Summary: Daily examination of our spiritual walk
2 Cor. 13:5
5 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 fail to meet the test!
As Jeremiah lamented over the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, he called for the people to examine themselves and turn back to the Lord
- Lam 3:40-41 40 Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the Lord;
41 jLet us lift our hearts and hands
To God in heaven.
2. In teaching on the proper observance of the Lord's Supper, Paul wrote that it was to be a time for self-examination
- 1Co 11:27-31 Examine Yourself
27 Therefore whoever eats wthis bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and 6blood of the Lord. 28 But xlet a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks 7in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the 8Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many 9sleep. 31 For yif we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
This examination, is an ongoing activity. We must examine ouselves daily,!
There are certain forms of cancer that give evidence of their presence by a lump that can be detected under the skin. For that reason, we often hear the encouragement for self-examination. But most people aren’t able to give themselves a thorough physical exam. We can’t see what’s underneath. We don’t know what to look for. We don’t have the expertise. We don’t know the science and chemistry of the human body and diseases, much less the anatomical terms for body parts or the pharmaceutical terms to treat disease, bacteria, and viruses. We need doctors, specialists, and medical technicians who know the body’s make-up and chemistry, who read x-rays and MRIs and do blood work.
From a medical perspective we can’t examine ourselves. But in spiritual matters the apostle Paul comes right out and tells us in the second lesson for today (from his second letter to the Corinthians) Examine Yourself to see what God did and to see what you can do.
Paul says, “Examine yourselves … test yourselves,” and that sounds scary at first because what if we do a spiritual examination and find bad news?
OK, we all know we’re going to find sin inside, but what if it’s really bad?
What if we finally become honest with ourselves and find thoughts and desires that we would just as soon not want anyone else to know?
What if we have a hard time shutting off cravings or lust or jealousy or greed that are worming around in there every day?
And how about this – Discovering bad stuff is bad enough, but what if the good stuff inside isn’t good enough?
What if we find our faith to be fragile or failing?
What if we begin to doubt that what we were taught is true?
That’s actually the point of this paragraph. In fact, this whole letter which Paul wrote to the Corinthians follows on the heels of his first letter to them. Corinth was his problem congregation
. The folks in that congregation had given in to social and cultural pressure at the expense of Christian principles and relationships with each other.
OK. They started thinking and acting like their neighbors who didn’t give a plug nickel for God. There were factions based on preacher favorites.
They had a case of open sin by one their members which was not being dealt with. Instead of solving petty disputes in Christian love, they hauled each other into court.
The community’s standards regarding marriage were almost non-existent, and that, too, took a toll on the Christians living there. On top of that, they stepped on each other’s sensibilities and created chaos in worship.
Examining ourselves may not be fun at first, but it results in great joy because it leads us to do what Paul encouraged the Corinthians to do.
Looking inside drives us to look outside at what God did for us and planted in us. Because Jesus’ blood covers sin from God’s sight, God looks in our hearts and no longer sees our sin
. Do you know and believe that you are completely forgiven?
Do you know and believe what Jesus did for you?
Do you know and believe you are going to heaven?
Then the words and promises of God worked. Whether you heard those promises from Mom and Dad or from a Sunday school teacher ,or from a pastor or from a friend or from some of the above or all of the above, the proof that what they said was true becomes clear when you examine yourself and realize, “God loves me!”