We began this week with this verse. Let’s break down this verse and get a clearer understanding over the next couple of days.
There are three key words in this verse, “examine,” “prove” and “reprobates.” Let’s look at each of these words in order.
First, Paul says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” “The faith” here refers to true Christianity. We are to “examine” ourselves to be certain that we are true believers. “Examine” means “to try, scrutinize, assay.” The root word carries the idea of piercing or looking through.
Let me illustrate in several different ways. Scholastically, if you are a student, from time to time you are given examinations to test your mastery of a subject. Medically, we go to a physician for an examination, to find out about our health. Militarily, an officer reviews or examines his troops to be sure they are up to standards. Legally, a witness is put on the stand to examine his knowledge of a case. Scientifically, a slide is put under the microscope to closely examine its contents. We, as Christians, are to pierce the outer shell of our lives and closely examine our hearts to be certain we are “in the faith.”
We do not like examinations; however, when was the last time you examined yourself to be sure you are in the faith?