What Kind of Faith?
God's Spirit in All Christians
Christ the Vine
Keep the Commandments
Christians do no Sin Willfully
Tests to Prove Yourself
More Tests to Give Yourself
There is a physical faith; there is a Spiritual faith. Can you prove what kind of faith your have? How do Christians "keep the commandments"? Can Christian lose salvation? Give yourself the test.
nm243 >> How does one know he is a Christian? We know that one is a Christian when one has a changed attitude away from the ways of this age and towards the ways of the coming age. We know that a true Christian has the New Mind, which is the Spirit of God, and that this New Mind makes the Christian behave in a more positive manner. The main difference between a Christian and non-Christian is the fact that a Christian has the Spirit of God in himself. How does one know he really has the New Mind or Spirit of God? How do you know? How can we tell if we have the New Mind or not?
nm244 >> The word of God, the Bible, tells us to "prove all things."(1Thes 5:21) Is there a way to prove one's Christianity, to prove to oneself, whether one is a real Christian?
nm245 >> "Prove yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves" (2Cor 13:5). God says through Paul's words, "prove yourselves"! Prove what? - whether you are in the faith. What faith? What kind of faith?
nm246 >> "What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him? ... show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works ... But don't you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:14, 18, 20) Faith without good works is dead. "For as the body without the Spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:26). Thus, we see there is a faith that is dead because there are no good works with this dead faith.
nm247 >> Is this dead faith, the faith spoken about when, through Paul, God says?: "Prove yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves" (2Cor 13:5). No, God is not talking about dead faith, for to continue: "Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, if not you are reprobates?" Those not in the faith, who have not Christ in them are reprobates. What are reprobates according to the Bible?
nm248 >> People who are reprobates must have a reprobate's mind. Paul defines a reprobate mind:
A reprobate mind does the opposite of good works. When God tells us to prove if we are in the faith, he is not speaking of dead faith belonging to the class of people called reprobates by God. By the way, the word translated "reprobate" is from a Greek word which means worthless.
nm249 >> Those of the dead faith are those who "profess that they know God; but in works [they do works of reprobates, Rom 1:28-29] they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate" (Titus 1:16).
nm250 >> Those of the dead faith, do reprobate works; "they profess that they know God; but in works they deny him" (Titus 1:16). Those reprobates say (profess) that they know God, but they have the dead faith that does not do good works (James 2:20).
nm251 >> "He that says he abides in him [Christ] ought himself also to walk, even as he [Christ] walked" (1John 2:6). How did Jesus walk? Jesus said, "I have kept my Father's commandments" (John 15:10).
nm252 >> What are Jesus Christ's Father's commandments? When Jesus Christ was on earth before his death, he was under the laws and commandments of the Old Testament. Christ kept these laws perfectly (not the add-on laws of the Rabbis). But now the law or system of love is in effect and this is the law or commandment that Christians keep. Please see the "Freedom and Law Paper" [NM 17] for more information on the system of love and God's laws.
nm253 >> To continue, "He that says I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1John 2:4). What is this "truth" that is not in him (the reprobate) who does not keep God's commandments? - "the Spirit of Truth," "the Spirit is Truth" (John 14:17; 1John 5:6). Hence, those who say they know Christ (1John 2:4), and those who say they abide in Christ (1John 2:6) ought to walk in God's commandments (1John 2:6; John 15:10). If they do not keep the commandments, then those who say they are in Christ and know Christ are liars, if they do not keep the commandments (1John 2:4). These reprobates do not have the Spirit of truth in them. By putting these verses together we can see that those who say they know and are in Christ (they call themselves Christians), but who do not keep God's commandments of love are liars. They are not Christians according to God's Word. And they are not Christians, for the Spirit of God or the Mind of God isn't in them.
nm254 >> "Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ [words of Christ, which are the words of God, John 17:14, 17], has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son" (2John 9). Whoever sins and does not keep the doctrines of God has not God, but he that keeps God's Word does have both God the Father and Christ in them. What does it mean to have the Father and the Son?
nm255 >> "You Father, art in me, and I in you ... I am in my Father, and you [speaking of Christians] in me, and I in you" (John 17:21; 14:20). "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you [Christians] all" (Eph 4:6). What does it mean here about God in Jesus, Jesus in God, Christians in Christ, Jesus in Christians, and God the Father in all?
nm256 >> "For as the body [the Church - 1Cor 12:27; Eph 4:4; 5:23-32; Col 1:24; Rom 12:4-5] is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body [Church], being many, are one body: so also Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body [Church] ... and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (1Cor 12:12-13). Here it pictures the Church of God, which has one Spirit that all spiritually drink from. The Spirit or New Mind is in all the body. When Jesus says his Father is in him and he in his Father, that Christians are in him and he in Christians, and that God is in all, he is merely saying that God the Father's Spirit or Mind is in all - "all made to drink into one Spirit." Romans 8:9, 10-11, 14-16 reiterates this: to be the son of God one must have God's Spirit dwelling in him. Thus, "the body [Church] without the Spirit [of God] is dead" (James 2:26).
nm257 >> Now we can better understand the verse: "whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God" (2John 9). Thus, those who go against the doctrines of love do not have God's Spirit or God's Mind. But "he that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has the Father and the Son" (2John 9). He that has God's Spirit that is common to the Father and Son (John 14:10, 20) does abide in the doctrine of Christ. "He that says, I know Him ["I'm a Christian, I believe in him"], and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth [God's Spirit, 1John 5:6] is not in him" (1John 2:4). Thus, those who do not keep God's commandments are not Christians, they are liars because they do not have God's Spirit. Conversely, those who follow God's commandments are Christians and have God's Spirit (end of 2John 9). Those who are Christians will walk as Christ walked (1John 2:6). Yes, "and he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him, and He in him" (1John 3:24). The Spirit or Mind of God makes you in Christ, and Christ in you.
nm258 >> In John 15:1-8 it pictures the body of Christ or the Church of God as a vine, with the branches as the members of the Church, and the root as Christ (See also Rom 11:13-24, "root" is Christ - Rev 22:16). Jesus says, "every branch in me that bears not fruit he [God] takes away" (John 15:2). Let's stop here. Now since this vine is metonymical for the Church, we know that the fruit this branch should bear is the fruit of God's Spirit: "love, joy, peace," etc (Gal 5:22). Thus, God takes away the branch that does not produce love, joy, peace, and so on. We know from 1Cor 13:4-7 that love is patient, kind, envies not, is not puffed up, rejoices in truth, and so on. Hence, the branch that does not produce fruit, is the one who does not produce good works of God's commandments, for "love is the fulfilling of the law" (Rom 13:10).
nm259 >> Notice that Jesus says this branch that does not do good works or that does not produce fruit is in Him, but notice what Christ does not say: that Christ is in this branch. This is very significant! Why?: for "he that says he abides in Him ought himself so to walk, even as he [Christ] walked" (1John 2:6). He that says he is in his vine [his body, God's Church] should walk as Christ walked. He that says he is in Christ ought to produce fruit. "He that says he is in the light [God is light, 1John 1:5], and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now" (1John 2:9). Those who say they are in Christ but who hate their Spiritual brother, are in Satan (darkness) even until now. These are in Satan's church, not in God's if they hate the Spiritual brother: "The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead" (Prov 21:16). Notice they remain or rest (Hebrew) in the church of the dead, they do not go back to it when they wander, but remain or rest in it - "is in darkness even until now" (1John 2:9).
nm260 >> "He that says, I know Him, and keeps not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth [God's Spirit, 1John 5:6] is not in him" (1John 2:4). If the Mind of truth is not in them, they are not Christians.
nm261 >> "But whoso keeps his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him" (1John 2:5). Those in Christ know they are in Him when they keep his word.
nm262 >> Hence, the branch taken away for not bearing fruit (John 15:2) was never in Christ (in the vine), for the proof that you are in Him is that you produce fruit [keep his Word - 1John 2:5; keep his commandments -1John 2:4; walk like Christ - 1John 2:6; not hate your brother -1John 2:9]. You know you are in Christ when you produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Those in Christ, and Christ in them, have what is in Christ. They have God's Spirit and Mind. And those in Christ and Christ in them do produce the fruit of love.
nm263 >> "And every branch that bears fruit, he purges ["cleans"] it, that it may bring forth more fruit ... abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:2, 4-5). Notice it says abide in me, and I in you. As explained previously, those in Christ and with Christ in them are in the Spirit of God, are in the body of Christ and drink in the same Spirit (1Cor 12:12-13; John 14:10, 20). The branch that was in Christ (John 15:2), did not produce fruit, because Christ was not in the branch. Verse 2 only says that it was in Christ, the verse did not say Christ was in the branch. This branch, in other words, says it is in Christ or in the Church, but the fact that it does not produce fruit means it was never in Christ.
nm264 >> Now we see those in Christ, and Christ in them do produce much fruit (John 15:5). And it adds, that one can't do anything if it is apart from Christ, that is, apart from the Church because it does not have God's Spirit. One does produce much fruit if the Spirit is in him. "If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love" (John 15:10). "God is love" (1John 4:8, 16). "God" can be used metonymically here for love: "If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my God." When one keeps the commandments he is in God, and God is in him. "And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him, and He in him" (1John 3:24). Those in God, and God in them, produce much fruit of the Spirit (John 15:5, 8, 16). "The Head [Christ is the Head - Eph 1:22], from which all the body [Church] by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God" (Col 2:19).
nm265 >> Thus, we see that you are in Christ or in the Church, if God's Spirit is in you. And that you will keep the commandments if God is in you as opposed to those who say they are in Christ, but have not God's Spirit and do not keep the commandments.
nm266 >> What does the Bible mean, keep the commandments? We know that only one person who ever lived on earth was sinless, and he was Christ (Heb 4:15; John 8:46; John 15:10; 1Pet 1:19). And we know that all others have transgressed or sinned (Rom 3:9; 1John 1:8, 10). What does God mean when through John, he says, "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments" (1John 2:3). Doesn't this verse, and other similar ones, mean to keep the law as Christ the man did while he was living? Doesn't this mean keep the law of love perfectly?
nm267 >> When we keep God's law of love in this age we keep it Spiritually. That is, we keep it in our attitude or mind. But because we are in the age of the other-mind, the mind of confusion, the mind of Satan that misleads us, then the other thoughts from the other-mind will sometimes confuse us, yet our true desire is toward the way of love. Now the Bible does say that those born of God do not sin: "We know that whosoever is born of God sins not" (1John 5:18). This should be taken in the Spiritual sense. That is, those with the Spirit of God in their minds will desire the good. But sometimes, in physical weakness, they may do what is evil because of the other-mind and outside pressures. Yet in their Spiritual mind they will hate their act. They will never enjoy their wrong act like most of this age which do enjoy their evil. It is only when one is BORN of God that one won't sin at all (see "Begotten, Born Paper" [NM 5]). See the "Freedom and Law Paper" [NM 17] to understand what sin is.
nm268 >> Paul is speaking,
Paul does not of his true self want to sin, it is the law of sin that dwells in him that wishes to sin. When Christians sin, it is because of this law of sin (the other-mind), that satanic spirit in their minds or that "spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy" (James 4:5). See the "Other Mind" paper [NM 21] for more details.
nm269 >> Therefore Christians may sometimes physically sin, but not willfully or deliberately or intentionally. True Christians want to follow in the way of love. They do not willfully sin because it proves something:
If we sin willfully, we go to judgment. This judgment as we learn in NM24 will be with fire for the angels of sin, and death for mankind sent to the judgement. But notice that it says, "if we sin willfully . . ." It does not say after we have received the Spirit of God, but after we receive the knowledge of truth. And it did say IF. "If" is a hypothetical word. The hypothetical word "if" is used to begin a train of thought "based on, involving, or having the nature of a hypothesis" (Webster's Dictionary). A hypothesis is a supposition. Another word for "if" is suppose. So this train of thought beginning in Hebrews 10:26 is a hypothetical situation: IF Christians do this, then they can expect to go to the judgment. Notice verse 39: "but we [Christians] are not of them who draw back into perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." Now that is no hypothetical statement. It is a positive statement. Real Christians do not fall back. Those that sin willfully are those who follow their "other-mind" and sin willingly. When you sin willfully you are on the way to proving that you may not be a real Christian.
nm270 >> Notice the positive statement: "and grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph 4:30; see Isa 59:21). This isn't a statement of hope! If one was to say this was only positive thinking on Paul's part, then what about the statement about the Messiah's return? How would we distinguish between "positive thinking" statements and fact? Who would decide? No, Ephesians 4:30 and Hebrews 10:39 are to be taken as factual statements. Christians do not sin willfully. They will sin, but they will not be proud of their sins and will repent of them quickly. Real Christians are sealed with the Spirit to the day of redemption and their belief will save their souls.
nm271 >> We'll explain why Paul used the hypothetical word formation in Hebrews 10:26ff. This is not the only place Paul uses this type of word formation. For example, Hebrews 6:6 is the beginning of another hypothetical train of thought, yet notice once again the "but" sentence which is somewhat like Hebrews 10:39, "but, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak" (Heb 6:9).
nm272 >> These word constructions are much like those in the First Letter of John. For example, "and hereby we do know that we know him, IF we keep his commandments ... IF any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1John 2:3, 15). These are tests of proof of one thing or another.
nm273 >> In 1John 2:3 what are we testing for? If one passes this test in this verse, what does he prove? "If we keep his commandments," if we pass this test what do we prove? "And hereby we do know that we know him." If we keep his commandment we know God. If we pass the test we prove that we know him.
nm274 >> In 1John 2:15, what are we testing for? If one passes this test what does he prove? "If any man love the world," If we pass this test (if we love the world's way), what do we prove? We prove that the love of the Father is not in us. If we love the world's way the Father's love is not in us.
nm275 >> In Hebrews 10:26-39, what are we testing for? If we pass this test in these verses, what does it prove? "If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of truth," if we pass this test (if we sin willfully), what does it prove? "There remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for judgment." If we sin willfully, then we must look fearfully for judgment which shall devour the adversaries of which we would be one. If we pass the test (by sinning willfully), we prove that we shall be devoured. But this word formation adds, after further amplification in verses 28-38, that "we [Christians] are not of them who draw back into perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (Heb 10:39).
nm276 >> Do you see the pattern? In Hebrews 10:26-39 it says that those who sin willfully will receive judgement of being devoured for such a sin. If any that are called Christian sin willfully, then they prove that they belong to those who are going to be devoured. But in verse 39 it qualifies the "we" in verse 26 by stating a positive fact that we, the real Christians, are to the salvation of the soul. And verse 39 is confirmed by Ephesians 4:30 where it says those sealed with the Spirit are sealed to redemption. And Ephesians 4:30 can be confirmed by the fact there is not a verse in the Bible that states as fact that one who receives the Spirit of God can lose it.
nm277 >> Notice: "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph 4:30). Christians are sealed with the Spirit to the day of redemption. This is so because in Christ's words, "My Father, who has given them [Christians] to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them [Christians] out of my Father's hand" (John 10:29).
nm278 >> Notice further proof that once the Spirit is given it is sealed to the day of God. "For whatsoever is begotten of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world: our faith" (1John 5:4). Faith is the power that helps the Christian to overcome the world. Now Faith is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that [faith] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph 2:8). Why does Faith help us to overcome and be saved? Or better yet, why does the Spirit, for Faith comes from the Spirit, help Christians to overcome and be saved? "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he [God] that is in you, than he [Satan] that is in the world" (1John 4:4).
nm279 >> Do you see? Once one has the Spirit of God he is sealed to the day of redemption. Once one becomes a Christian, he will be saved (Heb 10:39). There is no way that anyone once begotten of God's New Mind can lose out on salvation. But once begotten, can you do anything? No, "for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Eph 2:10). If one wants to do anything but good works, how can he be a Christian? Christians are created for good works (Eph 2:10). A Christian wants to do good works; he has a good attitude.
nm280 >> "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1John 2:15). The "love of God" can only come from the Spirit of God, for the love of God is a fruit of God's Spirit (Gal 5:22). With this knowledge what is the test being given here to man by God through John? "If any man love the world, the Spirit of the Father is not in him." If you pass the test of loving the world, you prove that you have not the Spirit or Mind of God, thus, you are not a Christian. Remember to be a Christian one must have a changed attitude away from the world's way. If one is convinced that the world's way is wrong, why would he go back after he had received God's Spirit which is greater than the other-mind or other spirit. "Prove yourselves, whether you be in the Faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates" (2Cor 13:5). Prove yourselves to see if you have God's Spirit that does produce much fruit, and helps you to have a good attitude. If you do not find this proof, then you are worthless (a reprobate) with a worthless mind concerning the way to love, peace, and harmony (see Rom 1:28-31).
nm281 >> What are some tests you can give yourself in order to prove to yourself that you are a true Christian? We have given you many tests already in this paper. Do you love God's law of love? Why not?, unless you are a reprobate. If you sin willfully, doesn't that mean you love sin? And if you love sin, how can you love God's law? For "love is the fulfilling of the law" (Rom 13:10). "But he that sins against me [God] wrongs his own soul: all they that hate me love death" (Prov 8:36). If one loves to watch violence, isn't he projecting the fact that he loves forms of death-producing activity? He loves death! (note Rom 1:32)
nm282 >> Look at the test in Romans 1:28-31, if you pass that test you prove yourself a reprobate or one with a worthless mind. If you love the world's way, then you prove you do not have the Spirit (1John 2:15).
nm283 >> Which of the following tests do you pass. "He that loves his life [in this world] shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life of aeonian" (John 12:25). If the world is as bad as God tells us through his Bible, why, if you have God's New Mind would you like your life in this world or this old age?
nm284 >> "They [the ones who call themselves Christians] went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us" (1John 2:19). Those who physically go out of the Church prove they were never a part of the Church. But this does not mean that those who were in the Church physically and then went out, can't at some future time come Spiritually into the Church.
nm285 >> "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother" (1John 3:10). A person proves he is not a child of God by not doing righteousness, and by not loving his Spiritual brother.
nm286 >> "Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has aeonian life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1John 3:15-16). If one hates his Spiritual brother he is as good as a murderer, and he has not the aeonian life in him, or he has not the Spirit that brings this aeonian life in him; he is not a true Christian (1John 3:10). Then verse 16 shows that those who have the love of God, prove they have God's Spirit if they do lay down their life for their Spiritual brother like Christ did. "He that finds his life shall lose it [in the seventh millennium]: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it [in the seventh millennium]" (Mat 10:39). If one is willing to give his life for Jesus Christ's sake, this proves God's Spirit is in him. A real Christian if called upon must give up his life, if not, he proves he is not a Christian. There are two senses of giving up one's life: (1) physical sense - the giving up of one's physical life; (2) the Spiritual sense - the giving up of one's former spiritual life of confusion.
nm287 >> "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him" (1John 3:18, 19). If one is a hypocrite and only does God's law through words and not deeds, he is not of the truth. God's truth comes from his Spirit (John 14:17). One does not have the Spirit if he is a hypocrite.
nm288 >> "And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him, and He [Christ] in him. And hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit [New Mind] which he has given us" (1John 3:24).
nm289 >> "We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears us not. Hereby know we the Spirit of truth, and the spirit of error" (1John 4:6). The one that hears has the Spirit of truth; the one that does not hear has the spirit of error. "God has given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear" (Rom 11:8). But those of the Spirit of truth (the New Mind) will hear Spiritually. "And when he puts forth his own sheep he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice" (John 10:4).
nm290 >> "We glory in trial also; knowing that trial works patience; and patience proof [good works like patience are proof one has the New Mind]; and proof, hope [hope for a better resurrection, Heb 11:35]: and hope makes not ashamed [shame of aeonian contempt, Dan 12:2]; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which is given to us" (Rom 5:3-5).
nm291 >> "Prove yourselves, whether you be in faith; prove your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you; if not you be reprobates?" (2Cor 13:5)
nm292 >> Test yourselves to see if you have the Spirit or Mind of God, for he who does have it does produce much fruit. Those who do not have the Spirit are reprobates or worthless and are the ones of the "dead," "for as the body without the Spirit is dead" (James 2:26).
nm293 >> You will be resurrected, if the Spirit is in you. "Now if man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his ... But if the Spirit of him [God] that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you" (Rom 8:9, 11). That is a statement of fact, not hope, for as we have shown, once one has received the Spirit he can't lose it. It is the Spirit of God, or the New Mind which brings salvation.
nm294 >> To Review, the Bible tells us those begotten of God are sealed with the Spirit to the day of redemption. Further, the Bible gives its readers many tests to take. If one passes one kind of test, then this proves he has the Spirit or New Mind and will be saved. If one passes the other kind of test he proves himself a reprobate, and manifests that he does not have God's Spirit, thus, is not a real Christian. All the tests that prove one a Christian have one thing in common: you prove you have the Spirit of God when you keep the law of love (see "Freedom & Law Paper" [NM 17]). All the tests that prove one is a reprobate also have one thing in common: you prove you do not have the Spirit of God when you do not follow the law of love.
nm295 >> A Christian's good works are his proof that he is a real Christian. We do not prove anything to others when we do good works. We do not try to show-up others when we do good works. When a Christian does good works they come from his heart. A Christian has the New Mind with the new attitude. This New Mind gives real Christians the power to do good works. We keep God's law of love because it comes from the heart, not because we are trying to prove anything to others.
nm296 >> When we do good works it is our proof that we do have the New Mind - the Spirit of God. That is why Paul ran the race, to prove to himself he was a real Christian. If Paul let up on his good works, it would mean that he was a reprobate. But it was God's Spirit in Paul that gave Paul the power to overcome the world (see 1Cor 9:24-27; 1John 5:4 & 1Cor 15:10). Paul ran to prove to himself his salvation.
nm297 >> You run the race to prove to yourself about your salvation. But what about doubts? Some admit that they have doubts about their Christianity. This is not unusual. Every Christian in the old age will have doubts about their own Christianity. This is because of the other-mind (NM 21). The other-mind puts doubts, fear, and other uncomfortable ideas into our minds. Look at Elijah. He doubted himself and felt he was no better than anyone else (1Kings 19:4), yet God chose him to do his will. But we are the overcomers; we will overcome to reach our salvation because we have the Spirit and our Spirit is greater than the one who rules the evil age (1John 4:4).
"But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another."(Gal 6:4)
Caution must be had here. Each Christian is given the Spirit by measure (Rom 12:3; Eph 4:7). There may be some very weak Christians. We not only need to be careful how we judge others (NM23), but also how we judge ourselves.