How do you examine yourself?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by steaver, Mar 17, 2009.

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  1. steaver

    steaver
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    From the scripture 2 Corinthians 13:5;

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

    This is a good question that everyone should ask themselves. What the question boils down to is an examination of whether or not you are saved. Jesus Christ in you is salvation.

    When I examined myself to see if Jesus Christ was in me I went through a list of possible questions and answers.

    1) Do I believe in God? Yes, but so do the devils and they are lost.
    2) Can I show I love God? Yes, but so can the lost.
    3) Can I show I love others? Yes, but so can the lost.
    4) Can I obey God's commandments? Yes, not perfectly, but so can the lost, and some of them probably more perfectly than I. No one is perfect though.
    5) Am I sinless? No, but no one can be sinless but God.
    6) Do I have good works? Yes, but so do the lost.
    7) Do I have bad works? Yes, but so do the lost. We all have good and bad.
    8) Do I believe in Jesus Christ? Yes, but the question is "how do I know He is in me?" Many people say they believe in Jesus Christ, are all saved? I don't think so.

    So I searched the scriptures to answer this question. How do I know that Jesus Christ is in me? I don't want to be a reprobate! Can I learn this from the scriptures? Can I learn this without the scriptures?

    Well, the scriptures is what God has given us to explain things such as these. Only God's word can answer this question for us.

    I found this passage of scripture;

    "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" Ro 8.

    The question can only be answered on a personal case by case bases and I cannot explain to a lost person why I know Jesus Christ is in me. A fellow saved person will know what I know, how Jesus Christ is in them by the Spirit God gives to His children. Lost people cannot understand unless they receive it as well.

    "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." John 3

    I cannot know with absolute asurance that Jesus Christ is in any one of you, I can have a pretty good idea if I get to know you personally, but only God can judge the heart. As we all know, even satan can be transformed into an angel of light. I can however know with an absolute assurance that Jesus Christ is in me.

    The scripture does not in and of itself prove one is born of God just by reading it, however scripture testifies in agreement with the Spirit of Jesus Christ within me that I may and can know that Jesus Christ is in me and know His good will for my life.

    So I find only one way to know how that Jesus Christ is in me. That is by the Spirit that God has given me and the scripture testifies that this is truth. Ro 8, John 3.

    :godisgood:
     
  2. Gup20

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    1 John is a good place to start. It talks about those who are truly saved will be filled with love, and will not continue in sin.

    Matthew 7 says you will know a believer by their fruit.

    Mark 16 also talks about the power of God being signs of those who believe.
     
  3. Agnus_Dei

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    As I prepare for confession I will often use the "passions" to self examine like:

    Pride - Putting self in place of God as the center and objective of our life
    Presumption - depending on self rather than on God.
    Impenitence - Refusal to search out and face up to our sin or to confess them before God.
    Vanity, Arrogance, Anger, Resentment, Envy, Retaliation, Contempt...to name a few

    I also use the 10 Commandments as a self examining tool like:
    You shall not steal.
    Have I taken anything that was not mine from anyone or from anywhere? Have I cheated anyone? Have I caused others to steal or cheat? Have I tried to find the owners of lost things I have found? Have I damaged or destroyed anything that belonged to another? Have I defrauded anyone of rightful wages? Have I paid my debts? Have I given to the poor and to philanthropic causes in proportion to my means?​
    You shall not bear false witness.
    Have I given false testimony against anyone? Have I spoken evil, told lies or spread rumors about anyone? Have I disclosed to anyone the sins and faults of another? Have I made careless statements or done anything else to harm the name and reputation of another? Have I engaged in idle gossip?​
    Also the Beatitudes can be used as a self examining tool, like:
    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
    Have I tried to serve or rather to dominate others at home, school, work, office, Church and elsewhere? Have I nursed against anyone? Have I been resentful, bitter, unforgiving or insulting and abusive to others? Have I loved my enemies?​
    Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
    Have I shown compassion and help toward the poor, hungry, lonely and needy around me? Have I tried to understand and forgive others? Have I been indifferent judgmental or legalistic?​

    In XC
    -
     
  4. steaver

    steaver
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    The question is, how do you examine yourself to know if Jesus Christ is in you?

    Are you then saying that you examine yourself to see if you are filled with love? Define filled.

    Are you saying that you examine yourself to see if you are bearing good fruit? Define this. One apple, a bushel, truck load, hourly, daily, weekly, yearly?

    Define power of God.

    Can a lost person examine themselves and find good fruit and lots of love and declare Jesus Christ must be in them?

    :godisgood:
     
  5. Marcia

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    Re Matthew 7 and knowing a Christian by their fruit, that passage is actually about recognizing a false prophet, and in that case, the fruit is his teachings. You examine his teachings to see if they are true or false.

    In Galatians, it talks about "the fruit of the Spirit" - peace, love, joy, gentleness, etc. This is different from what "fruit" is in Matthew 7.

    In 2 Cor. 13, Paul is reprimanding the Corinthians. I do no tknow that this is a general directive to all believers. In reading the Bible, we always have to look and see to whom something is said and why. It is not always to us.

    I am not saying we should not examine ourselves, but this seems to be a reprimand due to specific behavior of the Corinthian church.

    In 12.20-21, he writes:
    For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;
    I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me
    before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.

    So be careful and make sure you are not doing these things (test yourselves) when I come again, is what I think he's saying.
     
  6. Gup20

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    1Jo 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    1Jo 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
    6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

    Examining ourselves is simply a way of taking notice of our own actions. Here, John says that - while we are all sinners, those who are truly saved will want to follow God's commandments. Like a person who is living ought to breathe, a person who is saved ought to love, and ought to walk as Jesus walked.

    Power is the ability to do work. Authority is the right to control power.

    Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

    Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

    Jhn 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

    Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    1Cr 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
    2 And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
    3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

    I think it is clear by these verses that we must KNOW God. We must have a personal relationship with him. If we know him and love him, all of the power of God will naturally flow from that relationship. Clearly, there is power in Jesus' name... so that even those who are not saved can perform mighty works in his name. But performing mighty works in his name is simply not enough... as both Matthew 7 and 1 Corinthians 13 say clearly. It isn't a formula. It cannot be quantified or measured. Like a relationship - Lets say you fall in love with your spouse... how do you know you are in love? Well... most would answer subjectively "I just know". How do you know when you know God? Well... similarly, you'll just know. But the Bible does say the power and love of God flow out of the heart of those who know him as a sign of that relationship. It can be a marker, or proof, but these outward symbols are evidences of the inward relationship. You cannot produce the inward relationship by striving to perform the outward symbols.
     
  7. steaver

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    Wait a minute though. The thread is specifically addressing 2 Corinthians 13:5.

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

    Paul explicitly says "Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus CHrist is in you"

    The examine is "is Jesus Christ in you"? How do you know if Jesus Christ is in you? How would you examine yourself and know? We are not examining someone else, how do you know Jesus Christ is in you? Good works, no sinning?

    If it is a "natural flow" then why does much of the scripture tell us how we ought to behave? We would not need to be taught, it would come naturally. Apparently these Corinthians were sinning like the devil and Paul said he had doubts about them. Doubts about what? Their salvation? Paul told them to examine themselves to see if Jesus Christ was in them.

    :wavey:
     
  8. steaver

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    I say the lesson is for all Christians. These Corinthian Christians were sinning like the devil. Paul calls for an examination, know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you?

    HOw do you know Jesus Christ is in you Marcia? Good works, no sinning? Do these things, if you do them, prove to yourself Christ is in you?

    :jesus:
     
  9. Steven2006

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    Phl 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.

    I just thought I would add this verse. It is good for us to have Godly examples in our lives. Not a direct answer to the question, but I think it relates we are not islands.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    Here is what I look at personally.
    How have I changed since I received Christ?


    I can't get enough of God's word.
    I feel horrible when I sin. (And I do sin.)
    I seek God daily, even moment by moment.
    I love to go to church.
    I want to please God.
    I hate sin.
    When I fall (sin) I immediately seek God's forgiveness.
    I pray to God.
    I trust God.
    I put my life in God's hand.
    I am thankful for all that God gives me.
    I realize that all good things come from God and not me.
    I depend on His protection from the devil.
    I trust Him to keep me saved.
    I realize that I am a sinner not worthy of God's grace and mercy.
    I love others.

    I could go on, but I guess you get the picture. :)

    Before I received Christ, I couldn't care less about these things. The only thing I knew at that time was that I was surely headed for hell.
     
  11. Thinkingstuff

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    I think of all my thought, and actions, and motivations recently. And I read Scriptures and see where I stand in light of them. Often I'm lead to repentance and inspired to try again. I pray to the Lord and see if the Holy Spirit will inform me of area's I don't see. Sometimes I ask my wife or kids or a close friend to tell me what they see and I ask God to forgive me and to help me be better. Its pretty simple actually.
     
  12. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    From DHK’s comment on another thread, I got the impression that he believed that examination was only for those alive subsequent to the rapture. Is 2Cor 13:5 only for the admonition of those after the rapture DHK? If so, what evidence is there for such a conclusion?
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    The point of examination in the passage mentioned was to ‘see if one is of the faith.’ It was simply not an examination of how well one was doing ‘in’ the faith, but whether or not one is even ‘of’ the faith, was it not?

    By the way, I think the things you mentioned were excellent to engage in. :thumbs:

    My question is, do they establish whether you are of the faith or not? If not, further examination must be needed to complete the examination the passage is speaking of, would you not agree?
     
  14. Gup20

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    I think 2 Cor 13:5 is being misinterpreted and misused here. Paul isn't questioning their faith and telling them to check themselves to make sure they are saved. He is responding to the Corinthians reqeuest that Paul be examined to see that what he was preaching was the word of God. Paul was responding that they should examine themselves to see what affect the Word Paul was preaching to them had made. He was basically saying "look at the affect my teaching has had in your own life, and judge for yourselves if it was of God".
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

    HP: I think the verse needs to be reposted before we get completely sidetracked. :thumbs:
     
  16. Gup20

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    Can you post verses 3-8? I am on my iPhone which won't have the capability of copy+paste till this summer's 3.0 update.
     
  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    2Co 13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
    4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
    5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
    6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
    7 ¶ Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
    8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
     
  18. billwald

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    >"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" Ro 8.

    Mormons would agree with this and most other verses listed in this thread.
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: And? What does this prove?
     
  20. steaver

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    I agree! Hey, where did that come from? :tongue3:
     
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