Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (ESV 2 Cor 13:5)
When I had to take tests in school, they always brought about tension. As the day of testing approached, I studied in preparation. If I didn’t know what to study, I grew anxious. Sometimes, if I felt underprepared, I stayed up all night before the test in order to squeeze every bit of available time to prepare. Paul writes to the Corinthian church about a very important test. In fact, this test is much more important than any test you will take in school. You should have even greater concern for this test than those you will face in school. At the same time, this test is not one that we “cram” to prepare for. It is not a test of knowledge, but of faith. The Corinthian church had some improper things going on among the people. Paul lists those things in earlier chapters of his letters to this church. Those improper things left question marks as to whether or not their faith was real. Real faith leads to true repentance over sin, and a sincere desire to live a godly life. This is the test. It is to look at your life and ask, “What do I most like doing? Does this reflect an idol or is it a godly pursuit? Do I love my brothers and sisters in the Lord?” These are not conditions of being a Christian, but they are fruit of being a Christian. What makes you a Christian is the work of Christ which is applied to you through a sincere faith. Faith, when lived out bears real fruit, and this fruit is something we can observe about our lives as we “test ourselves.”
How do you do in your test? How do you know?
Ask God to give you a sincere love for the Lord above all things.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 2 Sa 20, 2 Co 13, Ez 27, Ps 11-12