The belief that Christ causes true believers to endure in trusting and walking in Christ is soundly biblical. This truth, however, is often misapplied. For too many Baptists, this belief produces a false sense of security and even a license to sin. This truth mixed with our sinful inclinations produces a dangerous pride.
Paul tells us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12); to “test” ourselves to “see if we are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5); and to “evaluate” ourselves (Rom. 12:3). The writer of Hebrews warns us to “pay attention to what we have heard so we won’t drift away” (Heb. 2:1) and that “we have become Christ’s companions if we hold firmly until the end what we had at the start” (Heb. 3:14). Nowhere does the Bible allow us to be complacent in Christ.
So how can we, as parents, help our teens to evaluate themselves honestly and accurately? The apostle John says that we know we have “come to know Him [Christ]” when we are “keeping His commands” (vs. 3), when we “keep His Word,” and when we "walk just as He walked” (vs. 5-6). To keep His commands is to love God above all and love others as God loves them.
When was the last time you helped your teen “test their faith” by helping them evaluate her love for God and for others? How is your teen loving the unlovable, her boyfriend, or his girlfriend? Is he loving the things of God more than the world? Are they loving their friends by helping them love God more? Your teen’s teachers test their learning. Her coaches test her athletic skills. Will you love your teen by helping him test his faith?