Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. – 2 Corinthians 13:5a
Paul concluded this 2nd letter to the Corinthian church with this warning. He wanted them to know the importance of not allowing oneself to be deceived. The apostle instructed this congregation to conduct an introspection of themselves to see if they were in fact in the faith. There were many people in that day, who claimed to be of the Way but were not.
Are we really in the faith? How do we test ourselves? Paul tells us that the way to test ourselves is to know whether or not Jesus is among us. “But, how do we do that?” you ask. Well, we search our hearts and determine that we believe Jesus was raised from the dead by the Spirit of God and have confessed with our mouths that Jesus is LORD! At this point we know that we are redeemed and have become the temple of the Spirit of God. This is the personal test, but from Paul’s words we can gather that he implied a corporate introspection as well. How? Because he said in the following passage that they would have passed the test if they knew Jesus was among “them.” So, as we live to please the Father individually, let us heed the words of the apostle at the end of this letter when he says, “live in harmony and peace.” For was it not the apostle John who said that the world would know that we are Christians by the fact that we love one another? Test yourself. Are you in the faith? As Francis Chan stated, the standard God measures us by is the amount that we love.
Father, thank you for showing me the truth of your word. I am so glad that I am not caught up in squabbles or quarrels over trivial things that have created denominations and other factions (or should I say fractions) within your body. I pray for the unity of the body of Christ hoping that we can come together in one mind and one spirit, as did the first church in Jerusalem shortly after your ascension. I know that I have passed the personal test of my being in the faith because you are with me. You never leave me or abandon me (oops I just told the key on how to pass the test). May your people look within themselves and see that love is the key. Loving you with all our heart and soul and loving others as ourselves. You are among your people; you promised such. May your will be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.