A Spiritual Check-Up

The following is an excerpt from Healthy Christian Growth by Sinclair B. Ferguson, published by The Banner of Truth Trust, copyright 1991.

“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12

  1. Spiritual goals. Have I really understood that Christ-likeness is the goal of Christian growth and that God is determined to produce it in me? Is that my goal too?
  2. Nourishment. Am I being nourished on a healthy diet of biblical teaching? Do I want to hear the Scriptures taught and to obey them? Am I eager to study them myself? Have I taken as sensible steps to ensure my spiritual nourishment as I have to ensure my physical nourishment?
  3. Living by every word from God’s mouth. Do I read the Bible regularly, and in the light of II Timothy 3:16-17, not only receiving its teaching as God’s word, but also remembering what it’s purpose is? Do I ask:

    (i) Teaching: What does this passage (verse, chapter, book) teach (about God and his character, man and his sin, Christ and his workd, the ministry of the Spirit, the Christian life, the purposes of God, the fellowship of the church, the need of the world)?(ii) Rebuking: Is God showing me some specific sin in my life which needs to be confessed and repented of?

    (iii) Correcting: How does this passage help to make me more fully what God intends me to be?

    (iv) Training: What do I learn here about my responsibilities and the resources God gives me to fulfill them?

  4. Exercise. Am I increasingly devoted to the worship of God? Does my joy in his public praise increase? In private too?
  5. Service. Have I a reliable assessment of the gifts Christ has given to me to bring his blessings to others? Do I know what they are and where and how to use them? Am I strengthening them in order to serve others better? Or do I see them as means of my own self-advancement in the church? Are my time, talents, financial resources and possessions all at his service?
  6. Witness. Does my life shine as light for the world? Is my life like preserving salt in my home and family, where I work and study, where I live and play? Do I pray for and take opportunities to witness for Christ?
  7. Fellowship. Have I committed myself to and fitted into a church? Am I aware of the things in my own life and personality that may make it difficult for other Christians to worship and serve alongside me? Am I seeking God’s grace to deal with these things? Am I dominated by pride? Or by a shyness that actually disguises a deep-seated unwillingness to admit my needs? Do I count my fellow-Christians more important than myself? Am I actively engaged in serving them? Do I appreciate the gifts of others and thank God for his grace in their lives? Does my pride allow only certain Christians to help me, or to be instruments of God’s blessing to me?
  8. Providence. How do I cope with trials and difficulties? Do I trust God to work everything together for my good in fulfillment of his own purpose? Do I grow under pressure because I rely on Christ and know his purpose is to transform and bless me? Or, do I collapse in my self-reliance? Do I learn through dark providence, or simply seem relieved when they are over?
  9. Character Development. Am I becoming, by God’s grace, a purer, gentler person? Would Jesus describe me as ‘blessed’ (see Matthew 5:1-12)?
  10. Obedience. Do I love God’s commandments and have a settled attitude to oppose anything that hinders God’s work in my life? If I do not possess much materially, am I being delivered from covetousness, envy and greed for more? If I am affluent, am I master of, or mastered by, my possessions and money? Are they Christ’s? Would I find it virtually impossible to live without particular possessions?
  11. Attitude to sin. Am I daily seeking to put to death the sin that remains in my heart and life? Do I seek to put on the graces of Jesus Christ?
  12. Spiritual Warfare. Do I believe in the activity of satan without being obsessed by his power? Do I know what his tactics usually are in my life, and the biblical resources that will help me to keep standing when he attacks? Am I on my guard against him?
  13. Christian growth. Am I really growing as a Christian? In the church fellowship? In my family life? In my daily activities? In private?