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1/28/15 (Wednesday invitation)                                      Perfection  2015 Index

THE NEED FOR SELF-EXAMINATION
Frank Caldwell, Invitation

·         Tom has been challenging our thinking in regards to going on to spiritual perfection

·         In the lessons that have been presented thus far, you may recall Tom ended each lesson with a thought question designed to motivate each of us to make the necessary and proper application of the lesson to our lives

Þ     Lesson Topic: Let Us Go On To Perfection

¨       Thought Question: Am I growing as I ought to?

Þ     Lesson Topic: Do You Want to Be Made Well?

¨       Thought Question: Do You REALLY Want to Be Made Well?

Þ     Lesson Topic: The Christian’s Mind

¨       Thought Question: Where is your mind at?

Þ     Lesson Topic: Woe To Those At Ease in Zion

¨       Thought Question: Are You At Ease in Zion?

Þ     Lesson Topic: Excuses

¨       Thought Question: What excuse will you offer when you stand before God?

 

·         All of these are questions of self-examination

·         When Tom began this series, one of the points he made about “Going on to Perfection” is…

Þ     We need to examine ourselves and see what the spiritual indicators in our lives are telling us about our condition before God

·         My guess is that Tom is going to deal with the subject of self-examination in significant detail in a future lesson, but since the subject was on my mind I decided to present a few thoughts tonight

·         The verse we most often sight when dealing with the subject of self-examination is 2 Corinthians 13:5

Þ     Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.

 

·         Why is it so vital that we perform a self-examination

Þ     We learn from 2 Corinthians 13:5 that self-examination is a commandment from God

¨       It is not optional

Þ     The person who has the primary responsibility to see that I make it to heaven is me

¨       The person who has the primary responsibility to see that you make it to heaven is you

¨       If we fail to make it, the primary fault will lie with ourselves and not with someone else

Þ     We need to know for certain that we are in the faith, that Christ is in us and that we are in Christ so we are not disqualified from the prize of eternal life in heaven

¨       Other than God, the person most qualified to perform this evaluation is self

¨       We know ourselves better that anyone

¨       Others can see what’s on the outside, but only God and ourselves know what is on the inside

Þ     As it relates to going on to spiritual perfection

¨       It is difficult, if not impossible, to know where you are going if you don’t first know where you are

¨       We determine where we are spiritually by self-examination

 

·         Are some people reluctant to perform a thorough examination of self?  If so, Why?

Þ     I believe the answer to the first question is yes.

Þ     Have you ever seen/heard in regards to physical exams how some people are reluctant to get one?

¨       They are reluctant because they fear the possibility of discovering something seriously wrong that they are just not prepared to deal with it

¨       So they continue on in ignorance

¨       They may even ignore clear symptoms/indicators that there is a problem

¨       The same can probably be said about some people spiritually

Þ     If this is our attitude, we fail to appreciate that self-examinations are a preventive measure

¨       To identify if something is wrong and if so, treat it now to prevent it from becoming worse

Þ     Spiritually speaking, we cannot afford to put off engaging in a thorough self-examination

¨       It is a matter of the utmost urgency

¨       The consequences are eternal

Þ     We may choose to put off performing the necessary self-examination, but rest assured that an examination  will eventually be performed

¨       See Romans 14:12 and 2 Corinthians 5:10

 

·         Steps to follow and thoughts to consider when performing a self-examination

Þ     Acknowledge first and foremost that the self-examination is required

¨       God commanded us to do it

Þ     Determine that the self-examination will be as honest and objective as possible

¨       We must have a proper attitude when we examine ourselves

¨       Psalm 26:2, Psalm 139:23,24

Þ     Use the right standard when performing the self-examination (James 1:22-25)

¨       We must look into God’s mirror, His perfect law of liberty

Þ     Know that there will be findings (some good, some not so good)

Þ     Determine how you are going to deal with the findings (especially the not so good ones)

¨       Don’t ignore the results, but act on them

¨       Psalm 119:57-60

Þ     Remember why we are performing the self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28-31)

¨       It is not for our harm, but our eternal spiritual good

¨       If we judge (examine) ourselves according to God’s standard and make the proper corrections when needed,  we can avoid the judgment and condemnation of God

Þ     Remember that the need to perform self-examinations never ends

CONCLUSION

·         Self-examination is a God ordained responsibility given to each and every one of us

·         Designed by God to keep us on the right spiritual path

·         It may be unpleasant at times, but it is needed

·         Q: How are we doing in the area of self-examination?