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Thread: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

  1. #1

    Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail the test."

    Exactly how do we examine ourselves this way? Is this strictly an inner test? Or do we test our actions and speech to see what is true?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail the test."

    Exactly how do we examine ourselves this way? Is this strictly an inner test? Or do we test our actions and speech to see what is true?

    Thanks.
    I believe this passage is in the context of a wider passage (chpts 10-13) where Paul is vindicating his apostleship. [where they were wanting to pay heed to other, more grand-sounding persons]

    So, they were "questioning" his apostleship... and he is responding by saying (basically), if you are saved, and I am the one who brought you the gospel message, then I am a true apostle. So "examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith" is a way of saying, "if so, and I delivered to you the message, then what does that say about my 'apostleship' you are questioning?"

    I don't believe this is a passage to encourage people to "examine their actions" (to see if they "measure up"), but that this is something we (like they) should "KNOW" (how that "Jesus Christ is in you" because of/by means of "faith" in Him and His finished work ["THE faith" is "that body of truth" as found in the NT]).

    Paul was endeavoring to elicit from their minds a response of, "of course!" [to both issues: their being in the faith (Jesus Christ is in you) ... same answer as him being a true apostle (who delivered to them the message of the gospel whereby they "believed" [1Cor15:1-4, among the others, per v.11])]

  3. #3

    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Thanks TDW, not saying you are incorrect, it just seems that Paul is saying we should examine ourselves too just as he has examined himself.

    In a later passage, in 9, Paul says he hopes they are restored, this must be because they didn't believe his apostleship?

  4. #4
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    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail the test."

    Exactly how do we examine ourselves this way? Is this strictly an inner test? Or do we test our actions and speech to see what is true?

    Thanks.
    It is founded in truth. Jesus said those who worship the Father must do so in spirit and truth. Christians have a tendency to ignore truth or adjust it to their convenience.

    For example prayer meetings can be great source of the latest gossip. And the gossip is justified because they are praying.

    Christian also tend to be surfacy in confession of their sins. Asking blanket forgiveness for all theirs sins at once instead of dealing with specific sins. Doing the blanket repentance means you can ignore your actual sins.

    Also we may only confess the surface sin such as gossip. We will confess the sin of gossip to the Lord but we will not go beyond they and confess "WHY" we gossip. Which usually has a self exaltation reason. But we don't want to see ourselves as trying to exalting ourselves in other people's eyes. We are God's humble servants.
    "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
    C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

    "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
    "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

    "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
    "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
    "Our Hope is unchanged"
    "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

  5. #5

    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    Thanks TDW, not saying you are incorrect, it just seems that Paul is saying we should examine ourselves too just as he has examined himself.
    It seems to me that in chpt 13 [pertaining to your specific question], he is saying "don't merely put ME on trial... apart from 'the evidence of my apostleship' [YOU! examine yourselves... (coz there's the proof)]"

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    In a later passage, in 9, Paul says he hopes they are restored, this must be because they didn't believe his apostleship?
    By "in 9," do you mean chapter 9 or what?

    Speaking of 9:2, it does say there, "for the seal/certification of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord"... which is the point I'm making.

    In the later part of chpt 9, Paul does refer to his "limiting his rights for ministry"... and concludes with "but I keep under [discipline] my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway [disqualified]." (I believe this refers to being "disqualified" before men, that is, in the eyes of those to whom he ministers [per context]... as in, no one would be willing to listen to him.)

    But what passage are you referring to (when saying "in 9")? Can you clarify? Thanks.

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    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    It is founded upon my personal relationship with God.
    Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

  7. #7

    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail the test."

    Exactly how do we examine ourselves this way? Is this strictly an inner test? Or do we test our actions and speech to see what is true?

    Thanks.
    Paul is saying, quite simply, that if we are genuine Christians Christ is inside of us. We should able to detect his character in our actions. We should recognize love that is not strictly ours, but originating from above. We cannot, as mere men, produce anything but a shadow of Christ's love. Only if Christ is in us can we have genuine, unconditional love for others.

  8. #8
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    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail the test."

    Exactly how do we examine ourselves this way? Is this strictly an inner test? Or do we test our actions and speech to see what is true?

    Thanks.
    For me, 2 Cor 13:5 is as plain as day. God has given us a conscience that reproves us of wrongdoing according to Rom 2:15. Paul is telling every believer to from time to time, do a self-assessment of their standing before God using the Spirit of God in us (which cannot deceive us) as the guide.

    John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    See what Jesus said above:

    1. The Spirit of "truth" enables us to do a self-evaluation of our faith or standing before Jesus.
    2. Conversely, the world [reprobates] does not have the indwelling Spirit and cannot *examine* themselves in righteousness.

    Remember that this is not a self-examination of our standing and achievements in society, but rather, of our *faith* which equals living for Christ?

    Personally, what I do is ask myself from to time that if death comes now, have I done enough to make heaven or will I end up being rejected by Christ? While the answer may not be 100% spot on, at least your conscience will tell you whether you are doing well (in Christ) or not. And that's what the self-examination is all about.

  9. #9

    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by Trivalee View Post
    ask... that if death comes now, have I done enough to make heaven ...
    "DOING" [or "have done enough"] is not how we "make heaven" [make it to heaven]... but what Christ HAS DONE. [1Cor15:1-4,11; Eph2:8-9]



    Recall, the ones Jesus refers to in Matt7 who say "have *we* not done... many wonderful works?" [even, 'in Thy name' done them].

    He will respond with "I NEVER knew you: depart from Me..."




    I know that people often use 2Cor13:5 to mean "prove to yourselves and to others [by examining your 'works'] that you are a true Christian" [or 'have done enough to make heaven' and the like], but I am saying that 2Cor13:5 is part of the wider context of chpts 9-13 [Paul vindicating his apostleship], and not grasping this context (and focusing only on a few verses in chpt 13) brings one to this false conclusion (as to what 13:5 means).

    Faith, alone, in Christ and His finished work, alone, is how we "make heaven" (as you put it). Nothing else whatsoever.

  10. #10
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    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDivineWatermark View Post
    "DOING" [or "have done enough"] is not how we "make heaven" [make it to heaven]... but what Christ HAS DONE. [1Cor15:1-4,11; Eph2:8-9]



    Recall, the ones Jesus refers to in Matt7 who say "have *we* not done... many wonderful works?" [even, 'in Thy name' done them].

    He will respond with "I NEVER knew you: depart from Me..."

    I know that people often use 2Cor13:5 to mean "prove to yourselves and to others [by examining your 'works'] that you are a true Christian" [or 'have done enough to make heaven' and the like], but I am saying that 2Cor13:5 is part of the wider context of chpts 9-13 [Paul vindicating his apostleship], and not grasping this context (and focusing only on a few verses in chpt 13) brings one to this false conclusion (as to what 13:5 means).

    Faith, alone, in Christ and His finished work, alone, is how we "make heaven" (as you put it). Nothing else whatsoever.
    Brother, I think you misunderstood me. Of course, I'm not saying we make heaven through "works"!!!! What am I saying is that the self-examination taught by Paul allows me to evaluate whether I have taken Christ' sacrifice for me in vain?

    Now, unless you're one of those who believes that once you've given your life to Christ, heaven is guaranteed irrespective of what you do or, how you live your life from coming to faith to death. I don't believe such assurance exists. I certainly believe that salvation can be lost if I choose to go back and wallow in the unrighteous things I gave up when I didn't know Christ. See Heb 6:5-6 and 10:26; Ezek 18:24.

    Paul, despite his earnest work in God's vineyard, was nonetheless concerned about losing his salvation when he made the following statement:

    1 Cor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

  11. #11

    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by Trivalee View Post
    Paul, despite his earnest work in God's vineyard, was nonetheless concerned about losing his salvation when he made the following statement:

    1 Cor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
    People tend to use a number of Paul's words (found in several different passages) to [incorrectly] be conveying such a thought.

    Philippians 3:8-15 is another such passage that is often misinterpreted to mean this.

    However, it doesn't mean that. Here is a brief appendix from a book (on Phil3:8-15... somewhat related to this same topic, as another one of the passages ppl use to say Paul meant that [though he didn't mean that]):

    http://articles.ochristian.com/article12455.shtml

    [quoting excerpt from link]

    "IF the commonly received exegesis of Philippians 3:8-14 be correct, we are faced by the astounding fact that the author of the Epistle to the Romans and of the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians -- the Apostle who was in a peculiar sense entrusted with the supreme revelation of grace -- announced when nearing the close of his ministry that the resurrection was not, as he had been used to teach, a blessing which Divine grace assured to all believers in Christ, but a prize to be won by the sustained efforts of a life of wholly exceptional saintship.

    "Nor is this all. In the same Epistle he has already said, "To me to live is Christ, and to have died is gain"; whereas, ex hypothesi, it now appears that his chief aim in life was to earn a right to the resurrection; and that death, instead of bringing gain, would have cut him off before he had reached the standard of saintship needed to secure that prize! For his words are explicit, "not as though I had already attained."

    [...]

    "If this passage refers to the literal resurrection, then the words "not as though I had already attained must mean that, while here on earth, and before the Lord's Coming, the Apostle hoped either to undergo the change of ver. 21, or else to win some sort of saintship diploma, or certificate, to ensure his being raised at the Coming. These alternatives are inexorable; and they only need to be stated to ensure their rejection.

    "One word more. If the Apostle Paul, after such a life of saintship and service, was in doubt as to his part in the resurrection, no one of us, unless he be the proudest of Pharisees or the blindest of fools, will dream of attaining it. In fact we shall dismiss the subject from our minds."

    --Forgotten Truths, Appendix 4: Philippians 3:8-14, Sir Robert Anderson

    [bold, underline mine]

  12. #12

    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDivineWatermark View Post
    "DOING" [or "have done enough"] is not how we "make heaven" [make it to heaven]... but what Christ HAS DONE. [1Cor15:1-4,11; Eph2:8-9]



    Recall, the ones Jesus refers to in Matt7 who say "have *we* not done... many wonderful works?" [even, 'in Thy name' done them].

    He will respond with "I NEVER knew you: depart from Me..."




    I know that people often use 2Cor13:5 to mean "prove to yourselves and to others [by examining your 'works'] that you are a true Christian" [or 'have done enough to make heaven' and the like], but I am saying that 2Cor13:5 is part of the wider context of chpts 9-13 [Paul vindicating his apostleship], and not grasping this context (and focusing only on a few verses in chpt 13) brings one to this false conclusion (as to what 13:5 means).

    Faith, alone, in Christ and His finished work, alone, is how we "make heaven" (as you put it). Nothing else whatsoever.
    I don't get from that verse we are supposed to prove to others of our salvation, either. I think we are supposed to do something though, examine ourselves.

  13. #13

    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDivineWatermark View Post
    It seems to me that in chpt 13 [pertaining to your specific question], he is saying "don't merely put ME on trial... apart from 'the evidence of my apostleship' [YOU! examine yourselves... (coz there's the proof)]"



    By "in 9," do you mean chapter 9 or what?

    Speaking of 9:2, it does say there, "for the seal/certification of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord"... which is the point I'm making.

    In the later part of chpt 9, Paul does refer to his "limiting his rights for ministry"... and concludes with "but I keep under [discipline] my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway [disqualified]." (I believe this refers to being "disqualified" before men, that is, in the eyes of those to whom he ministers [per context]... as in, no one would be willing to listen to him.)

    But what passage are you referring to (when saying "in 9")? Can you clarify? Thanks.
    Sorry, I meant the same chapter, 13, verse 9. I agree, Paul is telling us to do the same. I was just curious to know what others think about the how to examine ourselves.

  14. #14

    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by Trivalee View Post
    For me, 2 Cor 13:5 is as plain as day. God has given us a conscience that reproves us of wrongdoing according to Rom 2:15. Paul is telling every believer to from time to time, do a self-assessment of their standing before God using the Spirit of God in us (which cannot deceive us) as the guide.

    John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    See what Jesus said above:

    1. The Spirit of "truth" enables us to do a self-evaluation of our faith or standing before Jesus.
    2. Conversely, the world [reprobates] does not have the indwelling Spirit and cannot *examine* themselves in righteousness.

    Remember that this is not a self-examination of our standing and achievements in society, but rather, of our *faith* which equals living for Christ?

    Personally, what I do is ask myself from to time that if death comes now, have I done enough to make heaven or will I end up being rejected by Christ? While the answer may not be 100% spot on, at least your conscience will tell you whether you are doing well (in Christ) or not. And that's what the self-examination is all about.
    Thank you, that does help. I have asked myself the question, am I really saved? Most of the time I am certain, but sometimes I wonder, those are the times when it seems God is far off. So wasn't sure if that is what it meant or not.

  15. #15

    Re: Question about 2 Cor 13:5

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDivineWatermark View Post
    I don't believe this is a passage to encourage people to "examine their actions" (to see if they "measure up")
    Why would you arrive at this conclusion, when this is not the first time that Paul tells Christians to examine themselves? See 1 Cor 11:28, and see why it is critical to examine oneself. Indeed, the whole tenor of Scripture indicates that Christians should examine themselves constantly and daily.

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