Text: 2 Corinthians 13:5-6
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? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
There is a practice that I have seen in this country, especially with the Council. That at least once a year, an appraisal of one’s work is conducted. It was somehow shocking to me the first time I had to experience it as I was given the opportunity to first score myself before my manager would later review and assessed my scoring. Supposing my score was not objective, it would have been shameful going through it with my manager.
Also, the athletes who compete in championships and Olympics have to subject themselves unto rigorous self-trials before their competition. That is why you see that for some athletes, PB is written in front of their time.
Tests and examinations are phenomena that are familiar to all of us. They are ways of checking what we have learnt and mastered over a period of time. Academically, I know that some students do not like tests and examination; however, there is no way we can demonstrate that we have understood and mastered a taught process, except we are examined somehow.
Fact of life, we can’t live without tests and examinations. As a matter of fact, God is the Originator of test and He will be the Terminator of it. Tests commenced from the Garden of Eden, and it will possibly end at Armageddon.
Sources of tests
From God e.g. Abraham (Gen. 22: 1-2).
From Satan e.g. David (I Chronicles 21:1-4).
From People: (spouse, family, brethren, friends, establishments, society, etc.) e.g. Joshua by the Gibeonites (Jos. 9:3-15).
From Self: e.g. Apostle Paul (I Cor. 9:27; Rom. 8:38-39); Job (Job 23:10-13).
Areas to administer tests
Your salvation (Mt. 7:21; Phil. 2:12).
Your disposition towards the word of God (I Thes. 2:13; Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23).
Your character (Mt. 7:15-18).
Your extent of sacrifice and faithfulness (John 21: 15-17; James 2: 26; Mt. 24:11-13).
Your purpose in life (John 18:37).
As believers, I see it that a crucial examination we must constantly go through is self-examination. This will ensure that we are not caught unaware or unguarded by other tests, and we don’t receive condemnation and punishment.
I Cor. 11:28-33).
There is a danger of falling into grave error if one doesn’t examine himself often.
David fell into serious error – (2 Sam. 11:2-4; 12:1-14).
The five foolish virgins fell into grave error – (Mt. 25:1-13).
Jesus taught His disciples to practise self-examination
Matthew 7:1-5 –Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:12 – Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:for this is the law and the prophets.
Matthew 5:20 – For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Method of self-examination
Ask God to reveal yourself to you (Psalm 139:23-24). Psalms 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Align your life and ways with the word of God (James 1:22-25). Doer of the word…, check against life and amend.
Do a scale of preference for your life and consider your priorities (Lk. 6:38 seek ye first; Luke 12:33-34). Lay up treasures, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be.
Compare and contrast your way of life before you confess the lordship of Jesus Christ with what you are now (2 Cor. 5:17).
Zacchaeus was a sinner. But when Jesus met him and he received salvation, the first thing he did was self-examination even Christ has not asked him yet (Lk. 19:1-10).
If we want to be sincere with ourselves, there must be areas of our lives that we might need to make amends after careful and thorough self-examination. It is my prayer that we will not deceive ourselves.
Can a man/woman deceive himself/herself? Yes. Samson was a good example. All his escapade with Delilah was a self-deceit.
Delilah was doing all what he said would let his power leave and also called his enemies on him. Yet he eventually told her his secret. He still thought he could shake himself as aforetime. How possible? He has already failed his examination.
How is your current faith? As a child, as a wife, mother, husband, father, as a child of God and a follower of Christ. Will you say you are more fervent in faith than last year for example? Or have you left your first love? Will you prove yourself? Or are you prepared to deceive yourself? Talk to God right now.
Hebrew 4:1 – Let us, therefore, fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
– Father, let me not come short of your promised rest.
– Father, let me do what it will take me to enjoy your promised rest.
Hebrews 4:9 – There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
– Father, let me be a partaker of that rest that remains for God’s people.
Hebrews 4:11 – Let us labour, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man falls after the same example of unbelief.
– Father, let me not be a victim of unbelief or partial faith.
The sermon, Prove Your Own Self, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, was delivered on June 17th, 2018 on the occasion of the Father’s Day.