2Co 10:12 Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
If you have ever built something like a shed or any structure like that, you know how vital it is that the foundation and frame are true. Square. Plumb. Verticals must be vertical, horizontals have to be level, the foundation diagonals must be equal – or you are going to struggle every step of the way.
The Apostle Paul gives a sobering warning in the verse above. How foolish would it be to calibrate a measurement with a tool that was inaccurate? Like using a 13″ ruler as a one foot ruler and assuming it is in fact 12″ because you compared it with one just like it. You get the point.
Well, when it comes to examining ourselves, it is crucial that we know if we are spiritually “plumb” or not. If we use a bad plumb line, then our conclusion is going to go wrong. Paul admonished the Corinthians for comparing themselves with themselves. They weren’t looking at Christ, they weren’t comparing themselves to His truth – no, they were looking at one another and deciding that they were just fine in soul.
If you are not born again, and you are just sure that you are, it is because you are measuring yourself with a defective instrument. You are looking at that guy or this gal and deciding that you are quite fine – certainly better than they are. But we must use the plumb line Christ has given us in order to really know if we are born again or not.
Do we love the brethren? Do we love true Christians? Do we love God’s Word? Does our life show that the Spirit of Christ is in us and leading us, or are we walking in the flesh? Are the fruits of the Spirit evident in our lives? Does the world hate us or do worldlings really have no problem at all with us? These and more are the plumb lines to use.
Are you born again? Are you? I am not asking if you say that you believe in Jesus. Nor am I asking if you have been a church member all your life. Or if you have been baptized? Or if you say your prayers at night. I am asking – are you born again? This regeneration is entirely a work of God, a re-birth that only He can accomplish. It is an act of creation, of raising a dead man to life. Has the Lord raised you up from the dead? The answer to this question, given in truth, would clear up a whole bunch of confusion in many people’s lives. Because in the end, unless we are born again, everything else we are doing “in Jesus’ name,” is meaningless.
Mat 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (22) On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ (23) And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Salvation is a pass/fail grade. Either you are saved or you aren’t. Most people, even professing Christians, act like they believe God is going to grade on a curve and let them in because their not as bad as so and so. This isn’t organic chemistry where the class may be graded on a curve. Eternity is on the line. So knowing if you are born again, is of critical importance. You get this wrong and there are eternal consequences.
Yup, Jesus is the plumb line of my life! As a new Christian I used a pretty accurate, but faltering, illustration when trying to explain salvation to my dear mother. I said, “So do you think this one person maybe said one less swear word compared to so-an-so and gets to go to heaven, or perhaps says one more and goes to hell? Jesus is the ‘dividing line.’ ” Another thing I remember saying as a new Christian was, “God’s word should verify man’s word, not man’s word should verify God’s Word.” Funny how immediately the Holy Spirit gives this wisdom to us when we are really born-again!