Examine Yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5)

2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV)

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!


            I have heard on numerous occasions that a Christian ought never question his or her salvation. I have heard speakers and evangelists counsel people to mark down the date of their praying a prayer, and to never allow anyone to cause them to further question whether or not they would go to heaven if they were to die. However, this counsel is not the counsel of Scripture.


            As Paul wraps up the letter of 2 Corinthians, he warns the church that he is coming to them for a third visit. He knows that there are people in Corinth who are living sinfully and opposing the gospel that Paul first preached in Corinth. Some of these people are trying to say that it does not matter what Paul says, since other teachers are more flashy. Obviously these guys are better teachers than Paul, because they charge enormous speaker’s fees.


            Paul tells the people to think hard about themselves to see whether they are really in the faith. Paul challenges them to due diligence in looking at their own lives. Is Christ there? Are they truly forgiven? Or have they merely given in to a religious moment.


            I would encourage any Christian to be sure of his or her salvation. I believe that assurance of salvation is important. However, assurance is not something that we take for granted and then never examine ourselves again. We should be able to look at our lives and see that there is a difference in who we are now and who we used to be. We should see in our lives that we have a continuing trust in Jesus. If all we have is a memory of a prayer prayed years ago, we ought not stand with great confidence. We should instead look to our hearts right now. Is Jesus Christ our only hope for our souls for all eternity? Are we seeking to honor him in our lives? Of course we will not be perfect, but we must be different.