Updated: Apr 1
Is it right? Is it ethical? To call to account someone who claims to be a Christian? To demand that they Prove it? To some, this is outrageous!
While this may feel a little bit uncomfortable, to say the least, this is exactly what the scriptures demand. Yes, you read that correctly... Show me the Evidence!
The command, written plainly and simply with the ink engraved on the old papyrus. Its Scribes, said to be under the inspiration of the spirit of Jesus himself. Writings that have become the sacred ancient texts that we know as the Holy Bible, has declared within its pages, that all professing believers, yes!, all two billion of them, are commanded, to prove themselves!
In the book of 2 Corinthians, The Apostle Paul admonishes all professing believers,
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves, Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates (2 Corinthians 13:5, KJV)?
The original Greek word for "Examine" is πειράζω peirázō, G9384, Strong's, meaning, specifically in this text, "To Test". A Test is "A means of determining the Presence, Quality, or Truth of something; A basis for Evaluation or Judgment" (American Heritage Dictionary, 5th ed., 2016).
There is no mistake about it, this text is specifically calling out professing Christians to "evaluate and Judge" themselves regarding the presence and the truth of Christ's indwelling spirit within them...if they are truly Christians.
The Apostle Paul further reiterates, "Prove your own selves, Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in You?" The original Greek word for "Prove" is δοκιμάζω dokimázō, G1381, Strong's, equally meaning, "To Test, to scrutinize". To "scrutinize" is to "inspect critically".
Hmmmm, this indeed changes the game. Consider the many times professed Christians have unpleasantly declared, "Don't Judge me!" Clearly demonstrating and expressing a resistance to give account for their actions in light of scripture.
This clearly contradicts what the scriptures commands! The same Apostle, under the influence of the Holy Ghost forewarns, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God..." (1 John 4:1,KJV).
The word "try" is the same word used for the word "prove". It is the word, dokimázō, meaning, to Test. Professing Christians are not only commanded to Test themselves, but equally to Test those professing the same thing!
Jesus Proved Himself!
The very one claiming to be sent from God, was also subjected to providing evidence to support his claims regarding his identity and abilities. Jesus came proclaiming that he was sent by and came from the GOD of Israel. He did not expect the people to simply "take him at his word", he provided visible, verifiable proof of his claims.
"If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in Him" (John 10:38, KJV).
"But I know Him: for I am from Him, and He hath sent me" (John 7:29, KJV).
"The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me" (John 10:25, KJV).
"...the Father dwelleth in me, He doeth the works" (John 14:10, KJV).
Jesus made it very clear that he was sent from the Father and that the Father dwelled within him doing the miraculous works. He did not do the "works" to prove that he "loved" them, but to prove his claims that he was sent by God. This is the whole purpose for the miraculous works! In providing evidence for his claim, this brought glory/praise to God. Jesus commanded his disciples to do the same, for in doing so, they will provide verifiable proof that they are sent from him. Jesus noted within the scriptures that "a servant is not above his Master" and the works that he does, his servant will do also (John 14, KJV)
Jesus specifically stated the demonstration and fulfillment of certain proofs, or signs that will be unmistakingly obvious in the life of every true believer possessed by his spirit.
To learn more consider a deeper study into this topic to enhance the growth and understanding of your spiritual life. The TEST in particular, provides an in-depth study regarding the evidence of Christ's spirit and the 5 Pillars of the Christian faith. Upon completion of this course, there will be no question as to where you stand in reference to the solid Biblical evidence of a true Christian and the spirit of Christ dwelling within you!
Consider, in what ways did Jesus provide solid evidence of his claims? Please share your comments below. I would love to hear from you!