The Importance of Self-Examination
A Sermon on 2 Corinthians 13:5
5Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
5Examine 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 is a great danger in assuming one is a Christian and discovering, in times of need, that they are not. Many people think they know what Christianity is, but do they? Learn the importance of examining oneself regularly, the danger of self-deception, and the marks of a true Christian from Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in this sermon on 2 Corinthians 13:5. The problems of experience and of temptation must be examined as the Christian becomes increasingly aware of their own hopelessness and in seeing the contrast of revealing sin and of revealing Christ. The hope of regeneration is discussed as it enables the Christian to live triumphantly. Test any and every teaching by asking: “Does it really help to conquer life in this world?” Christianity is intellectual realism, not escapism, fatalism, stoicism, or wishful thinking. Can the saved person rejoice in the midst of suffering? Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages the listener to discover the most honest book in the world and how it shows how to face the facts just as they are. The gospel of Christ separates the Christian from this present, evil world. Christians are in the world, but no longer of it. The world is a vain show, that at its very best is only temporary. Find God’s grace that offers both peace with God and the peace of God!
- The apostle Paul exhorts us to examine ourselves in 2 Corinthians 13:5.
- Self-examination is important in all areas of life, especially in spiritual matters.
- We must examine ourselves to ensure we are truly in the faith, as it is possible to be self-deceived.
- We must examine ourselves to gain assurance of our faith, as some Christians lack assurance and joy.
- We must examine ourselves, not just our beliefs. We must look for signs of life and the fruits of faith.
- The type of conversion experience we have is not the determining factor of our faith. Experiences vary and can be counterfeited.
- Temptations and trials do not prove we lack faith. The Christian life involves spiritual warfare and temptation. The question is how we respond to temptation.
- Those without Christ are at enmity with God, do not obey His law, find His commands grievous, and are preoccupied with worldly things.
- Some appear Christian but are not, valuing religion for social or outward reasons, controlling their faith, or resenting truth that convicts them.
- True faith is internal, with concern for holiness, openness to examination, awareness of sin, desire for truth, love for God's people, and dependence on Christ.
- We must ask God to search us, expose our sin, and lead us to repentance and faith in Christ.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.