“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ in in you? unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
The Bible enjoins examination! It calls upon each one of us to do periodic checks of our spiritual welfare in order to ascertain whether or not we are going in the right direction.
In our text the apostle Paul has turned the tables on his accusers. Note verse 3 where he states, “since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me …”
Instead of presuming to evaluate his apostleship … he challenges them to test … to prove … the genuineness of their own faith.
Examination is actually a fact of life. We see it when parents begin to ask little ones to do over again what they have just learned. When they become school age they come face to face with formal examinations … tests. And as they progress through life there are all sorts of examinations from driver’s license exams to health exams to college entrance exams to vocational exams to continuing education exams and on it will go.
Actually, the word “examine” in this verse means more than just an investigation, more than a careful investigation. It means to prove! This would carry the concept of bringing oneself under such careful scrutiny that you actually try yourself to prove where you are!
The examination must be a very personal thing. Notice how the apostle instructs to examine your own selves, prove your own selves, know ye not your own selves. In other words, every person is responsible for their own examination. Why?
- Only I can know what my real attitudes and motives are!
- Only I can make an accurate comparison between what I am and what I should be according to the word of God (James 1:22-25).
Far too many are quick to judge others … to examine them … to state what we think they believe … to ridicule and laugh at them … without sufficient information with which to make an accurate appraisal. Such activity is indeed dangerous.
The reason for the examination is to see where we are … whether or not we are “in the faith” or “in Christ”. These terms relate to relationship rather than location. To be “in the faith” is to have an association with it! To examine yourself in regard to that association it is necessary that “the faith” be investigated and then your life compared to it! To be “in Christ” one must consult the means for such an association (2 Corinthians 5:17) and carefully maintain the course prescribed by Christ.
Take an honest look …
- What are your REAL interests? You must examine yourself about that, you know.
- What are your REAL motives? Not those things you show others, but the down-deep motives that make you tick.
- What are your REAL goals in life? Be careful … it’s easy to know what your goals ought to be, to be aware of what is expected for you to say.
Mine … is HEAVEN! I want to be with the Lord for eternity!
Let’s all examine ourselves, test ourselves, know ourselves, try ourselves … by putting our goals and accomplishments alongside what Christ’s written expectations for us are. He wants us to be in Heaven with Him! Let’s prove to ourselves that our lives are actually leading those we love in the right direction … that following us will lead them home, that wonderful place called Heaven, to be with the Lord forever!
“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;” (2 Peter 3:14)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.
PS: Is daily Bible reading a priority in your family?