Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you failed to meet the test. Corinthians 13:5 ESV
Paul addressed the church in Corinth with a second letter as challenges continued to arise among those who called themselves Believers. In the first letter he addresses sin and division that had infiltrated the church. In the second letter he tells them to examine or test their salvation to make sure that they truly are the of the household of faith. Paul was not known for his speaking ability nor his stature; and as a result, the church of Corinth began to question his credibility. (11:506… 10:10) As in all of Paul’s ministry, he pointed them to Jesus as being the reason for his faith. He even pointed out that they were a church because he had introduced them to Jesus and planted the church in Corinth. (3:1-4) His credibility was not man-centered, but God-centered in Christ Jesus, and he made this clear to them. There are other issues Paul addressed, but the greater challenge for them was to examine or test them selves concerning their relationship with Jesus. Jesus must be the center of everything in the Christian life….He must be the reason for everything, without exception. Anything less would create an inferior presentation of the gospel. God sent Jesus to redeem sinners to Himself – Sinners must believe, repent, and call upon the name of Jesus, for there is salvation in no other. So how does one go about testing themselves in the faith?
The dictionary definition of examine as a verb is this…. to inspect (someone or something) in detail to determine their nature or condition; investigate thoroughly. The examination Paul is challenging those of Corinth with is this: to see whether you are in the faith. To be a Christian is more than just going to church or making the claim, “I am a Christian.” Have you ever heard someone make the statement concerning a person, “They are the real deal”? Why would one say that? actions. Actions regarding how a person speaks and lives. Understand when examining yourself, you are not looking for salvation in speech or works, but in the evidence of salvation that has already happened. To have experienced salvation in Jesus is to experience a life change in how you live life every day. Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works. James 2:18 CSB
Understand that being a Christian is not comparing yourself to other Christians. Could you imagine a student in school saying to a teacher after failing a test, “Well, at least I didn’t fail as badly as “? Testing yourselves is testing your daily actions by how you know and believe Jesus would have you live. Colossians 3:1-17 pretty much sums up how we are to live after we have become a Christian. It would do us all well to memorize or be very familiar with this text. To do well in the test of life, you must know well the answers to the questions of life. The Holy Spirit will help you and grow you if He truly is living in you.
Jesus In You:
Understand, you will never live perfect this side of Heaven, but it should be your desire. (1 John 2:1-6) If Jesus lives in you, your walk through this world will be about loving Him, not making excuses for the way you are. When you recognize sin in your life, repentance should be a natural response. When Jesus forgave or healed a person, He told them to, “sin no more.” (John 5:14 & 8:11) Jesus must become the focus for everything you do. You are called to be holy people. (1 Peter 1:13-15) What makes you holy is the Holy Spirit living in you. Remember, the Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Knowing your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit should cause you to want to use the cleaning supplies of God’s grace, mercy, and the blood of Jesus to stay clean.
Remember the statement of Jesus when addressing those who were religious but did know know Him as Lord and Savior. “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.” Matthew 7:21 ESV
What is the will of the Father?
“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and BELIEVES in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40 ESV
Let me close with this thought…..What you believe will determine how you live.
Because of HIS Grace ~Pastor David