Sermon #1366                                           Miscellaneous Notes


          Title:            EXAMINE YOURSELVES

          Text:            2 Corinthians 13:5

          Subject:       Self-examination




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?"


There are a great many people in hell today who, while they lived upon the earth, presumed with great confidence that they were God's children. They lived and died under the delusion that all was well, when nothing was well. As Isaiah put it, they made lies their refuge. They made a covenant with death and a league with hell, assuring themselves that judgment would not come near them. But now they suffer the horrible wrath of God in hell.


There are also many who live in peace today, confident that they are born of God, who are strangers to grace. They are religious, zealous, and outwardly righteous. But they are without Christ. And the wrath of God is upon them.


THESE THINGS CONCERN ME! If you honestly think about them, I am sure they will concern you as well.


"`Tis a point I long to know,

Oft it causes anxious thought:

Do I love the Lord, or no?

Am I His, or am I not?"


No one can settle this issue for me, or for you, but the Spirit of God. And he will settle it only by the Word he has given. So I urge you (and myself) to do what he tells us to do.


"EXAMINE YOURSELVES!" That is the title of my message tonight.


We are not to examine one another. And we are not to subject ourselves to the examination of others. If you examine others, you will become hardened in self-righteousness, harsh and judgmental, arrogantly making yourself the standard by which you judge others. If you subject yourself to the examinations of others, you will have nothing but the words and opinions of men as the basis of your faith. Your assurance, if you get any, will be nothing but a temporary, self-righteous confidence, varying with the opinions of the preacher to whom you are listening.


The point of examination is this - "whether ye be in the faith.” It does not matter when, where, or how you came to be in the faith, or even who was preaching when you believed. It only matters that "ye be in the faith.”


For most of God's people, conversion is not a climatic experience, but a gradual process. Some, like Saul of Tarsus, have great, climatic experiences. But most are brought to Christ, one faltering step at a time. And even those who have Damascus road experiences must be gently led into the knowledge of Christ by one like Ananias (Acts 9:6-18). Are you, or are you not, now in the faith? That is the only issue of examination.


Proposition: If you are in the faith, you are saved. If you are not, you are lost.


Prove your own selves.The only way to know "whether ye be in the faith" is to bring your faith to the Word of God, crying with David, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try (prove) me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me (see if I am in the way of the wicked), and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa. 139:23-24). If God will "say unto my soul, I am thy salvation” (Psa. 35:3), I want no other proof.


God has given us in his Word seven essential characteristics of saving faith. If these seven things are consistent with my faith, then my faith is genuine and I am a child of God. If these things are not consistent with my faith, then my faith is false and I am not a child of God.


I.     SAVING FAITH CONFESSES PERSONAL DEPRAVITY AND SIN BEFORE GOD (Psa. 51:3; Lk. 18:13; Rom. 7:18; 1 John 1:9).


Psalms 51:3  "For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me."


Luke 18:13  "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."


Romans 7:18  "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not."


1 John 1:9  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."


Faith confesses

·        the deed of sin (Lk. 15:18),

·        the nature of sin (Matt. 15:19; Psa. 51:5),

·       and the sinfulness of all deeds of personal righteousness (Isa. 64:6).




·        Christ's precious blood represents the whole of his obedience to God as the sinners' Substitute. And faith sees everything it needs, everything God requires, in the blood of Christ alone.


·        Redemption (Eph. 1:7)


Ephesians 1:3-7  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"


·        Forgiveness (Col. 1:14)


Colossians 1:14  "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"


·        Justification (Rom. 3:23)


Romans 3:23-26  "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."


·        Sanctification (Heb. 10:10-14)


Hebrews 10:10-14  "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."


·        Reconciliation (Col. 1:20-21).


Colossians 1:20-21  "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled"





Ephesians 2:8-10  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."


2 Timothy 1:9-10  "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:"


I do not say that a person must be a Calvinist to be saved. Calvinism has no more to do with salvation than Arminianism. Salvation is not in a system of doctrine, but in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ! And all who know that Person know that "Salvation is of the Lord" (Gal. 5:1-4; 1 Cor. 15:10).


Galatians 5:1-4  "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."


1 Corinthians 15:10  "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."




Luke 14:25-33  "And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, (26) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (27) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (29) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, (30) Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (31) Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? (32) Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. (33) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."


Faith gives up the reins of life to the hands of Christ (Mk. 8:34-35).


Mark 8:34-35  "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (35) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it."




Galatians 5:6  "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."


Without Christ good works attain nothing; and the lack of good works prevents nothing. But in the kingdom of God, "faith which worketh by love" is everything.




The flesh and the Spirit are constantly at war within the believer's heart. The Spirit rules! But the flesh will never surrender.


Galatians 5:17  "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."


Romans 7:14-24  "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (15) For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (16) If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (17) Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (19) For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (20) Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"


VII. SAVING FAITH PERSEVERES TO THE END (Col. 1:21-23; Heb. 10:38-39).


Colossians 1:21-23  "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (23) If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;"


Hebrews 10:38-39  "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (39) But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."


True faith simply will not quit!