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
As the new year approaches taking inventory is on the mind of a lot of folks. Merchants understand the importance of knowing what they have and what they need. In other words, they need to know where they stand. Assuming all is well is a big mistake. However, there is another inventory we need to take that is of far greater importance. I’m talking about the need to take an inventory concerning our relationship with God. As Paul says, “Examine yourselves”.
Let’s face it–the chances are good that you don’t like to face the facts regarding your spiritual condition–most of us don’t. However, we need to give this some serious thought. We are commanded to do so. As unpleasant as it is, we need a spiritual check-up, and to do it we must keep some facts in mind. Here’s the facts–
Believers in Christ are known as such by their affection for Him. That is an undeniable fact, clearly set forth in God’s Word. But there is more. Our new affections bring new appetities also. We long for what we love. When we truly love Christ we will have a desire to please Him. This desire is God-given.
The moment we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit enters our heart and proceeds to transform us. He gives us new hungers, new hopes, and noticeable help. He doesn’t just engage us, He empowers us and enables us to do what was previously impossible. We, and others, begin to notice that we are different–we now will to do His will. It was with this in mind that Paul wrote, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”(2 Cor. 5:17)
While we aren’t perfect we are at least headed in the right direction. Salvation doesn’t just affect us in the sweet bye and bye, it affects us in the nasty here and now. As a result of our new nature we have new affections, new appetites, new attitudes, and new actions. It’s not just a matter of us changing, it’s a matter of us being changed. We are different because the Holy Spirit is conforming us to the image of Christ.
Now, here’s the sad thing–many presume they are saved and profess to be saved when there is absolutely no evidence that they are. They either refuse to examine themselves or they deny the unmistakable evidence–believing all will end well, when all the evidence is to the contrary. They are oblivious to the obvious. They are lost and unaware of it. What could be more sad than that?
So, how is it with you? Have you honestly examined yourself in the light of God’s Word? Is there evidence that you have indeed been born again? Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will go to heaven when you die? Can you truly say that you love Christ more than anything and want to please Him in everything? Is your love of Christ evident? Have you examined yourself lately? Will you do so today?