"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage (for Thurs., Sept. 13)
II Corinthians 13:1-14
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? II Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
It seems that life is full of tests. In school, we constantly had to prepare (cram!) for the upcoming examinations. There were even insidious little things called "pop quizes". When we left our school days, we thought, "Great! No more tests!" But then the REAL TESTS began.
Tests are meauring sticks. They tell us if we are passing or flunking. For this reason, most folks dread them. They speak to us of "The Agony and the Ecstacy." Agony if we fail. Ecstacy is we pass.
When it comes to Jesus, we have an incredibly high standard. How can we possibly measure up? If I begin to examine my heart in comparison to Jesus, I might as well give up now because there is no way I can meet His standards.
But Paul speaks of a different kind of examination. He does not say, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are working hard enough or not." He does not say, "Examine yourselves to see if you are holy enough." He says, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are IN THE FAITH!"
There is ONE and ONLY ONE way to pass this test. There is one question that determines "pass" or "flunk." That question is this, "Are you trusting Jesus for your righteousness?" If you are IN CHRIST, there is no more condemnation -- no flunking. If you are not trusting Jesus, all your "good" works will still fall short.
Are you truly trusting Jesus today? Are you surrendered? That's really all it takes. If you rely on yourself, you simply can't win. If you rely on Jesus, you have already passed the course. Congratulations!!!