Self-Examination: Part II

II CORINTHIANS 13: 1 – 5 and I JOHN 2: 15 – 17

Jesus  asked a question worthy of your thought: “What is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”

The Bible also says, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” Employ these steps in self-examination.

a. Pray for divine guidance that you may be objective.

b. Search yourself with the Scripture as the standard.

c. Keep your eyes on Jesus as your example.

Many people won’t take time to take a look at themselves. They are afraid they won’t like what they find; or if they are honest enough to admit what they find, they will have to acknowledge God doesn’t like what is there. He knows.

Are you “in the faith?” I John gives us a test to prove we are. Part of the test relates to what we love. “Agape” is the word used for love in our text. It is important that we love the right thing. Love improperly placed is a good thing gone wrong.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (I John 2:15) What is the world referenced?

The New Testament word “world “ is used in three ways.

a. The physical earth: “God that made the world..” (Acts 17:24).

b. Humankind: “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16).

c. Our pagan social order, life apart from God, the world alien from God, Satan’s system as opposed to Christ’s. This is the way it is used in our text.

We should not love the world because of the way it operates.

It makes you God’s enemy: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be friends of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

Things of the world absorb us with their promise of pleasure and fulfillment only to let us down. How does it gain our attention?

Verse 16 gives the answer. It was true of Eve and Jesus, but us also.

Appetite – “lust of the flesh.” Satan employed this against Jesus when he appealed to him to “turn these stones into bread.”

Aesthetics – “lust of the eyes” represents a life dominated by wants.

Since the world does not understand us, it doesn’t approve of us. You are an object of the world’s disapproval.

Consider what happens to things of the world. They are “passing away.”

Consider who you are intended to be.

As one “in the faith” you are intended to be an overcomer. Christ said: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

“For whoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world — our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I John 5: 4,5)