Three Examinations, Ps 26:2

You are going to be subjected to three kinds of examination in your life: providential examination, personal examination, and peer examination.  We’ll discuss each of these in this sermon.

Providential Examination – Ps 26:2 – David said, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.”  David wanted God to check him out on the inside.  Your reins are the seat of your affections.  They are that place inside of you that’s settled when you are on the right path and disturbed when you aren’t.  In Ps 16:7, David wrote, “… my reins also instruct me in the night season.”  

You annually have a physical examination and you ordinarily take exams at the completion of courses in school.  They prove whether you are in good health or whether you have mastered the material in a subject well enough to advance to the next course level.  

Likewise, you want God to check you out to let you know where you are in your spiritual growth.  Bible reading and Bible preaching will search you and try you.  Through these two principle means, God will show you where you are and where you need to improve.  He said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten,” [Rev 3:19].  He wants us to partake of his holiness and bear the fruit of his righteousness.  Of course, he’ll search deeper as you grow and expect more from you, than when you first got saved.

Personal Examination – 1 Cor 11:28-31 – we are to examine ourselves and judge ourselves.  This passage is in the context of taking the Lord’s supper.  However, personal examination is something that you should do more often than that.  The idea is that you should recognize sin in your life that God has been dealing with you to get out of your life. In 1 Jn 1:9, you confess your sins so that God can cleanse you of your sins.  He wants you to confess and forsake them [Prov 28:13].  We know that we won’t be sinless. Nevertheless, we have certainly quit many sins that we used to do without even thinking about them.  And we should continue to grow in this grace.

According to 2 Cor 13:5, you are also to examine yourself, “whether ye be in the faith.”  You want to be absolutely sure that you are saved.  It is common for some young adults to recognize that the profession of faith they made when they were children was not salvation.  Often, as adults, they respond to the gospel because, upon personal examination and conviction of the Holy Spirit, they realize that they aren’t saved.  

Peer examination – 1 Cor 9:3 – Paul was being examined by some folks who disagreed with him.  Our problem, generally, is that we’re more concerned with what others think of us than what the Lord thinks of us.  So, when you are subject to examination, remember that we are not here to look good to men, as men-pleasers.  We are here to please God.  If someone calls into question what you are doing, you should be able to give them the answer right out of the Bible.

Though we are not men-pleasers, we must be concerned that we abstain from all appearance of evil.  This doesn’t mean that you can do evil when others aren’t looking.  It means that you don’t do evil and you don’t even appear to be doing evil.  We cannot let our liberty be a cause that others might stumble.  We don’t want to do anything that will offend a brother.

Conclusion: you should examine yourself right now while your mind is on the subject.  Is there anything in your life that God wants you to deal with and change?  If so, take care of it now.