The study notes in this section are Matthew’s personal outlines and therefore they have not been edited.  As a result, you will find some grammatical errors.

Examining Your Faith

FOUNDATION STATEMENT: In the Kingdom of God system, it is vitally important that we examine our faith and prove our faith if we want to see that faith produce results in our lives. Is it really faith? – 2 Corinthians 13:5

I. We have to get out of self-deception where our belief/faith is concerned (Mark 9:24). The tree is known by his fruit. We shouldn’t believe one thing in our hearts and have another thing in life (Matthew 12:33).

A. Coming out of self-deception where our faith is concerned

1. This guy is telling Jesus that he’s making a decision to believe, but he knows that his faith is not fully developed

a. He’s being honest about his belief and as believers we have to do the same thing

b. We can ask the Holy Spirit to help us develop our faith, but there’s a part we have to play in that and it is to spend time hearing the Word.

2. To many times believers have said things like, “I believe God and I don’t know why it hasn’t changed yet” or “I believed God and nothing changed.” Well according to the bible you can’t believe one thing in your heart and have another in life.

a. If the results don’t match what you say you believe, then you are still in the process of believing or the process of development

1) The tree is known by his fruit; the belief is known by the results (Matthew 12:33)

2) The results in your life will tell us what you believe, the way the fruit of a tree will tell us the kind of tree

3) If the fully persuaded faith tree was there, then the fruit would be there

b. We don’t want walk in lip-service faith, where we say we believe, but never see any results that match what we say we believe

1) What you have in life should match what you say you believe in your heart

c. When you take an apple seed and plant it into the ground the purpose for that seed is to produce more apples. However the first thing that the apple seed does is that it works with the ground to grow and develop an apple tree. You will get no apples without an apple tree. The seed begins to develop and a tree begins to be sprung forth. The tree doesn’t start producing apples the moment that it springs from the ground. That tree has to develop and grow before it can yield the fruit of apples. When it has developed and grown, then it’s gone through the process necessary to qualify itself to bear fruit. If there’s no fruit yet, then the tree is not done developing. (Mark 4:28)

3. We’ve said we’ve believed and that’s okay because faith begins with a decision, but it’s developed through time spent in the Word (John 20:29, Romans 10:17)

a. You can’t separate the development of faith (tree) from the time you spend in the word.

1) You believe huh? Well how much time have you spend in the word on it?

b. Many people never get the harvest because they don’t spend time developing that tree and the reason they don’t spend time developing is because they have been deceived into believing that it’s already developed and they don’t have to do anything to develop it.

1) In the Kingdom of God system we don’t want to be in self-deception thinking that are faith is fully developed when it’s not because then we won’t take the steps necessary to develop it

B. In the Kingdom of God system we have to find out what’s really in us and what we really believe because our belief is producing in our lives

1. We don’t want to be in self-deception, thinking that we believe one thing, only to continually see results that don’t match what we thought we believed

2. We have to be honest with ourselves about our belief without condemning ourselves

C. APPLICATION: If we continue to walk in self-deception where our belief is concerned, thinking that our faith is fully developed when it’s not, then we won’t do anything to develop our faith and we will continue to see the same results in our life

1. As a believer, it is vital that you be honest with yourself about what you really believe

II. We have to examine our faith (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJ & AMP)

A. Why do we examine our faith? (1 Corinthians 11:31)

1. Judgment is simply the results you reached because of decisions you made

a. Judgment is not always bad, if you made the right decisions

1) Everything that God has ever commanded man to do was designed to lead man to life blessing. Consequently, if you chose to do something that’s in opposition to what God told you to do, that will lead man to death and curse. God’s not telling you to not do something to keep you from having fun; He’s telling you to not do something because he knows if you go that way the judgment is death and curse.

a) It’s not God saying if you do that I’m going to curse you because I told you not to do that. It’s more like this. God in His infinite wisdom thought to Himself, “If they go that way, they’re going to get death and the curse. I don’t want that for them, so I’m going to command them to go the way that leads to life and blessing.”

b) It’s God in his infinite wisdom knowing what things would lead to the curse and death and then in his abounding love for His children commanding them to go the other way that leads to life and blessing.

b. Judge yourselves in the area of faith and you won’t be judged

2. The judgment of faith is victory and manifestation (1 John 5:4)

a. The judgment of unbelief is defeat and no manifestation

3. We need to judge ourselves where our faith is concerned because if we’re in unbelief and we don’t judge it, then we will get the judgment of it

a. EX: If you are in Springfield and you want to go to Chicago, but you get on I-55 south the judgment of your decision is going to be St. Louis. If you judge yourself and say this is the wrong way and this will not get me to my desired destination and then get on I-55 north, you won’t get the judgment of going down I-55 south. However, if you’re on I-55 south and you don’t judge yourself you’ll get the judgment of your decisions. What’s dangerous is when you don’t judge yourself because you are convinced that you’re going the right way.

b. If you think you’re in faith, but you’re not and you don’t judge yourself in that area, then you’re going to get the judgment of unbelief

4. A lot of people have failed and been defeated because they didn’t judge themselves in the area of faith

a. To judge yourself you have to be humble enough to think that you could be doing something wrong

B. How do we examine our faith?

1. Am I showing the proper fruits of faith?

a. If the fruit is not there yet, how do I know that I have the right belief or the right tree

2. Examine the Words of your mouth (2 Corinthians 4:13, Matthew 12:34)

a. Not the words you say when you’re at church, not the words you say in your daily confession, but the words you talk everyday in your daily conversations without thinking because those words are what you really believe

1) You mouth is exposing your true belief

2) What you believe in your heart the most will come out of your mouth

b. Is it really faith, if words are coming out of your mouth that are contrary to what God said?

3. Examine your attitude

a. If you’re discouraged or depressed you’re not in faith; If you’re in faith, then you’re joyful and peace ful

1) Romans 15:13, Philippians 1:25

a) Joy – Cheerfulness, calm delight, gladness, to be exceeding joyful

b) Peace – Quietness, rest, the tranquil state of a soul assured

2) 1 Peter 1:8 – Does you’re not seeing it lead you to rejoicing?

a) Rejoice – Jump for joy, exceeding joyful

3) Your attitude is exposing your true belief

b. Is it really faith if you’re depressed, discouraged, and worried about it?

4. Examine what you do times of pressure

a. Times of pressure are the most revealing times about what you believe

1) When the squeeze is put on, your true belief will be revealed and exposed

a) Under pressure the children of Israel built a calf

2) Peter (Matthew 26:33-35, 69-74)

b. Is it really faith if every time pressure is put on you, unbelief comes out of you?

C. APPLICATION: We must examine our faith to find out whether or not it’s really faith. If our faith is really faith, then the judgment will be victory.

1. Your words, your attitude, and what you do under pressure are exposing what you really believe.

III. We have to prove our faith (James 1:3, 1 Peter 1:8)

A. Proving your faith. If it’s really faith you have, then it will be proven under pressure.

1. When something is proven that means that it was tested and under the pressure of the test it passed the test

a. To prove something pressure has to be applied to that thing and when pressure is applied to that thing we find out the truth about that thing

1) EX: When they test airplanes, they put pressure on them (they put the under the demands of flying), if they break, they’re not proven and the truth about them is revealed. If the plane withstands the pressure and if it continues to operate and function the way it should under pressure, then it’s proven and the truth about that plane is revealed.

b. It’s the same way with your faith

1) When the pressure of a bad report comes or when the pressure of time comes, will you pass the test?

2. I lot of people have said I believe this or I believe that or I believe the word, but just saying you believe has not proven that you believe

a. EX: A person can look at an airplane and say that it flies, but that hasn’t proven that it can fly. You can say you believe, but that hasn’t proven that you believe. To prove that an airplane can fly it has to be put under the demands of flying and to prove that you believe you have to put under the demands of believing.

b. Pressure is when six months has gone by and nothing has changed. Faith is proven under pressure.

1) We have to get out of this hold on tight mentality. You might have to hold on tight in the beginning, but at some point when your faith is put under pressure it’s going to have to not rattle you. You might have to hold on tight in the beginning, but as time goes by your faith should begin to develop, so that when the pressure comes it proves itself under pressure.

2) Proving your faith is going to require that you don’t struggle through the pressure. When you struggled through the pressure that didn’t prove that you believe. It’s not that you overcame the pressure; it’s that the pressure left, you got restored, but because you struggled through it you didn’t prove anything.

B. The trying of your faith (1 Peter 1:6-7)

1. The trying of your faith is precious because it’s going to reveal to you what you truly believe

a. If your faith wasn’t tried or tested we’d never know what you really believe

2. The trying of your faith is precious because it’s the opportunity to prove your faith and when faith is proven, it will bear the fruit of victory.

a. If every time the pressure comes you’re getting discouraged and depressed, you’re never proving your faith and in turn you’ll never see the victory.

3. The trying of your faith is precious because if you’ll withstand the pressure, your faith will be proven, and you’ll end up wanting nothing (James 1:2-4)

a. The trying of your faith should put consistency and constancy to work

1) You’re the same when your faith is being tried as you are when it wasn’t being tried

b. The beginning of you wanting nothing is the trying of your faith

1) There was no wanting nothing until faith is tried and proven

c. If you’ll withstand the pressure of your faith being tried, you’ll end up wanting nothing

C. APPLICATION: Faith that’s tested and proven will yield the fruit of victory.

1. The times of pressure is no time to get discouraged and depressed. The time of pressure is the time to rise up and prove your faith.