“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?”
2 Corinthians 13:5
Suggested Further Reading:
1 Corinthians 11:23-32
“Examine:” that is a scholastic idea.
A boy has been to school a certain time,
and his master puts him through his paces—questions him,
to see whether he has made any progress,—whether he knows anything.
Christian, catechise your heart; question it, to see whether it has been growing in grace; question it, to see if it knows anything of vital godliness or not.
Examine it: pass your heart through a stern examination as to what it does know and what it does not know, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
Again: it is a military idea.
“Examine yourselves,” or renew yourselves.
Go through the rank and file of your actions, and examine all your motives.
Just as the captain on review-day is not content with merely surveying the men from a distance, but must look at all their equipment, so look well to yourselves;
examine yourselves with the most scrupulous care.
And once again, this is a legal idea.
You have seen the witness in the box, when the lawyer has been examining him,
or, as we have it, cross-examining him.
Now, mark: never was there a rogue less trustworthy or more deceitful than your own heart, and as when you are cross-examining a dishonest person—you set traps for him to try and find him out in a lie, so do with your own heart.
Question it backward and forward, this way and that way; for if there be a loophole for escape, if there be any pretence for self-deception, rest assured your treacherous heart will be ready enough to avail itself of it.
And yet once more: this is a traveller’s idea.
I find in the original Greek, it has this meaning:
“Go right through yourselves.”
Is self-examination a foreign concept to you?
It should be done as least as regularly as we observe the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:28);
God is able to assist us in our self-examination
(Psalm 26:2; 139:23,24).
Sermon no. 218
10 October (1858)
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