“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.”
2 Corinthians 13:5,6
An examination can be a scary thing, whether it is a performance review at work, a final test for an important class, a medical test to see what’s making you feel so sick, or an interview to see whether you have what it takes to do the job.
Honest self-examination can be even scarier. Yet the Bible tells us to examine ourselves. And what do you find when you do? Do you find thoughts and desires and cravings that you are ashamed of, that you hope no one else ever knows about? Do you find attitudes and emotions that reveal how unloving you can be to others? Do you find doubts and fears where you know there should be faith and confidence? As you look inside and examine yourself, do you find, as I do, a lot that doesn’t make God happy, a lot that doesn’t meet his expectations?
But today’s verses shift our focus. They urge us to ask different questions, as we examine ourselves. Didn’t Jesus die to pay for your sins? Hasn’t he forgiven you for everything you’ve done wrong? Didn’t Jesus rise from the dead to assure you that you will live with him in heaven?
You can answer yes to all of those questions. After looking inside ourselves to honestly assess the condition of our hearts, God wants us to examine what Jesus did outside of us and for us. He conquered sin and death for us. His blood covers every one of our sins. His holiness is his gift to us. Know that. Believe that.
When God, through the Bible’s message, leads you to trust that Jesus has done those things for you, Christ Jesus himself lives in you. He gives you confidence in your Creator, trust in the treasures of his mercy, peace in his perfect pardon, and the hope of a home in heaven. When Christ lives in you, God gives you a perfect score on the entrance exam to eternal life with him!
Jesus, live in me to bless me with your forgiveness and eternal peace with God. Amen.