(Second Milers also read – Psalms 31 – 35; Memorize – Isaiah 9:6)
“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? ” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
The Apostle Paul loved the people of Corinth. He had travelled to Corinth on his second missionary journey and had stayed with them for eighteen months, preaching the Word of God. As a result, many were saved and a new church was established. However, after Paul’s departure, the Church at Corinth began to have a lot of problems. As we have read through these two letters to the Corinthian Church we have learned what some of these problems were. This church was a very carnal church. They had problems with morality and idolatry, which Paul rebukes sharply in these letters; but we also discover that this church had a problem receiving preachers and teachers who were false prophets, so much so, that many of the people of Corinth were turning against Paul. Now, this puts a preacher in a difficult position. No spiritual man likes to defend himself because in doing so he feels like he is lifting himself up in a prideful way. Paul very carefully reminds this church of his credentials, and he also reminds them of what he has already done for them.
By the end of 2 Corinthians, Paul makes the statement which seems to explain the root of all of the problems that existed in Corinth. He tells them to examine themselves to see whether they were really saved. I believe many of the people in Corinth were in fact genuine in their faith, but there must also have been many that were perhaps sown in by the devil to cause trouble. By admonishing them this way, he is causing them to carefully look into their lives to see whether or not the Holy Ghost of God is really in them. The bottom line is that the only thing that clearly explains the trouble with the Corinthian Church is that there were many unconverted people within the church, as well as many carnal believers.
How about you? Would you pass the examination? Are you really saved? I will list here a simple three question quiz that you can give yourself in order to verify that you are in fact a child of God:
1 Do you have a testimony? Can you point back to a specific time and place where you remember acknowledging your sin to God and accepting the payment of God’s Son on the cross for it? Is there a time in your life when you asked the Lord to save you? Nobody was born saved. You may have been born to a good home with a godly influence, but there has to be a time in your life when you personally receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior.
2 Has there been a transformation? You may remember a couple of days ago I shared some thought on the subject “What’s New” from 2 Corinthians 5:17. Are you a new creature since you have been saved? Has anything in your life changed? I trusted Christ as my Savior twenty years ago, and my life has never been the same since; and it is still changing, transforming into the image of Christ. Don’t misunderstand, I still have my struggles and flaws, but Christ is chipping away at them as I grow in Him.
3 Can you pass the Bible tests? Here are some of them:
Do you have a better understanding of the Bible? (1 Corinthians 2:14) Now none of us understands everything about the Bible. I am learning new things every day from passages that I have read dozens of times before. God gives me the truths that I need in my life today; but He is teaching me.
Do you have a love for the brethren? The Bible says that people will be able to see that we are disciples by the love we have for each other. (1 John 3:14)
Do you have a desire to obey God’s commandments? (1 John 2:3 – 5) None of us will be perfect, and I suppose we all have particular areas where we really struggle; but how do you feel when you sin. If you can sin without feeling any conviction at all from within, something is seriously wrong. If you are God’s child, the indwelling Holy Spirit of God should be constantly reminding you when you do wrong.
I am not trying to get anybody to doubt there salvation, but I am concerned that there may be many people within our churches that profess to know God, but have not truly been born again. How did you do on the test? Did you pass? Do you have full assurance of your salvation? If not, go to the “Are You Saved?” page on this site, and find out how you can be gloriously saved.
Posted in Thoughts from 2 Corinthians by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.