There are times when we all must go to the doctor for a physical examination. The doctor
looks us over, checks our reflexes and various other things. We do this so that we may maintain
In 1 Corinthians 11:28 we read, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the
bread and drink of the cup.” We are warned here to examine ourselves, so that we do not partake
of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner. The idea of examining ourselves should be an act
we all do on a regular basis. It is about more than taking the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner.
If we do not take the time to examine ourselves and correct the things that are wrong, then we
will begin to crumble as Christians.
In 2 Corinthians 13:5 the Bible says, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the
faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you...”? We are to
examine ourselves daily. This is often times more difficult than it sounds. We can be afraid of
what things are brought to our mind.
The time we use to examine ourselves, however, can be a very important time. We can
realize our errors, and we can slide them under the rug, letting the sin and error condemn us, or
we can be humbled in repentance.
We can realize our faults and shortcomings and correct them. When the time comes upon
us that we realize we are in sin is a time when a Christian will either “sink or swim.” If we
choose to repent of our sin and come back to Christ with a heart of repentance, we will remain in
This is how the growth of a Christian is accomplished. It is not accomplished by parading
around with our noses in the air as if we are without sin. There are those who, when their sin is
found out, quickly seek to justify themselves and brush off the wrong doing. However the Father
does not simply “brush off” the sin, regardless of how small we may think it is.
We are told to “test ourselves” as to whether or not we are in the faith. When many hear
these words, they are stricken with fear. It is a terrifying thought to come to the realization that
we may be in the wrong. However, what many fail to realize is that this is the whole purpose of
self examination. When we realize our faults, we can REPENT of them and be back in the right
Sadly, there are those who seem as if they would rather live in torments, than to admit
they have sinned or to feel embarrassed of their sin. In 1 Corinthians 12:30 we read that “For this
reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep” When we do not examine ourselves
daily we become as weak or sick Christians. In verses 31 and 32, we read that if “we would judge
ourselves, we would not be judged,” “we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be
condemned WITH the world (emphasis added R.E)”. When we examine ourselves, it is so that
we may judge ourselves so when we realize our sins we may repent of them. No longer will we
be “condemned with the world.”
As difficult as it may sound, self examination is something all Christians should actively
be doing. Not so we can feel bad about ourselves or feel afraid to sit down and ask ourselves,
“Am I living as a Christian?” We are to examine ourselves, so we may not be condemned as
those in the world will be condemned. We judge our own actions, so we may not be judged.
Let us not be as the world, brushing off sin and searing our conscience with a hot iron.
Instead, let us examine ourselves daily to whether we are “of the faith.” Self examinations can
save the soul.
- Russ Earl
One of the first principles of the Bible is the concept of what man must do to be saved. Members of the church have long been criticized for believing the six steps of salvation. While criticism may come, it does not change the reality that these steps are founded in scripture. The first of the steps of salvation is to hear the word of God. This command of the New Testament has been rejected by men and commissioned to Christians by Christ.
In Acts 2, among other things, Peter delivers the first gospel sermon. He shows the people on that occasion why Jesus was the Christ and how that His death was predicted to happen and in accordance with the will of God. Upon hearing the message of Peter, the listeners there wanted to know what they needed to do. Acts 2:37 says, “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” Hearing the message of God is quite obviously the first logical step to obeying. Those present on that occasion heard and were obedient to what Peter told them.
The conflict that exists is that men often times do not like what God has to say. We live in a society where people will often say things like “I believe such and such” or “I think thus and so.” The problem is that it really does not matter what a person thinks or even believes. What matters most is what God said. This attitude is not anything new. In Matthew 13:13-17, Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah when he predicted that people would not want to hear the message. Jesus makes the practical application to those present on that occasion. In Acts 7:54-60, one reads the story of the stoning of Stephen. He has been called the first martyr for Christianity. The problem was the people did not like the message that Stephen had so they attacked the messenger. Then, in Galatians 1:6-10, Paul rebukes the Christians in Galatia because they were listening to every person who had anything to say about religion. They were not discerning the messages there were being taught. Instead, they were a fickle people who would listen to and apply everything they heard. Paul exhorts them to listen to what God said.
All of these examples and more show a real conflict that exists when it comes to listening or hearing the message of God. Some people do not like what God says. Others like the message of men better than the message of God. Still others have simply turned their hearts from God and would not know the message of God from any other message. People today need to follow the command of Paul: “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1Thessalonians 5:21).
A final important lesson on the subject of hearing the word of God involves the person who is already a Christian. One will never find an instance after the resurrection of Christ where Jesus personally taught someone. Notice a few examples of conversion and some interesting points that surround them:
In Acts 2 where Peter delivered the gospel sermon after the ascension of Jesus Christ one will see that the Holy Spirit was present on that occasion. In verses 1-4, the Bible says, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” A question has been raised by several people about the Holy Spirit. Why didn’t the Holy Spirit teach the people in Acts 2? He was there and being Deity, he could have removed all doubt of those who were present. The answer is God wanted the apostles to teach on that occasion.
In Acts 9 there is the record of the conversion of the apostle Paul. Again some very interesting events take place. Paul is on the road to Damascus and is blinded by a bright light. A voice asks him why he is persecuting Him. Paul inquires who it is and the person says He is Jesus. Jesus eventually instructs Paul to go into Damascus and wait for Ananias to come and teach him. One might ask why Jesus did not just go ahead and teach Paul on that occasion. He was there and already talking to Paul. Again, the answer is that Jesus wanted His message taught through the agency of man. In this case, the man was Ananias.
Finally, in Acts 8:26-35 an angel appears to Philip and instructs him to go and teach the nobleman. Philip goes to him and teaches from the book of Isaiah. They come to water and Philip baptizes him. Again, the question has been raised why did the angel not go and teach the nobleman himself. He already put forth the effort to go and talk to Philip. And again the answer is that God wants His word spread through the agency of man.
When one considers salvation, hearing is the first and logical step for one to do what God wants him or her to do. It is a simple and straightforward command of God that must be followed. It has been rejected and debated by men over the years but such controversy does not change the will of God. Finally, there is something in this for all Christians in that others will not hear until Christians tell them.
How many times have we heard someone say, “I know what the verse says, but I think?” It may be they have not considered the implications found in that statement. They are in essence saying their thoughts, ideas or conclusions are better than that which is found in God’s word! That is thinking too highly of one’s own intellect. How can we have the idea that our thoughts are above the thoughts of God? Isaiah wrote, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
People often make the mistake of listening to what men say or think about doctrinal matters rather than asking, “What does the Bible say?” All religious error comes because people make this mistake. The Bible challenges us to, “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). John exhorted men to “… believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Jesus warned, “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4). Therefore, we should compare men’s sayings with what inspiration says.
When discussing salvation, we turn to Mark 16:15-16 and read, “… Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…” Those who do not believe that baptism is necessary for salvation will say, “I know that is what it says, but I do not believe a person must be baptized so as to be saved.” Really? How can it be good to say that what Jesus said is not true? Jesus said, “… and is baptized shall be saved…” To say otherwise is to contradict the Lord’s own words. How could anyone read the Lord’s words and then say, “I know… but I THINK?”
Our determination should be to learn what God said and then obey what He instructed us to do. We must ask ourselves one simple, yet profound question, “Yea, hath God said…?” The Bible is the FINAL word, His final revelation to men (Revelation 22:18-19), and His Word will have the final say on Judgment Day (John 12:48).
Can you imagine anyone saying at the Judgment scene, “I know what you said… but I think?”
- Toney Smith
The beautiful 23rd Psalm says in verse 5 “my cup runneth over.” I do not know how many blessings that you and I enjoy each day. No doubt we have literally thousands every single day and tens of thousands have been granted throughout our lives. I would like to borrow some thoughts from the pen of Tom Wacaster as we consider the incredible blessings we enjoy from God's generous hand.
If you have a Bible you are more blessed that one third of the world’s population which do not have a copy of God’s word. They cannot read the way of salvation like you are able to do. If you have a sound congregation with which to worship you are blessed above half of the world’s population. They do not live near a body of God’s true church and have the blessing of sweet Christian fellowship. If you attend a church without fear of persecution, and threat of life you are better off than three billion people in the world. In many Muslim countries you would be persecuted, imprisoned or even die for being a Christian. For these precious blessings we should be most thankful to our heavenly Father.
If you woke up in good health this morning you are better off than at least one million people each day who die of disease, starvation or lack of medical treatment. If you can read this message you are better off than one billion people who cannot read at all. If you have money in the bank or in your wallet you are among eight percent of the world’s wealthy. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes in the closet and a roof over your head then you are richer than 75 % of the world’s population. If your parents are not divorced your family is one of the few that has not been affected by a wrecked home. We may even throw more food away in a day than many people have to eat in the same time frame.
The appropriate way to respond is to get down upon your knees every single day and give generous thanks to our blessed heavenly Father for His generous and rich blessings (Philp. 4:6-7). It is He that has made our cups full and overflowing.
- Richard Massey
Click HERE to learn more about our blog writers.