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The Apostle Paul was asking one of the most critical questions a Christian can ask another Christian–are you in the faith? How do you know? The real issue here is what does it mean to test yourself or to examine yourself and how do you do it.
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The preacher was preaching on how to “be right with God.” His message was not a lot different from the last ten messages he taught. He loves his people and desires to see them walk in holiness.
Shepherd - Sheep - Heart - Week - Congregation
Like any good shepherd, he carries his sheep in his heart. Each week he looks out over the congregation and is reminded of the waywardness of some of his people. His heart yearns for them to walk with Christ.
This passion for the flock is why he begins to go through a list of sinful activities, some of the things they are doing. The Bible is clear about holiness, and he is too.
Time - Sin - List–gossiping - Slander - Judgmentalism
By the time he finishes, he has developed quite the sin list–gossiping, slander, judgmentalism, adultery, porn, anger, and materialism. The more he talks, the louder he becomes until he finally says, “If you want to be right with God, you’ve got to stop this behavior and start living for Christ.”
On the surface, this sounds good and right. It has a biblical ring to it, but the problem is, if you follow his logic, you’ll soon end up in the thick weeds of legalism. This preacher is unwittingly preaching another gospel, one the Bible scorns.
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