Self Examination

The purpose of school is to teach you things you need to know in life.  When you started out, your teachers taught you how to read and write and how to do math.  The further in school that you went, the subjects became more complex and perhaps more difficult.  Frequently, the teacher would test you to see how much you knew.  The purpose of a test was to make sure you understood the subject and that you were ready to progress further.  At the end of a class, the teacher might give you a final examination that covered all of the material in the class.  Sometimes, your successful completion of the final exam would determine if you passed or failed the class.

Can you see that your final judgement before God is similar to a final exam in school.  Will you pass or will you fail God’s final exam?  2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 

We have the story of the Israelites that left Egypt.  Did they pass their test?  We read in the writings of Moses how the Israelites were delivered from bondage as slaves in Egypt.  Through Moses, God performed many miracles in the plagues He brought upon the Egyptians.  He even parted the sea and allowed the Israelites to walk through on dry land to escape Pharaoh and his army.  1 Corinthians 10:1-13 “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.  Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.  And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.’   Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.  Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.  Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”  The Israelites were saved from their slavery in Egypt, but when they went into the wilderness, they failed the test.  Most of them died in the wilderness and they did not enter the Promised Land because of their disobedience.  The apostle Paul addressed Christians when he stated: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 

We also have the example of Esau.  Hebrews 12:15-17 “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.  For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”  Esau was the first born and should have received the inheritance from his father.  But he sold his birthright because he didn’t place great value on it.  He too failed the test and did not receive the inheritance.  The writer of Hebrews addressed Christians when he said “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God.”

In school, one way to assure yourself that you knew the material you were being taught was to test yourself before the final exam.  The same holds true with your spiritual life.  2 Corinthians 13:5-6 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified.  But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.”  You can examine your own life and actions to see if you truly are in the faith.  You can test yourself.  Is there sufficient evidence that Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are in you by the fruit that you bear?  You do not want to be disqualified.

You have been given exceedingly great and precious promises, to include eternal life with God.  You do not want to fail your final exam before God.  The apostle Peter tells you how to make sure you pass your final test.  2 Peter 1:4-11 “By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.  Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  You can make your calling and election sure.  You can ensure that you pass your final exam.  How?  The way is to make these things yours (faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love) and have them abound in your life.

My encouragement to you is to examine yourself as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourself.   Be diligent to make your call and election sure.