2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV
 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
How do we test ourselves? How do we know if we are true followers of Jesus and if we are in the faith?
Matthew 7:16-20 NIV
 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Matthew 3:8 NIV
 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
When we examine our hearts and lives, we will see our spiritual condition by what kind of spiritual fruit we are producing. Are we seeking to live after God? Do we truly love Him and have a passion for His word? Are we living and seeking after God’s will and His desires for us? Or are we still living after our own selfish and sinful desires? Are we still living after the things of this world instead of the things of God?
Jesus says in John 15:5 NIV “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
The spiritual growth and fruit we are to produce in our lives is not produced by us. It is produced by Jesus through us. Only He can heal our hearts and souls and live out His perfect and holy righteousness through us and for us. Without Jesus we are dead in our sins and lost. The only fruit we can produce apart from Him is dead and rotten as a result if our sinful nature.
Our walk with God is a matter of the heart. Have we truly repented and surrendered our hearts to Him? Or are we simply trying to be religiously good and hoping it’s enough to make it to heaven? Jesus says in Matthew 7:22 NIV “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
Clearly we are not saved by good works or our actions. We are only saved in the name of The Lord God Jesus Christ. However, if our belief in Jesus does not result in a changed heart that is truly and honestly repentant of sin and filled with a desire to follow Him in complete love and surrender, then that belief is a dead faith.
James 2:19 NIV
 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
James makes a bold and sobering statement here. The demons believe in who Jesus is. They know He is God. They know He is the Savior of the world. They know it as fact. And that knowledge does not at all change their destiny of eternity in hell because although they have the knowledge, they are still in rebellion against the King.
In our sins, we too are in rebellion against the King. It is only by putting our faith in Jesus with a repentant and surrendered heart that we are truly forgiven, cleansed, and saved because Jesus is the only one who, being fully God and fully man, died on the cross for our sins and paid the penalty for us. He is the only way to be forgiven and the only way to eternal life instead of eternal death and torment. God’s wrath will be poured out on sin as He banishes all sin and rebellion to the lake of fire in hell for eternity. Be absolutely sure you are living in God’s grace and mercy through Christ Jesus and your sins are forgiven and washed away.
Test yourself. Take an honest look at your heart. Have you truly given it to Jesus? Do you have true saving faith? Or are you relying on a false, dead faith that hasn’t produced any fruit of repentance in your life at all. We are not perfect. We will still fall. But a heart surrendered to Jesus will have a distinct pattern of repentance of sin and will seek God’s will, righteousness, and love. A surrendered heart will long for the things of God rather than the things of the world.
Ask yourself today, do you love Jesus and are you surrendered to Him as your Lord? Is He on the throne of your heart? Or are you still in love with the things of the world and seeking to live after the desires of your flesh?
If Christ truly dwells in you as your Lord, your King, and your Savior, you will desire the things of the Spirit and seek after Him.
If you have passed the test, rejoice for you belong to the King!!! If you have failed, and you still belong to the world and it’s prince, then humble your heart, repent of your sins, and trust in Jesus and His perfect and complete sacrifice for your sins. Trust in Him as The Lord and God that He is. Give Him your heart in repentance today and live. Live free from sin and death. Live free in Christ. Let His dreams for you become reality. Live in His love for eternity in His kingdom. He loves you. He’s just waiting for you to love Him back.
Romans 10:9 NIV
 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Choose life. Choose Jesus!
For more information on what Jesus did for us and how to know Him as your Lord and King, visit our page, How to Know Jesus.