A Matter Of Personal Examination

2 Corinthians 13:5

††††††††††† It is neither my prerogative nor my desire to examine anyone. I do not have the ability to do so. Neither do you. We have no ability to distinguish wheat from tares, sheep from goats, and believers from unbelievers. That is why our Lord strictly prohibits us from doing so (Matt. 13:30). Man judges man by the outward appearance of things. We cannot look upon one anotherís hearts. If we ever learn that fact, we will be more gentle, more kind, and more patient with one another.

††††††††††† Yet, we must never imagine that examination is wrong. We must each examine ourselves continually, lest we be deceived. "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?" The point of examination is just this - ďWhether ye be in the faith.Ē Here are some questions by which I try to examine myself.

††††††††††† Is Jesus Christ in me? If Christ is in me, then I am in him. Salvation is not Christ upon our lips, but Christ in our hearts. It is Christ in you, living and reigning in you as your Lord and Savior, which is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).

††††††††††† Is he at the root of my joys? What does it take to make me happy? Do I find my happiness in the work, will, and worship of Christ or in the things of the world? Am I most at home in the Lordís house, among his people, or somewhere else, among the children of the devil? (Ps. 43:4). Followers of Christ are like their Master, delighting to do Godís will (Ps. 40:6-7).

††††††††††† Is Jesus Christ King upon the throne of my heart? If the Son of God is my Savior, he is also my Lord. Faith in Christ is giving up the rule of your life to him (Matt. 16:25). If I belong to Christ, I give up and lose my life to him willingly.

††††††††††† Is his presence in me manifest in my spirit, attitude, words, and actions? Believers love one another. Our love for one another is far from perfect; but it is constant and is manifest to those who benefit from it (1 John 3:14).

††††††††††† Is Christ before me as the goal of my life, the hope of my soul, the end of my journey, the prize of heaven toward whom I am pressing? If my faith in Christ is genuine, if I am born of God, then Christ is what I desire and seek (Ps. 17:15; 27:4; Phil. 3:7-14); my heartís great ambition is to be like him and with him forever.

Don Fortner