II Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: 3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. 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?
Paul called the people in the Corinthian church “brethren.” When you come to this chapter it reads like some were not truly saved. It happens. People think they’re saved when in reality they are not. To be truly saved one must allow Christ to be his/her Savior. Matthew 12:33 and 35 says a saved person is known by his/her fruits–good or evil. In the church at Corinth all sorts of deplorable activities not pleasing to God were going on. Paul wrote instructing the people how to act; no wonder he told them to examine themselves.
At times we all go to the doctor to be examined. We need to do this for our physical health. We need to let God examine us for our spiritual health. Our salvation is not proved here on Sunday. We come to church to worship. It is at school, at work, in the neighborhood Monday through Friday where we prove our salvation. Verse 5 says examine yourselves. Not your neighbor. Yourselves. What areas can we examine?
Examine the company you keep. Psalms 1 talks about who we hang with. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. King Solomon was doing fine until his association with idolatrous women led his heart away from God. Peter got around the wrong crowd and denied knowing the Lord. Hang around the wrong people too long and you’ll be like them. Examine the company you keep.
Examine your thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 says For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he while Philippians 4:8 tells us what to think about: whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. We’ll be a lot better off when we think on positive things instead of negative ones. You will only draw out what you put in. Think of planting a garden. You only get out of it what you put in it. What goes into your mind is what you think about.
Examine your affections. What do you love? I like ball games. I officiate many types of games. I enjoy it, but I love the house of God more. Do you spend a meager amount of time on the things of God, give a meager amount of money to missions? A carnal (worldly) Christian will do things more pleasing to the flesh than to God. So we must examine our affections in order to be pleasing to the Lord.
Examine your motives. Why are you here today? You ought to be. I’m here because I love the Lord. Paul told us that everything we do should glorify God: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (I Cor 10:31) Examine why you do what you do.
Examine your salvation. Can we know we’re saved? I know I am. Do you know it? Make sure you are saved. The book of First John uses the word “know” 35 times in five short chapters. In 5:13 he said These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. That tells me you can know. Why do people doubt it? (1) They base it too much on feelings and emotions. Feelings don’t stay the same day to day. We must accept what God says. Some have all sorts of emotions during the salvation experience but some show no emotions. If they were truly saved, they’re saved no matter what emotions were or were not shown. (2) Some can’t remember the date they were saved. That’s not what’s important. You may not know the exact date but you must know that it happened at some point in your life. (3) Some doubt because their experience was different from others. A light shone from heaven and the Lord spoke to Paul. Matthew’s experience was simply this: Jesus said “follow me” and Matthew got up and followed him. Both were saved. Each of us are saved because God pricked our heart and we bowed ourselves to him and allowed him to save us from our sins. (4) There is too much emphasis on our works. I battled this. I thought I wasn’t doing enough. We’re not saved by or kept by our good works. God expects good works from those who have been saved but the salvation experience involves faith in Christ. We CANNOT do any good thing to be saved. Jesus Christ already did what was required. He died on the cross for our sins. God accepted that sacrifice. Our faith in Christ is what saves us. (5) People doubt because they’re not familiar with the Bible. The blood secures us; the Word of God assures us. The Bible assures us we’re saved if we have done what that same Bible tells us is required for salvation.
How can we know? If you’re married, you know it. I have a paper that tells me Deb and I are married. God said if we call on the Lord we shall be saved. God can’t lie. The Bible also tells us that loving the brethren is a way to know you’re saved. We also have the witness of the Holy Spirit. Although salvation is not based on emotions, don’t you just love to feel that tug of the Spirit. I called on the name of the Lord. I trusted HIM. Therefore, I KNOW I am saved. We have no promise of another day, but because I’m saved everything is all right. It’s time to examine ourselves.