2 Cor 13:5 says, Examine yourselves. This is something we all do to an extent. For example, a lady will examine herself in front of a mirror to make sure her hair, makeup, and dress are right. This is why the ladies room has a full length mirror in it. Of course, God is not talking about our outward appearance in this verse. Jesus said, Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment, Jn 7:24.
Then this examination is based on God’s judgment, not our own. The reason is that Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find, Prov 20:6? It’s our examination but it’s God’s judgment. And according to Ps 19:9, The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. So, if you want to make true judgments and right judgments, you must judge the way God judges. Notice what God judges.
God shall judge every work. Ecc 12:14, God shall bring every work into judgment whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Check what you’re doing against what God says you should be doing or should not be doing. Then make the changes according to God’s judgment.
God shall judge every word. Matt 12:36, Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Judge everything you say by how God judges it, and speak accordingly.
God shall judge everyone. Ezek 18:30, Therefore, I will judge you, O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Ecc 3:17 says, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked. We are not exempt as Christians. God will judge us.
God judges you to help you. Imagine a teacher giving you the questions for the final exam ahead of the exam. And then imagine your teacher giving you the answers to the questions. And then imagine your teacher sitting there with you when you take the test to help you whenever you have a question about anything. That’s what God does with us. When we examine ourselves according to God’s judgment, God helps us fulfill righteousness.
Examine your sin. 1 Cor 11:28, 31, But let a man examine himself… For if we word judge ourselves, we should not be judged. It is joy to the just to do judgment, Prov 21:15, but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. When you examine yourselves, you judge the sin in your life. When you judge your sin and change, God won’t judge you for that sin later.
Examine your faith. 2 Cor 13:5, Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves. When you examine yourselves, you prove that you are a true believer in Christ by judging your salvation by God’s standard. And if you aren’t saved, then believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
When examine yourselves and continue to change according to God’s judgment, the Holy Spirit conforms you to the image of Christ. Little by little we become more like him and less like the people we were before we believed on Jesus.