Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. 2 Corinthians 13:5
Please read and/or listen to 2 Corinthians 13:5-14 today. Paul begins this section by challenging the Corinthians to examine themselves. They have been examining him, but now it was time for them to look inside themselves. It is much easier to examine others than it is to examine ourselves, isn’t it? But Paul has carefully and lovingly guided them throughout the letter to be at a point where they should be ready to look inside themselves. What are they to look for? Paul was all about the mission of testifying to the gospel of grace. He was about the body of Christ living rightly. He was about the people of Jesus being in the faith. What does it mean to be “in the faith”? This is not just the idea of trusting in Christ—it is deeper. It is to have given oneself over to a way of living based upon truth. It is not just a matter of doctrine; it is also conformity to the teachings Christ. It is not so much that Paul doubts their salvation or that they will fail the test, as it is their need to examine whether their actions really portray what is true of them as people of the faith. Self-examination, when done in the careful and loving hands of a holy and just God, will not allow a child of God to stay in sin. It will reveal the places that need repentance and will draw the child of God closer to him. It was time for the believers in Corinth to start acting like it—those who had not yet repented needed to do so. They needed to see that their choice to live in ways that did not reveal the faith was impacting the body of Christ negatively and keeping the church from fulfilling its mission. Take time today, in the loving arms of God, to examine yourself and see what is going on in you! Are you in the faith or are there areas where you have gotten sideways?