St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not know this about yourselves: that Jesus Christ is in you—unless perhaps you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5

Here we have another great word from the Apostle Paul. He tells the Christians in Corinth to “test” themselves. This passage is often abused by those who have nothing but their own works and acts for which to judge their intentions. But this passage has nothing to do with works or merit, but faith.

As we look through the remainder of the chapter, we discover the St. Paul is defending he and his fellow Apostles’ authority and teaching, that Christ Jesus speaks through them, that they are not “failing the test” and that the Corinthian people should know this.

As Christians, we test ourselves by our confession of faith. Each Christian should, even daily, ask himself, “Do I believe that Christ Jesus, the same Christ Jesus who died for the sin of the world, is the same Christ Jesus who died for me, forgiving me of my sins, and giving me eternal life?” If he passes the test, then he knows his faith is genuine, even if faced with great temptation and suffering, for no one but one who has Christ can confess Christ in him and the forgiveness of sins.

You should “test yourself” often, even more often than you do regular checkups and examinations with your doctor. For your doctor may be able to keep you from a disease or warn you so you can change your lifestyle, but only Christ Jesus can save you from sin, death, and the devil. So, test yourself! Ask yourself a simple question, and ask often: “Do I believe that Jesus died for me?” If you struggle to answer this question, it is certainly because you are not following your Lord’s instructions regarding attendance in church, time in prayer, in the Word, and receiving His body and blood in the Sacrament of the Altar. You are not feeding your faith! It likely does not mean you’ve left the faith, but it certainly means you’ve not exercised the faith given you, fed it, nourished it, and held it highly in your life. For this you must repent.

But if you pass the test, then rest in the assurance that Christ Jesus who died for you is also with you and in you and He will see to it that you are brought to life eternal on that day when the He returns.

Prayer: Lord and Savior, I believe! Help me with my unbelief, and keep my faith strong by instilling in me a love for Your church, for worship, for prayer, and for the blessed Sacrament. In Your name, Amen.