wilderness, as they were about to enter the land of Canaan,
Moses said to the new generation of Israelites: "And you shall
remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you these forty years in
the wilderness, that he might humble you, TESTING YOU to know what was in
your heart, whether you would KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, or not."
we see God testing His people in order to know what is in their hearts, and
that test is whether we will keep His commandments or not.
JESUS WAS TESTED!
the New Testament we find this same principle of testing. For
"Then was Jesus led up by the Spirit into the
that lonely desert, Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the
Just as God allowed Satan to test Jesus and Job, God also allows Satan to test us in this world. One can easily understand this concept if one sees the world system with all its pleasures and rewards as the means by which we are tested.
The scriptures say that "...the whole world is in the power of the evil one." (1 John ) and that Satan is "...the god of this world." (2 Cor 4:4). As we go through our time on earth, the world system under the power of Satan is like an obstacle course for the Christian.
Satan uses all his power over the pleasures
of this world in order to
The good news is that even though we may be tempted to the limit
"God is faithful,
and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the
temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to
Since we cannot be tested beyond our God-given ability to obey, if we disobey, our choice proves what is in our hearts. If we love God "with all our heart, all our mind and all our strength" we will choose to keep His commandments. If we love the world more than God we will choose to break God's commandments. It is just that simple.
THE RICH YOUNG RULER'S CHOICE
Did Jesus teach that we must keep the Ten Commandments in order to receive eternal life? Nothing could be clearer than His words to the Rich Young Ruler who asked Jesus "What good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" Jesus answered him by saying:
"If you would enter life, keep the commandments...You shall not
Jesus was not tricking that man, our Lord meant just what He said!
OVERCOMERS RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE
In His letters to the seven churches, Jesus refers to the testing of our faith several times. The constant theme is that the one who conquers or overcomes (Greek nikao) is the one who receives the reward.
some letters the reward promised has to do with eternal life, for
Remember that in James 1:12, the
"crown of life" was the
reader might well ask: "Does the word "conquer" have anything
"For this is the love of
God, that we keep His commandments...for whatsoever is born of God OVERCOMETH
(nikao) the world: and this is the victory that
OVERCOMETH (nikao) the world, even our faith.
Who is he that OVERCOMETH (nikao) the world, but he
that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God."
God allows Satan and his world system to test our faith. Those who pass the test by keeping the commandments of God are those who "conquer" the world, and according to Jesus, those who conquer will be granted "to eat of the tree of life which is in the paradise of God".
"The sons of this
age marry and are given in marriage; but those
those who are "accounted worthy" will become the sons of God
"...To the thirsty I
will give from the fountain of the water of
BUT as for the
cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators,
sorcerers, idolators, and all liars, their lot
shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur,
which is the second
I pray that those words of Jesus will strike fear and dread into the hearts of readers who have been told that they are sons of God simply because they have "believed". Only those believers whose faith has been tested by the "fiery trials" will inherit eternal life. Peter had much to say about these trials, he wrote:
"...though now for a
little while you may have to suffer various
Only "genuine" faith, tested by fire, will result in the salvation
"Since therefore Christ suffered
in the flesh, arm yourselves
from sin causes the fiery trials which test our faith. As we
"Beloved, do not be
surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes
If we want to be glorified with Christ then we must suffer with Him.
That is why Paul said that we were:
"...heirs of God and fellow heirs with
Christ, PROVIDED WE
Did you see the phrase "provided
we suffer"? Suffering with Christ
As you can see, is not just those who "believe" who will be saved, but rather, those who believe enough to suffer by putting to death the deeds of the body through obedience to God's law. That is why Paul warned the Roman believers that:
"... if you live according to the flesh YOU
WILL DIE, But, IF by
and those"For the mind that is set on the flesh is
hostile to God;
If anyone finds that he is unable to submit to God's law he may be
THE FINAL WORD
For those who still doubt what I am saying, please spend a few
"BLESSED ARE THEY THAT DO HIS
WITHOUT ARE DOGS, AND SORCERERS, AND
the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden till the time when New
"Here is the endurance of the saints,