Monday, September 24, 2007

Test Yourselves Therefore

Today as I was reading in 2 Corinthians 13, I came across these words: 5
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.
This verse is found in the closing remarks of Paul to the Corinthian church. The first few verses dealt with how to establish charges. The need for there to be two or three witnesses to make a charge stick.

Then Paul says they need to examine themselves to see if their faith is real.

I have to admit, I struggle with my faith. So often I think to myself, I'm just playing a role. Verses like this I actually find a comfort, because I can look to myself and I can test myself. Do I know that Christ is within me? Can I see the results of his action on my life? But the ultimate test is... do we realize that Christ Jesus is in us?

This is also what the Corinthians, in their struggles to accept Paul had to look for. Was Christ in Paul?
Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.
Paul knew his faith. He knew how the Corinthians struggled. His prayer was for the Corinthian church to do what was right, and to grow strong as a church of God.
7But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. 8For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 10For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.
I look at Paul's assurance of his faith, and how he acted upon it, and it encourages me, with my struggles to keep doing what I know is right. To test myself so that I know that Christ dwells within, to keep praying for the needs of others, and to do what is right. This is how I can build up the church of God.

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