Self-examination

<<review of our own behaviour>>

This healthy evaluation is not to condemn, but rather to bring about correction and a change for the better, so “Let us examine our ways, and return to the Lord” if necessary (Lam 3:40). We can pray, “Search me O God, and point out areas in me that need dealing with” so we can walk uprightly and be rewarded according to our conduct, knowing we will give an account before God (Ps 139:23,24; Prov 28:18; Jer 17:10; Rom 14:12; 2 Cor 5:10).

Sin in any form separates us in some measure from a holy God, but acknowledgement and confession brings renewed fellowship with Him and peace within the human soul, for if we judge ourselves (and put the matter right) we won’t need to be judged (Ps 32:1-5, 51:4,12; 1 Cor 11:31). The

Use the Scriptures as the yardstick when                       considering your own conduct

Bible’s message is to examine and test yourself – are you a Christian? Are you just going with the crowd or are you fully committed to walking in God’s pathway for you, regardless of others’ opinions and decisions? (2 Cor 13:5; Gal 6:4). Those who profess salvation yet lack signs of spiritual life, should seriously consider the Scriptures: “He who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him…If you love me, you will obey what I command…He will punish those…who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (Jn 3:36, 14:15; 2 Thes 1:8).  Jesus warned the people of His day, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the religious leaders, you will not enter heaven” for it is “Only he who does the will of my Father who will enter” (Mt 5:20, 7:21).

A key to living a joyful, victorious Christian life is total honesty, followed by taking ruthless measures to deal with what the Holy Spirit points out as sin in our life, and as revealed by the Bible, for it is as we know and apply the truth found in Jesus we will experience freedom (Jn 8:32,36; Jas 1:23-25). While we are to be outward focused to bless others, we are also responsible to be inward looking so we can deal with the ungodliness within ourselves. Do not make excuses, but with God’s help deal with sin and character defects, for only then will we be in a position to assist others, without condemnation or comparison (Mt 7:3-5; Lk 18:9-14; 1 Jn 1:7). Understanding we never will be perfect this side of heaven, we must not compare ourselves with other believers but only against God’s standards given in the Word, yet it is futile to look but take no remedial action (2 Cor 10:12; Jas 1:22-25). It is His desire that we are transformed from our selfish sinful attitudes and lifestyle to reflect more of the divine qualities (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18; Gal 5:22,23).

We are not to be morbidly preoccupied with the flaws and wretchedness of our own lives, as revealed by the light of God. Rather bring those issues to Him for He can bring wholeness deep into our lives enabling us to love Him with all our being (Mk 12:30). Sanctification is a co-operative and progressive work whereby we become less entangled and overcome by sin as we grow in obedience to Him. We

Do I allow the truth of the                 Bible to search me?

are instructed to put off the old way of life, replacing it with the new life in Christ, for “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did” (Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-10; 1 Jn 2:6). We cannot earn our way to heaven (by our efforts) yet we should “work out our salvation” through good actions, actively growing in the grace of our Lord and Saviour and being “filled with the fruit of righteousness” (Eph 2:8-10; Phil 1:11, 2:12; 2 Pet 3:18).

Being in healthy relationships also enables us to humbly receive comment or rebuke when others discern hidden faults in us.’ The wounds of a friend’ are beneficial with both parties blessed by their loving interaction (Ps 19:12; Prov 27:6,17).

It is imperative we examine our hearts before taking communion, to ensure there is no unconfessed sin as otherwise we are making the sacrifice of Jesus into a meaningless ritual and will be judged for our double standard (1 Cor 11:27-32).

See also: conscience, dealings of God, examine, fruit, judging, responsible/responsibility, self-condemnation, test/testing, wholeness.

 


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