Examine Yourself – II Corinthians 13:5

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Author, Warren W. Wiersbe wrote about a teenager in a church he pastored, who frequently caused problems. When this teen went to a church youth camp, the leaders agreed to pray for him every day. At one of the meetings, this teen announced he had just gotten saved. Though he had been a member of the church and a participating musician, his profession of Christ had been a counterfeit. Thankfully, he trusted Christ at this camp and went on to serve the Lord faithfully.

The Apostle Paul urged the Corinthians: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be the faith; prove your own selves” (II Corinthians 13:5). While perhaps the most carnal of the churches to which Paul wrote, he never questioned their collective salvation. Instead, he addressed them as “the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” (I Corinthians 1:2). Their outward conduct was certainly not holy or set apart from sin. There was carnality, stunted spiritual growth, a lack of unity, boasting in horrendous immorality, and abuse of the Lord’s Supper. Also, there was a persistent lack of love and a lack of support for those who ministered to them. But since God’s program of grace for today is not a performance system, none of these dreadful descriptions meant that these believers were not truly saved. The Apostle Paul did not make that assumption about any professing believer on the basis of sinful behavior. Christians aren’t perfect, they are just forgiven and in need of daily transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.

Nonetheless, Paul did urge them to “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” One may be exposed to the gospel, regular messages from God’s Word, good Christian influences, even be involved in ministry activity, and not be truly saved. Only the Lord and that individual truly know. Consistently causing problems may be an indication one has only a profession of Christ, but not a possession of salvation. Because eternal punishment is so grave, and eternal life so important, Paul urged each one to be certain they are truly saved. Dear reader, if you only been going through the motions of Christian activity without having genuinely trusting in Christ alone for eternal life, we urge you to do so right now. It is not worth risking eternal punishment by delaying even one more day. Other Christians will rejoice when they learn of your newfound faith in the Savior.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."