The Christian life isn’t a perfect life—it’s a repenting life. There ought to be patterns of change, sacrifice, and recalibrated loves in your life. Maybe there’s an awareness of sins and attitudes that you were oblivious to before you believed in Christ. Maybe you sense a hitch in your heart and mind when someone is gossiping. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control ought to be growing on the vine of your life.
The apostle Paul urged the Corinthians to examine themselves to see whether they were in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5). Part of gospel ministry, whether you’re a pastor or a women’s Bible study leader, is to help people dismiss their own preconceived and cobbled-together versions of Christ and receive the real gospel, the real Jesus.
We will frequently minister to people who are either convinced they’re Christians (when they aren’t) or terrified they aren’t Christians (when they are). And we are also called to test of our own discipleship and apprenticeship with Jesus, seeing if the alignment of our souls and lives is walking rightly with Jesus. Here are five questions that can serve as a spiritual diagnostic to help evaluate and examine the state of one’s soul in relation to the true and living God.
1. Do you think Jesus is relevant for your daily life?
Many people are content with a version of Jesus as a mere pious figure, a “Jesus” who isn’t concerned with our sins but wants to send positivity to the masses. But the real Jesus has something to say, to offer, and to bring to every area of our lives. His life, death, resurrection, and reign in the heavenly places are precisely what we need—he is exactly who we need. Jesus isn’t a fixed data point in history. He’s living, active, and inviting you into his merciful kingdom.
Ask yourself: Do I genuinely believe the living Jesus matters for my life, right here and now? Do I consider Jesus Christ the most relevant person in my life?
2. Do you live as though Jesus is relevant for your daily life?
It’s easy to say, “Yes, Jesus matters.” But does your life prove it? Lip service is one of the most dangerous practices in the world today. This is why Saint James tells us that we must be hearers and doers of the word (James 1:22).
Think about decisions you’ve made in terms of your job, marriage, kids, finances, entertainment, and friends. Was Jesus the factor in your choice?