"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." 2 Corinthians 13:5a
The Word of God calls upon all who call themselves "Christian" to examine and test themselves to see if they are truly in the faith. And this is indeed important, for many deceive themselves and think that they are Christians and all is well with their souls when, in fact, they are living in sin and unbelief and on the road to eternal damnation!
To test yourself, consider these questions:
1. Are you genuinely sorry for your sins against God and His commandments, or are you securely or intentionally continuing on in your own sinful ways?
2. Do you trust in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the cross for forgiveness and eternal salvation, or do you rely on your own works or life to merit God's acceptance and a place in His heavenly kingdom?
3. And, as a test of your honesty in answering the first two questions, do you sincerely desire, with God's help, to amend your life and live for Christ in accord with His Word, or are you unwilling to change your lifestyle and give up every sin or evil in your life and follow Christ?
If you are not sorry for all your sins, are not trusting in Christ Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross for salvation, or are not sincerely desiring and seeking to amend your life, you fail the test and ought to consider the consequence of continuing in sin and unbelief and repent before it is too late. Cf. Psalm 32; Psalm 51; 1 John 1:5 – 2:6.
The Bible tells us: "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:6-7).
The Bible also says: "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). In other words, if we continue on in our sinful ways, we will suffer spiritual and eternal death and damnation. If we repent and look to Christ Jesus and His cross for pardon and forgiveness, God will forgive our sins and grant us the gift of eternal life!
O dearest Jesus, for the sake of Your holy life and innocent sufferings and death upon the cross, forgive me for all my sins and iniquities, cleanse my heart and grant me the sincere desire to amend my sinful ways and live for You. Amen.
[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. More of Moll's devotional writings may be freely read at goodshepherdonline.org. Moll may be contacted by email at [email protected] Opinions expressed are those of the author.]