December 26, 2017
2 Corinthians 13:5
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test!
Spiritual Check-Up Time!
OTHER TRANSLATIONS & PARAPHRASES 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NRSV) Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test! 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NCV) Look closely at yourselves. Test yourselves to see if you are living in the faith. You know that Jesus Christ is in you--unless you fail the test. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (CEV) Test yourselves and find out if you really are true to your faith. If you pass the test, you will discover that Christ is living in you. But if Christ isn't living in you, you have failed. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (EAV) Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you - unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected? 2 Corinthians 13:5 (TLB) Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ's presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren't at all? CROSS REFERENCES Lamentations 3:40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. WORD CLARIFICATION A true Christian has Christ in him. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] If a person is not indwelt by Jesus Christ, he or she is not a Christian. [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary] The word "reprobate" means "counterfeit." [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] APPLICATION COMMENTARIES Just as we get physical check-ups, Paul urges us to give ourselves spiritual checkups. We should look for a growing awareness of Christ's presence and power in our lives. Only then will we know if we are true Christians or merely imposters. If we're not taking active steps to grow closer to God, we are drawing further away from him. [Life Application SB] What distinguishes true believers from false believers? The test is internal and cannot be standardized to evaluate others. Each one must inspect his or her own heart to see what motivates personal behavior. No one else can evaluate the results. Those who discover they are motivated by Christ living within are true believers. Those who find they are motivated by selfish desires are false believers. [Quest SB] Let every soul carefully consider his condition, and inquire, What is my state before God? Let him examine closely what kind of material he is bringing into his character-building. Is it that which can be compared to solid timbers, or that which can only be likened to that which is rotten and worm-eaten? We are charged in the word of God to "keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." The unconverted heart is the habitation of the evil one, and it is filled with unholy thoughts, with evil surmisings, envy, jealousy, falsehood, and uncontrolled passions, with strife and confusion and every evil work. Let each one search diligently, and inquire, Is my heart free from all these? Let each one closely examine himself to see whether he is in the faith, whether the truth which he professes to believe has been kept in the outer court, or brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, that he may be sanctified thereby. The whole heart must be entered and purified by the searching Spirit of God. Jesus will not abide in the soul where pride exists; and if we desire his presence, the soul temple must be cleansed of all evil occupants. If the door of the heart is open to Jesus, he will come in, and his presence will expel every unholy thought, and by faith we may hold sweet communion with God. If Jesus abides in the heart, we shall glorify him in our lives; for the Christian is to let his light shine forth to the world in good works. PH152 30.1 The best way to prove our piety is to subject it to actual trial in the various duties and responsibilites of life. A man who wishes to prove an axe to see whether it is good or not, does not sit down and look at it, or read all the treatises which he can find on axe-making, and on the properties of iron and steel, valuable as such information would be; but he shoulders his axe and goes into the woods, and puts it to the trial there. If it cuts well; if it does not break; if it is not soon made dull, he understands the quality of his axe better than he could in any other way. So if a man wishes to know what his religion is worth, let him try it in the places where religion is of any value. Let him go into the world with it. Let him go and try to do good; to endure affliction in a proper manner; to combat the errors and follies of life; to admonish sinners of the error of their ways; and to urge forward the great work of the conversion of the world, and he will soon see there what his religion is worth-- as easily as a man can test the qualities of an axe. Let him not merely sit down and think, and compare himself with the Bible and look at his own heart-- valuable as this may be in many respects-- but let him treat his religion as he would anything else-- let him subject it to actual experiment. That religion which will enable a man to imitate the example of Paul or Howard, or the great Master himself, in doing good, is genuine. That religion which will enable a man to endure persecution for the name of Jesus; to bear calamity without complaining; to submit to a long series of disappointments and distresses for Christ's sake, is genuine. That religion which will prompt a man unceasingly to a life of prayer and self-denial; which will make him ever conscientious, industrious, and honest; which will enable him to warn sinners of the errors of their ways, and which will dispose him to seek the friendship of Christians, and the salvation of the world, is pure and genuine. That will answer the purpose. It is like the good axe with which a man can chop all day long, in which there is no flaw, and which does not get dull, and which answers all the purposes of an axe. Any other religion than this is worthless. (Barnes' Notes) APPLICATION EXERCISES Check-mark the items that are true of your relationship with God. 1. I understand God better now than when I first stated learning about Him. 2. I genuinely enjoy being involved in activities related to my faith. 3. God helps me love and care for people. 4. My relationships are better as a result of my faith in God. 5. I understand Scripture better than I used to. 6. I ask God to help me solve problems. 7. My friends and family know I'm a Christian. 8. I take time each day to pray. 9. I know God loves me. 10. I ask God to forgive me when I do something wrong. 11. I am honest with God about my feelings. 12. I tell people about Jesus. 13. My relationship with God deeply influences my actions. Now rate yourself: 6-13; Your faith is definitely growing. You are experiencing the type of growth described in Act.19:1-7. 3 - 5; Be careful that your faith is not stagnating. Read the items you didn't checkmark, and begin building those things into your life. Be encouraged by Act.19:1-7. 0 - 2; Your faith is wilting. Water it with the Word of God and get involved with other Christians soon - before your faith withers. Be challenged by Act.19:1-7. [Youth SB; p.1128] You know you are growing in your relationship with Christ when: * You are becoming increasingly aware of your sinfulness and weaknesses. * Your response to sin is quick and followed by genuine repentance. * Your spiritual battles are becoming more fierce and yet you still rejoice. * You begin to see trials and temptations as opportunities for growth. Your first response should be, "Lord, what are you trying to teach me?" * You view service to Him as an honor and not a burden. * You view everything as coming from God. He is sovereign, so He either brought it or allowed it. * You sense your faith growing stronger. It takes more to ruffle you. * You desire to spend more time in praise and worship. You're in love with the Lord and want to show it. * Your desire to obey Him becomes more intense and sin becomes less attractive. Read John 14:21. * You are eager to share with others what Christ is doing in your life. * You experience more awareness of His presence at all times, not just in places like at church on Sabbath. * You jealously guard your quiet times of prayer and Bible study. * You prefer to spend time with Him above all others. The more time you spend with Him, the more you become like Him. [source unknown] CLOSING THOUGHT Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]