Summary: Christ told us to examine ourselves. We must take an examination that questions if our souls are in line with the Word of a Holy God, the Works of the Holy Ghost, and the Works of the Heavenly Grace. Finally, are your steps in line with God's steps?
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
We try to teach our kids and grandkids what is right and what is wrong. Yet, there are many times we question before we take action whether or not we are about to do what is right or if we are about to do everything wrong. Then after we have done things, we question whether we did the right thing or the wrong thing. We all do this!
So then we start making our decisions about what is right and what is wrong based on the following:
1. Feelings - Does this feel right? There has been a lot of people base their decisions and actions on feelings, but the trouble is feelings will fluctuate. Do not always trust your feelings!
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
2. Friends - There has been a lot of people who have based their decisions and actions on a friend’s advice, but the trouble is friends will fail. Do not always trust your friends!
3. Facts – True facts are fixed, final, and forever, but sometimes facts will hinder your faith.
Example: What if Moses had never trusted the Lord enough to lift the rod at the Red Sea? Do not let facts hinder your faith. Do not always trust what is being presented as facts!
So what can I do preacher about knowing if my steps are right or wrong? Take this examination!
1. Will this defile the temple of God?
I Corinthians 3:16-17 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
(Defile means to corrupt, and we should not corrupt our temple outside or inside.)
2. Can you do this knowing that the Holy Ghost lives inside you?
I Corinthians 6:19 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
(Let the Holy Ghost guide you. We must get a strong sense for knowing the difference between the Holy Ghost and our feelings.)
3. Can you do this knowing that you belong to God?
I Corinthians 6:20 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
(Can you take God with you to this place and can God be pleased with your actions in this place?)
4. Will this cause a weaker Christian to stumble?
I Corinthians 8:9-12 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
(Most of us are more worried about offending a sinner by not following along than hindering a brother.)
5. Does this glorify God?
I Corinthians 10:31 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
6. Would you want to be caught doing this when the Lord comes?
7. How will you feel facing this, and the consequence of it, at the judgment seat of Christ?
II Corinthians 5:10 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
8. Would Christian people who I have confidence in as being close to God participate in this action?
By no means am I perfect, and I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. However, I have taken this examination many times in my life . . . sometimes before my actions, and sometimes after my actions.
Sometimes I have passed this examination. Other times I have failed this examination, but in those times it has driven me to repentance and to getting forgiveness of God.
We often hear preaching that tells us what is right and what is wrong, and we need that. However, I can help you more if I teach you why it is right and why it is wrong. I can help you more if I can teach you how to make good decision and how to tell if what you are doing is right or wrong.