This section is excerpted from the application at the end of a sermon by John Piper. To read the exposition of the Scriptures supporting this, consult the full sermon here: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibr … Confesses/
Let’s close by applying these two tests to our own lives.
1. The test of hearing and confessing the truth of the apostles’ testimony that Jesus is the Son of God.
2. And the test of loving each other.
Let me suggest three questions for each test. Ask yourself these questions:
1. The Test of Hearing and Confessing
1.1. Does your heart incline to the testimony of the apostles and prophets? That is, do you have a persevering longing to read the Bible or to hear the Word of God?
The question is not: Do you never have dry times of indifference? The question is: Is the ongoing, customary desire of your heart to join Mary at the feet of Jesus and do the one thing needful, namely, listen (Luke 10:42)? “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27; cf. 10:16; 18:37). Do you long to listen to the teaching of Jesus and his apostles’ teaching about him?
1.2. When your heart grows cool and you begin to drift away from the Word of God, do you feel a godly guilt that humbles you and brings you back broken to the cross for forgiveness and renewal?
1.3. When you hear the testimony of Scripture that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world, does your heart confess this truth? That is, do you gladly affirm the divine greatness of Christ and how worthy he is of trust and admiration and loyalty and obedience? Does your heart exalt Christ as the greatest thing of all? For that is surely what it means to be “Son of God.”
2. The Test of Loving Each Other
2.1. When you hear a description of love like 1 Corinthians 13 or when you contemplate the example of Christ’s life of love, does your heart fill with longing to be like that, and do you make firm resolves to conquer unloving attitudes and behaviors?
2.2. When you fail in a resolve of love, does it grieve you and bring you broken to the cross pleading for forgiveness and seeking new strength to love again?
2.3. Is the current and pattern of your life to live for the eternal good of other people, or are your thoughts and dreams and daily choices generally aimed at merely making yourself comfortable and your name esteemed?
The Most Important Test
This test is more important than any other you will ever take. In the end your eternal life hangs on whether you pass or fail.
If these questions cause you to doubt that God is abiding in you, then pray with me the following prayer:
Have mercy upon me, O God, for I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. I am prone to forsake you and go after other things. The eyes of my heart have been blind and I have not seen or cherished your truth and glory as I should. I am helpless in myself, O Lord.
Deliver me, I pray, from the terrible deceitfulness of my own heart. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and give me a spirit that is willing to believe in the truth and beauty of Jesus Christ. Fill me with joy and peace through the forgiveness of his cross and through the promise of eternal life. And free me from selfishness and pride so I can love the way he loved.
Into your grace I commit my life, merciful God. From this day on I will never call myself my own. I surrender myself to Jesus Christ, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.