TODAY’S READING: 2 CORINTHIANS 10-13
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” – 2 Corinthians 13:5
At some point, all Christians doubt if they are saved, if they truly have faith in God and in Jesus. But, God does not want you doubting your faith or that Jesus is in you.
My translation of 2 Corinthians 13:5 is, “Test yourselves, if you are in the faith. Prove yourselves. Or do you not really know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is you? If not, be disqualified.”
So, how do you prove that Christ is in you?
Is it because:
- You dress a certain way?
- You eat certain foods?
- You hold certain days special?
- You read the Bible every day?
- You do not say certain words?
- You do not drink?
- You go to church every Sunday?
- You tithe?
- You are wealthy?
- You are healthy?
It is quite easy to think that doing some or all of these things makes you a Christian. If I do all these things, then Christ is in you.
The key word in my translation above is prove. This is the Greek verb dokimazo.
Why is this the key word to understanding Paul’s test if Christ is in you, if you are in the faith?
Because in verse 3, Paul says to the Corinthians, “Since you seek proof of Christ speaking in me.” Proof is a noun, but it is the same Greek word as the verb dokimazo.
So, what does Paul offer as proof that Christ is speaking in him?
“He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.” (2 Corinthians 13:3-4)
Jesus was crucified in weakness but lives by the power of God.
This is just another way of saying what Jesus stated all scripture was about – it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and rise from the dead.
Paul says that, just like Jesus, he is weak. But, it is Paul’s being weak in Christ that causes him to live by the power of God in the Corinthians. This is why Paul says that if he is going to boast that he is going to boast about his weaknesses. For, it is his weaknesses that reveal Jesus, the power of God, is in him.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
In other words, Paul says that it is his suffering for others to bring them life that is the proof of Christ speaking in him.
And, if this Paul’s proof that Christ is in him, then the Corinthians can prove themselves in the same you.
How do you know Christ is in you?
Test yourselves to see if you are suffering for others to bring them life. If the answer is yes, then Christ is in you.
How do you know you are in the faith?
Believing and trusting God that he raises to life all those that suffer for their enemies and brings their enemies to life with them.
We are in the faith when we are suffering for others to bring about life.
In Luke 24:25-26, Jesus says, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe [have faith in] all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”
Jesus then taught the disciples how everything in the scriptures was about this one thing.
Everything in the Christian life comes back to this one thing.
This is who God is.
God suffers death to bring life.
You are of God, of Christ, when you do the same.