Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’
In the UK we have the National Health Service which is free at point of need – or at least that was the original intention. It is not entirely free today, but if we are UK citizens and we have paid our National Insurance contributions we are entitled to the benefits of the Service – things like consultations with doctors, treatment in hospital and care in the community.
One of the benefits of the Health Service is a five-yearly ‘health check’ for those between 40 and 74. Now a health check is a good thing; for by it you can know your state of health – how you are faring. A doctor or nurse will take your blood pressure, examine your medical records, quiz you on what you are able to do, and ask about your lifestyle. Do you drink alcohol? Do you smoke? Do you exercise? etc. From the findings she or he will assess the state of your health, and if any disorders are found, you will be offered remedial treatment which you are free to accept or reject.
Analogies are not always helpful, but a Christian may offer himself for a checkup to ascertain if he is spiritually healthy. I am not suggesting he should go to another person to be examined – not at all. Instead, he may feel he could profit from an examination of himself (2 Corinthians 13:5).
What constitutes a spiritually healthy Christian? Who are the spiritually healthy?
They are disciples of Christ who wholly rely upon Him for absolutely everything. They look to Him for their total provision – their spiritual and physical needs. They believe and trust Him with their lives. They worship and adore Him. Their desire is to serve Him and those whom He loves. They want to live their lives in conformity with His will.
What are the diagnostic tools for determining the state of one’s spiritual life? Not a thermometer, not a stethoscope, not an X-ray machine, but a single tool of many parts: God’s Word the Bible (Hebrews 4:12). His Spirit gives life (John 3:3-8) and His Word measures that life (Psalm 105:19).
How does the Christian measure his state?
He honestly and objectively subjects himself to a questionnaire – not about works done by him, but about his FAITH. Does his faith square up with the Word (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? Is he living and walking in Christ (Colossians 2:6)? Does he love God (Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Corinthians 8:3)? Does he obey God (John 14:23)? Does he rejoice in God (Isaiah 61:10)? Does he share his faith with others (1 Corinthians 9:16)? Does he make disciples (Matthew 28:19)? Does he love his Christian brothers and sisters (1 John 4:7)? Does he worship God (John 4:24)? Does he *do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)?
These are all signs of healthiness. A healthy Christian will put his faith into action. A good tree will bear good fruit (Matthew 7:18), and by abiding in Christ he will bear good fruit (John 15:4, 5).
Ticking check boxes on a questionnaire will not make one healthy. Ultimately, healthiness comes from the Lord (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24) by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9; Acts 10:38). He makes people healthy and whole, and by His grace people are made wholesome to Him (2 Corinthians 2:15). Nevertheless, some indication of one’s healthiness may be ascertained by searching the Scriptures and asking pertinent questions, such as, “How do I match up to the doctrines taught within them?”
To that end, I offer the following Scriptures, all taken from the New Testament. You may like to go through them to check yourself out. Do they apply directly to you?
Romans 5:1 ‘Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’
Romans 8:5, 6 ‘For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’
1 Corinthians 8:3 ‘But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.’
Philippians 1:9-11 ‘And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.’
Philippians 1:21 ‘For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’
Philippians 1:29 ‘For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.’
Philippians 2:4 ‘Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.’
Philippians 2:12, 13 ‘Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.’
Philippians 3:12-14 ‘Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’
Philippians 3:20 ‘For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.’
Philippians 4:4 ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice!’
Colossians 2:6 ‘As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.’
Colossians 3:2, 3 ‘Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.’
1 Peter 4:11 ‘If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever, Amen.’
1 John 1: 5, 6 ‘This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.’
1 John 2:3, 4 ‘Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’
1 John 2:9 ‘He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.’
1 John 2:15 ‘Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.’
1 John 3:18, 19 ‘My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.’
1 John 5:10-12 ‘He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.’
I started this article with the following text:
Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’
If you are in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 1:3, 4) He will enable you to do all things that honour Him in accordance with His will.
* Do All to the Glory of God