The Apostle Paul admonishes every believer in Christ to examine and test himself whether he is in the faith. Paul gives us the criteria to base our examination of ourselves. First, examine our knowledge of Jesus Christ in relation to our selves, or examine our identity in Christ who is in us. Second, examine ourselves whether we are disqualified in the faith.
The word “examine” means to inspect closely, to test the condition, to inquire into carefully, to test by questioning in order to determine progress, fitness, or knowledge. The basis of passing or failing the examination or the test of faith is the manifestation of the Word of God in our lives.
Evidently, many believers are able to answer the basic questions regarding Biblical doctrine of Christ and man. Intellectual believers may have outstanding knowledge of the scriptures and the Bible. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, what really matter is the manifestation of the Word of God. The question for the day is, do we live according to what the Word of God requires of us? Does the Word of God have any effect in our lives, or does the Word really works?
A believer who honestly examines himself in the faith is a man of character and integrity. He knows who he is and where he is in the faith. He recognizes his limitations and strengths, he is conscious of his capabilities and weaknesses, he has understanding and insights of the ways of God, and faithful with the Father and the Body of Christ.
As you examine yourself, you learn to appreciate what the Lord has been doing, and also learn not to complain of the difficulties and tests of faith. You understand why things are happening in your life. You are able to adjust your self according to the Word of God. When you examine yourself, you become obedient to Him and humble before Him, and acknowledge the Word of God.
Also, God gives tests of faith to allow believers discover themselves, if they are indeed in the faith and not disqualified. The Bible declares that “The just shall live by faith.” A born again believer continuous to live in obedience to the Word of God. Obedience does not stop after you become a born again believer. With all the practicalities, we may say that there is no such thing as “Once saved, always saved.” Being born again is not as the United States Marine Corps that yells – A Marine is always a marine!
However, it appears that those who are born in the spirit, their volition remain s functional and intact. Although, a person is born in the spirit, he remains capable to make decisions at any given moment. Though he claims being born again, he has the ability to turn around and deny living in faith, or choose to become a child of the devil if he wills. The real culprit here is sin. Sin separates us from God. If you willfully continue to live in sin, you will reap the fruit of sin – and that is spiritual death.
The Gospel tells us that during His earthly walk, many followed Jesus for awhile but then turned their back to Him because they were offended by His teachings. It was sad. It proves that even they had seen and heard the Son of God they were able to make decisions to leave Him. They were joyful at first when they accepted the Lord Jesus in their hearts, but when the test of faith came, they disqualified themselves.
It is possible that a farmer may change his mind and uproots the seeds he planted in his farm if indeed he will choose to do so. But who will do such senseless act? Only a fool returns to his vomits; however, it can happen to anyone. The doctrine of once saved always saved is a matter of personal honesty to oneself. The question really is – Are you genuinely born in the spirit? John wrote in his epistle that whosoever is born in the spirit does not continue in sin. A born again heart leaves his old life in the grave. He is resurrected with the newness of life, the life of God in Christ.
A believer who claims mature in the Lord must think twice. He must examine himself in the light of faith, because everything that is not of faith is sin. One of the many blunders of the believers is they sacrificially spend too much time working hard in the ministry, believing that they are pleasing the Lord. But the Bible says our faith and not our works pleases God. God does not need our sacrificial offerings but obedience to His will.
Are you in the faith? Are you in the will of God? Are you performing the roll God wants you to do in the Body of Christ? Or, are you forcing your square peg, thrusting it through a round hole. It would only cost you hardships, futile efforts and waste of time. Ask yourself if you are qualified to perform the roll in the kingdom of God; otherwise, you will become a great stumbling block that may hinder the progress of other believers around you.
The Apostle Paul challenges the believers to examine their faith and be honest regarding their relationship with the Lord. Paul asked, “Do you know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” Many of the believers have no clue or have no idea of what Paul is talking about. Because of lack of teaching of the Word, ignorance and lack of understanding of the ways of God is rampant within many Christian circles. And who is responsible for the ignorance of the believers? Those who are supposed to feed the flocks with the unadulterated and sincere milk of the Word. However, they feed them with bunch of stories, stories of their lives that happened over the past week.
Examine yourself. Do you know who you are? Believers must not be ignorant of who they are and what they have in Christ. The devil did a very good job on duping the world by inventing false belief system through religions. The devil has molded the world according to lies and deceptions by twisting and perverting the Word of God. The Bible calls the devil the god of this world.
Paul’s epistles disclose our rights and privileges as believers. Paul repeatedly mentioned that he prayed many hours that the eyes of our understanding may see the things of the spirit; that we may receive the things that are freely given to us in Christ. Paul’s epistles unveil the true nature of the body of Christ. The church is an invincible group of believers. They are far better than the nation of Israel during the Old Testament times. As a matter of fact, there is no comparison. The believers in Christ are world overcomers. Their enemy is under their feet.
Paul’s epistles declare that there is no sin, sickness, and poverty in the lives of every believer who are in Christ. You may challenge this truth, but the resurrection of Christ settles the issue. If Christ did not rise from the dead then our faith is futile. The resurrection of Christ is our ultimate victory over sin, sickness, and poverty.
Every believer possesses the ability of the resurrection power of Christ. Every believer dwells the presence of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Every believer’s physical body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Every believer is complete, nothing lacking in Christ. Every believer is more than a conqueror in Christ. Every believer has the wisdom of God in him through Christ.
If you spend quality time to read and meditate on the epistles of Paul, your faith will leap in bounds and grow in robust and strong in the Lord.