Summary: There are all kinds of reasons for giving tests or taking examinations. The main reason is to collect data or to make an assessment on what is or isn’t known. The Bible is not excluded from the practice of examinations.
Will You Pass The Test?
2 Corinthians 13.5 – 7
July 20, 2001
KJV - 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? 6. But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. 7. Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
Living Bible - 5. Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren’t at all? 6. I hope you can agree that I have stood that test and truly belong to the Lord. 7. I pray that you will live good lives, not because that will be a feather in our caps, proving that what we teach is right; no, for we want you to do right even if we ourselves are despised.
One of the most memorable and fearful times that I remember when I attended middle school some twenty-three years ago was the day when I walked into my history class, sat down, and heard those infamous words:
“Clear your desk, take out a sheet of paper, and a number two pencil. There will be a test today.”
I remember the fear and anxiety that it caused me because I was quite sure how well I was going to do because I didn’t do well taking tests.
I faced algebra tests in the ninth grade, English composition tests in the tenth grade, human anatomy tests in the eleventh grade, and American history tests in the twelfth grade.
There were final exams throughout school, Act’s and scholastic aptitude tests or SAT’S.
Everywhere you turn there is a test or examination to take for some reason or another. There are college placement tests. The military entrance examination is the ASFAB test.
To drive you have to take a drivers test, on paper and on the road. In the physical arena there are physical exams.
There’s the blood test, stress test, skin test and internal dye test. What about eye exams, dental exams, hearing test, and the pregnancy test?
You can have psychological examinations and emotional examinations. And without a doubt you are probably thinking about a whole lot more that I have missed along the way.
There are all kinds of reasons for giving tests or taking examinations. The main reason is to collect data or to make an assessment on what is or isn’t known.
The Bible is not excluded from the practice of examinations. They go beyond the physical, psychological, or emotional, as it’s core but the spiritual.
The Psalmist reflects on how God gave a test to examin his heart;
Psalm 17:3 You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
The Psalmist in Psalms 26 asks the Lord to examine him;
Psalm 26:1 –2 Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. 2Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
What about Psalm 139:23-24;
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Jeremiah joins the bandwagon when he exhorted Israel to take an exam;
Lamentations 3:40 Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the LORD; 41Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.
Paul encouraged the Corinthian believers to examine themselves when it came to the Lord’s supper;
1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
Paul also exhorted the Galatians to take an exam on the their work in the Lord;
Galatians 6:4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself
alone, and not in another.
There is a balance in the Scriptures for both God examination and self-examination. Paul is exhorting the Corinthians to do some self-examination in our text this morning.
This was one of the most difficult letters that Paul had to write because it was one he had to write validating his apostleship.
After all the labor, sacrifices, and suffering he endured among them they would question his authority he had in Christ.