Examine Yourself
(2 Corinthians 13:5 and Malachi 1 & 3)

Rev. Jim Bogle, given March 18, 2007

What is the quality of your service to Christ today?

2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Is Christ in you this morning? Or, are you a reprobate?

A reprobate is one who is, of their own fleshly desires, lost to the world. They are all about themselves, their goals, their achievements, and their success.

It’s not wrong to be ambitious, or to strive for achievement, or to gain success in this life, but when it is done wholly for selfish gain and without regard for God’s will for our lives, it is wrong.

Many reprobates in this world profess themselves to be religious — even claim an association with Christ Jesus — but in their heart of hearts, they know that what they claim to be so with their lips is not a reality in their hearts.

Here is a great challenge Paul puts forth to the Corinthian Church.

2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves…

He doesn’t say “Let me examine you,” or “Let others examine you.”

“Examine yourselves…prove your own selves.” Examine your heart…and ask the question, “Am I truly a Christian?”

This morning in our Sunday school lesson we learned that one way of knowing whether we are truly in the faith is by examining our daily relationship with God, and with our brothers and sisters.

1 John 2:9

He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

1 John 2:11

But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

3: But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

4: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

1 John 4:20

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Paul says, “Examine yourselves…prove your own selves.”

Another way of examining ourselves is to ask the questions,

“If I am a Christian…"

“Why is my service to Christ not what it should be?”

“Why is my service vain and halfhearted?”

What is the quality of your service to Christ today? Is your service vibrant and enthusiastic or weak and halfhearted? What does God think about “halfheartedness?”

Malachi 1:6-14

6: A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

7: Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

8: And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.

If the President of the United States, or the governor of North Carolina, or your company boss; or for our college folks, your professor; or for our high school folks, your teacher, were coming to your home for dinner, you would be anxious to serve the very best meal in their honor.

We would be embarrassed to serve anything less than the best — the best steak, the best vegetables, and the best drink!

Yet, when it comes to honoring Christ…

to serving Christ,

to preparing our hearts daily to give Christ our very best,

we’re not embarrassed at all to give Him the very least! And yet we still come to Him and ask Him to bless us!

9: And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means [This is the way you act]: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.

The priests were leading the people to honor God with unacceptable gifts; flawed and broken sacrifices, sick and feeble offerings! They dishonored God with their service and their sacrifices. And yet, the people and the priests made sure they held on to their best!

10: Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

We want God to bless us, but in our actions, in our service, and in our worship, we refuse to bless God!

We refuse to give God the honor, and the praise, He so richly deserves.

We refuse to give God our very best, and because of that, God cannot bless us!

So God puts forth a challenge to us!

Malachi 3:8-10

8: Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

9: Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10: Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Luke 6:38

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

God wants to bless us in every area of our lives, but we must open the door to those blessings by trusting and serving Him daily; in our worship, in our homes, in our relationships, striving daily to give God our very best.

Colossians 3:23-24

23: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24: Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Proverbs 3:5-6

5: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6: In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Jeremiah 29:13

13: And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

What is the quality of your service to Christ today?