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Examining Ourselves

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#1
gray wolf

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Paul advises us to examine ourselves to see if we're in the faith in 1 Cor 13:5. How do you do this exactly? It goes beyond the obvious I think, beyond merely accepting Christ as Savior and doing things that a Christian is supposed to do (read the Word, go to church, witness for example)
And more importantly, what do you do if you fail the test? Is there any remedy besides more of the same?

#2
P_W

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Good topic!  For me, whenever I find that I have "missed the mark", the first step is to repent.  Then I pray for help to do better, to be stronger, to be more loving and more gracious.  I pray to be all the God would have me to be, and to be more like Jesus.

The way I understand this, it is a life time of work!  Hard work, too!  Because as Paul also said, "Whenever I try to do good I find that evil is right there with me....."



#3
Willa

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The epistle of First John was written to answer your question. But it is the Spirit of God Who bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. So Romans 8 also answers a lot of your question.

When we stick to the simplicity of the Gospel, Christ and Him crucified, and let go of the other trappings, it all becomes much clearer. It is all God's grace through faith that we are brought into relationship with Him. We maintain that by sharing our hearts with Him throughout the day as our invisible friend. We listen to Him through His Word and the strong but gentle still small voice inside us. We repent quickly when we blow it and quickly resume our relationship.

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 NKJV

#4
bopeep1909

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I often ask God to search my heart and let me know of anything I need to repent of.



#5
gray wolf

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Oh yes, I do that daily. But I want to be brutally honest with myself and God. Are there spiritual fruits? Is Christ daily within me? Do I have a desire for the things of God? Ha! I may have answered my own question in part.

#6
kwikphilly

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Blessings gray!

    I really do not believe there is a one size fits all answer,even in examining ourselves we will usually see what we want to see as our hearts & minds are not very dependable.................it is by the Power of the Holy Spirit we are convicted of things & we are only truly revealed(or exposed) by that same Power & we must pray to see through the eyes of our Lord and ask for His Heart & Mind.......as we develop a deeper and deeper relationship with God we become more & more sensitive to the Holy Spirit ..............there can be no reservations,we have to forsake our flesh in order to walk in spirit & in Truth

     Spending alot of time with God,renewing our minds & taking captive of every thought is a good practice,when we are fully aware of every thought is when our motives & intentions become very clear to us...............the enemy can be very insidious ,never examine yourself in the past tense

                                                                                                                                          With love-in Christ,Kwik



#7
bopeep1909

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Oh yes, I do that daily. But I want to be brutally honest with myself and God. Are there spiritual fruits? Is Christ daily within me? Do I have a desire for the things of God? Ha! I may have answered my own question in part.

I don't know are there spiritual fruits in you?If you have truly given your life to God then yes he is daily within you.What do you mean by "desire for the things of God"?.



#8
gray wolf

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I meant spiritual disciplines (prayer, Bible study), attending church, witnessing, etc

#9
*Zion*

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Blessings gray!

    I really do not believe there is a one size fits all answer,even in examining ourselves we will usually see what we want to see as our hearts & minds are not very dependable.................it is by the Power of the Holy Spirit we are convicted of things & we are only truly revealed(or exposed) by that same Power & we must pray to see through the eyes of our Lord and ask for His Heart & Mind.......as we develop a deeper and deeper relationship with God we become more & more sensitive to the Holy Spirit ..............there can be no reservations,we have to forsake our flesh in order to walk in spirit & in Truth

     Spending alot of time with God,renewing our minds & taking captive of every thought is a good practice,when we are fully aware of every thought is when our motives & intentions become very clear to us...............the enemy can be very insidious ,never examine yourself in the past tense

                                                                                                                                          With love-in Christ,Kwik

 

Good advice, Kwik.  Especially that last part.  I have been struggling with that of late, but God is helping me.  Your words are a confirmation.  Thanks sis! :)



#10
gray wolf

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Okay, did it. I feel a strange sort of peace. Where to go from here, I don't know. Getting some pastoral counseling... Should have done that earlier.

#11
P_W

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Praying!

 

Much love, GrayWolf and G-d bless you,

Prair

 

P.S.  Great post, ((( Willamina! )))



#12
Hall7

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My sister Kwik hit it on the nail there when she wrote: "renewing our minds & taking captive of every thought is a good practice,when we are fully aware of every thought is when our motives & intentions become very clear to us".

And the more we become closer to God through prayer and a personal relationship with Him, the more we become aware of our mind and intentions derived from our "thoughts". To examine our thoughts on a daily basis is very important, when we're having a bad day and we have negative things going through our minds, is when we have to stop and examine those thoughts, where do they come from, from God or the world? From the world of course so we need to rebuke them and replace them with Godly thoughts. It's all about constant renewing of the mind through the cleansing of the Holy Spirit, and it's a never ending battle. The good news are that we are given the right tools and knowledge from God in order to know how to control these worldly thoughts.  



#13
FresnoJoe

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Oh yes, I do that daily. But I want to be brutally honest with myself and God. Are there spiritual fruits? Is Christ daily within me? Do I have a desire for the things of God? Ha! I may have answered my own question in part.

 

:thumbsup:

 

Words

 

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

 

Of God's Wisdom

 

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

 

And The Sinners Rotten Fruit

 

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

 

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:17-21

 

Or The Spirit's Righteous Fruit

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:22-24

 

Amen~!

 

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

 

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25



#14
Atwood

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It was posted "Paul advises us to examine ourselves to see if we're in the faith in 1 Cor 13:5." Well, one can look at the context to see what sort of professed Christians were addressed. The basic diagnostic questions are
1) Where would you go if you died today? If one does not know or cannot affirm Heaven or the New Earth or Paradise or the like (or to be with the Lord Jesus), then one is not trusting Christ as Savior.
2) If the answer is "Heaven," then the next question is: "Why should the Lord let you into Heaven?"
The answer which indicates salvation is "The Lord Jesus paid for my sins on the cross and I have trusted Him as Savior."

But there is more. Despite answers 1 and 2 above, 1 John goes on at length about things that indicate salvation, knowing we have eternal life. I suggest reading 1 John and marking those passages, then meditating on them. And there are certain passages that tell us how if our lives are characterized by certain gross sins, we are not going to inherit the Kingdom of God. That is not to say that we are saved by works or by abstaining from sin, but genuine salvation is salvation -- we can't be saved without being saved, for crying out loud. Man's sole responsibility is to trust Christ as Savior, but genuine faith in Christ must issue in godly fruit.

#15
gray wolf

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And what does someone do who does not pass the test? If answers to the spiritual questions are affirmative, but something else is very wrong, where do you turn? If you've accepted Christ and believe all the right things, yet you walk in darkness (not with a major sin problem maybe) without the Spirit, what can you do ?

#16
Atwood

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"And what does someone do who does not pass the test? If answers to the spiritual questions are affirmative, but something else is very wrong, where do you turn? If you've accepted Christ and believe all the right things, yet you walk in darkness (not with a major sin problem maybe) without the Spirit, what can you do ?"

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

#17
gray wolf

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Okay. I yield!

#18
Donibm

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Paul advises us to examine ourselves to see if we're in the faith in 1 Cor 13:5. How do you do this exactly? It goes beyond the obvious I think, beyond merely accepting Christ as Savior and doing things that a Christian is supposed to do (read the Word, go to church, witness for example)
And more importantly, what do you do if you fail the test? Is there any remedy besides more of the same?

 

But ... you only mentioned one verse.

 

5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

 

I wouldn't call that a full examination of yourself, but its certainly part of examining yourself.  It is a smart portion of the total package.  There is just so much more to consider when working out our own Salvation with fear and trembling.

 

I kinda had to look at myself in this verse you presented and smile.  Trust me.  I've had brethren really get under my skin ... occasionally.  I've even had "babies in Christ" (length of conversion means nothing to me if they are still spiritually immature in gifts and deeds, and titles hardly impress me) approach me in manners as if their minor accomplishments somehow makes them my spiritual elder by default, but they are not, not even by a long shot.  In re-reading that verse, we see that spiritual maturity does not puff itself up.  It does not compare their unripened grapes to my barrels of wine (lol).  It does not seek to dishonor.  And don't confuse this brethren, for being the cause of dishonor, but it also includes how you retaliate and respond when people throw spears are you. After all, for those beyond the milk, this is a meatier test to endure, and believe me when I tell you, don't no one like a fellow Christian know how to push those buttons.  lol 

 

It restrains the anger and frustration against their terrible judgments, false accusations, and clear lack of spiritual discernment.  Yup.  And I'm not talking about the weak brethren at the back of the pew either.  I'm talking about being in the face of the person who thinks they can hide behind a man-awarded title or academic achievment ... and they are hardly scholarly, not even knowing the difference between an aleph and a bet, or struggle with the concept of the Trinity, which is fundamental to our faith and belief.  I've dealt with more than one in my hayday, but always reluctantly.  And believe me when I tell you, there are going to be a lot of modern day Christains who will face Judgment because they themselves worked to hinder Gods work in someone else through their own judgments.  Believe me, they are heading for tears. 

 

I've been around that block a few times over the years.  And while I'm very capable of refuting a Brother in Christ (as much as I am willing to sit and learn chastisment from an elder), and very capable of pointing in their chest and showing them of their sin and lacking judgments.  Capable, but not necessarily wiling.  Most cases I simply accept their position and what they are trying to do and walk away.  Praying for them whenever compelled.  But, when they go too far and try to make a specticle, or if they do it one too many times .... they will get warned and admonished and refuted, and it won't be pretty for them.  We ought to fear God, not men.  Never men.  I can do it with clear conscious because I am always judging myself.  But that's the point aint it?  Examining and working out your own Salvation?  Always being hard on myself.  Always spitting on my laziness and faults.  So, there is no such thing as "but Don, are you perfect?"  LOL  No, no, no, no.  A brother that I know recently tried this and I had to refute him publically, right on Facebook.  I'm not the sort of weak, frail, blown about by the wind "Christian" that allows anyone to try to exchange or justifiy a sin with another, least of all in another person.  Wrong is wrong.  Period.  Even when they are wrong in their judgment and lacking discernment while calling another "wrong."  But when we do as we are told (by God), and when we stay in God, and when we strive and try hard, you are always examining yourself as a Christian.  Praying and fasting and reading the Word isn't done for kicks.  It's done to obtain a closer walk with God, and know Truth from falsehood - bettering ourselves.  And often times, let those who are weak know that they are strong (in the Lord), and let those who think they are strong smarten up and stop being the foish milk drinker, lest they fall.  None are exempt.  None. 

 

And don't go around speaking of their faults to every Tom, Dick and Harry just because they upset you either.  I see them too.  I discern from the first glance, even before they open their mouths.  The Spirit has already told me that something just isn't right with them.  And I have honored this gift since I learned what it was (I was discipled and taught) back in 1991.  It is precious to me, and God has seen me honor His gift and has made it stronger and stronger.  Soon as I discern, I know to wait.  Just wait.  Don't speak on it with untrustworthy people.  Just wait.  I told my wife on day one of hearing the pastor of Calvary Chapel here in Florida that something just isn't right with him.  ON DAY ONE.  And I maintained that attitude because I know what discernment is and what it does.  And, that was a year ago.  Yet, a mere month ago he was in the news for infidelity.  People who lack the Gift of Discermnet seem to think that they can fool God.  But we who have the gift, even we cower among our elders trying to hide, because we know that if they have discernment, there is nothing we can say or do to hide the sin or pain.  Sooner or later, the lepord will always show its spots.  That is what discernment is.  Knowing something is wrong with that person or their Salvation ... and waiting on either them to repent, or their sins be revealed.  It always manifest itself. It's the same result every single time, to the point that I won't even entertain a "difference of opinion" because opinions cannot stay on the same scale as experience.  So, when I read that verse you posted, I kinda had to smile inwardly ... because I find myself restraining myself often.  I always chalked it up to maturity, even spiritual maturity, not necessarily "love."  To me, it feels more like "long-suffering."  Just, putting up with the nonesense of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  Gracefully dealing with the spears that are sometimes thrown, and sometimes pretending that no spear was thrown at all.  God will Judge.  But, the Word of God shows us that this is exactly a characteristic of love - long suffering.  So, lol, I suppose it's all rooted in love after all.

 

But yes, always examine yourself ... agaisnt the Word and the Testimony of the Spirit.  He never lies or decieves.



#19
gray wolf

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Oops.  I cited 1 Corinthians. . .  I meant 2 Corinthians 13:5.  



#20
Diatheosis

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As this comedian Mark Lowry puts it, we have this saying God loves the sinner but hates the sin, he prefers to love his fellow being but hate his own sin. So many times we forget to pull that timber from our own eye before reaching out for the splinter in someone else's.

 

This examination is absolutely necessary. Especially if you have children, the feeling of complete failure as a parent may sooner or later hit you. It's like, God is our Father but I am sure He never gets that. But we do err. And I do that a lot.

 

It's only through this self examination in God's presence we can grow towards godliness instead of becoming human monsters.

 

Forgive to be forgiven. And accept His mercy on you as well, because that is a righteous thing to do. He commands us to obey, to believe Him. Jesus did not die in vain. But often one may come to a point in life when that is so difficult to experience and it feels distant. Especially in my country people tend to keep little noise about themselves in this sense generally speaking. A typical Finn may very well agree Christ has given us the absolution of sins, just that he might think that covers everyone else except him.

 

It's a horrible state of being if you cannot believe He actually has done it to you as well.

 

I would say forgiveness is a superb thing in self examination. Without that we all know where we would end up.






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