Reasons for Spiritual Self Examinations #2
In the first article I have introduced the title and stated that when people do not know the reason to do something they shall not want to do it, except they know, see, and be convinced of the reason to do the thing. I continued by stating to us that the apostle does not ask that anyone does the examining for us, but he places the onus on each person to do the test, just as medical personnel would counsel women that they need to personally examine their breasts daily and if they noticed any strange thing they should let them medical personnel know before it goes out of hand.
Before things get out of hand for a believer, he or she also needs to examine himself to be sure of his position with his heavenly father. Children always examine themselves before getting to their parents to know that they are doing what their parents want them to be doing and when they know that they are doing what they wanted they will exercise no fear in talking to their parents of what they wanted which shall be granted to them, either immediately, sometimes later or in the future depending on the capability of those parents.
In the article we shall continue here to know how believers can examine themselves.
B) How to Examine Ourselves
We are to examine ourselves in all the things that make up our daily living.
(i) In Our Utterances: We are to examine ourselves in our speeches. Our speeches as believers must not be the kind that would be full of obscene languages, but it should be the kind that will be full of edifying words.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Eph 4:29)
(ii) In Our Relationships: We should examine ourselves in the kind of relationships that we keep. One of the means where people easily miss it is through the relationship they keep. There is a proverb in this part of the world that says that “a sheep that relates (walks) with dog would eat feces”. This proverb is put in this succinct way by apostle Paul as evil communication or association corrupts good manners.
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1 Cor 15:33)
(iii) In Our Disposition to Word of God: We need to examine what our dispositions to the word of God is. Are we among those people who will carve preachers for themselves because they do not want to hear the sound word of the gospel again?
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
“And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim 4:3-4)
(iv) In What We Value: Those things that we place emphasis on is important. When we value the things of the world more than the things of God there would be problems. That was what happened to that rich man, in the story Jesus shared in Luke 16:19-31. The man valued the things of the world more than salvation.
(v) In What We Pursue: If our pursue is centered on the things of the world alone, there would be problem, therefore we are encouraged to put our treasures in heaven where robbers cannot get to. And the apostle says we should set our hearts on things above.
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col 3:2)
After examining ourselves in these things and more, as contained in the definition, we need to award ourselves mark.
C) Award Yourself Mark
When a student does a test, the teacher would award mark to the student. In some cases where there is a book that has objective questions and answers, when a student finishes the test, he would mark it with the supplied answers.
Having examine ourselves in some areas as stated above, we need to award ourselves marks. In awarding ourselves marks, we shall resort to the Living Bible and see what it says concerning what we have done, are doing or about to do. When we check the scriptures, then we shall know whether we have erred, or we are on course. The more we read the scriptures, the more we see answers to what we are doing and would be able to know whether we have over bloated the marks we allotted to ourselves or not.
D) Reason for Doing This Is Ascertaining Whether We are Yet in Faith
The apostle in this epistle shows the brethren the reason why they should do what he has said.
“examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;…” (2 Cor 13:5a)
The brethren in Galatia were said to have deviated from the faith.
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
“Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
“As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal 1:6-9)
It is because the brethren at Galatia failed to examine themselves, therefore, others who have been looking at them and their actions could state clearly that they have been “removed from him that called you (them) into the grace of Christ unto another gospel”. Therefore, the apostle admonishes us to examine ourselves so that we shall know our status whether we are still loved by God, or whether we have deviated from the course.
Wrapping this up,
we need to examine ourselves every time to know the heart of God for us, and to know our position in the Lord Jesus, to know whether we are still in his grace or we are out of his grace.
© 2020 OLUSEGUN