In my previous post, I briefly explained the reasons for examination of one's life and the few examples of examination of other's lives.
The most important (and probably the least done) of all examination is of one's self.
Lam 3:40 Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD.
2 Cor 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
Gal 6:4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
American is so against anyone doubting their faith. "Oh just remember that day you are saved.... write it down in the back of the Bible and look at it when you doubt." I never see that in scripture. Not once. Test yourself to see if you are in the faith Paul says, he does not say think back to the day we told you about Jesus. What are you examining? To see if Jesus Christ is in you! IF Jesus lives IN you there will be evidence of it. WILL BE! Always! Read the end of James chapter 2. He calls them foolish to not believe that faith without works is useless. It has no use. It cannot save. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Why are people reluctant to examine themselves? Many become angry. One I think is the Spirit convicts them and their life. Some I think are afraid self-examination will lead to constant fear and doubt.
I do not think this is the case. 1 John is a book packed with evidences of salvation. 1 John 1:3 states the book is written so we may have fellowship with them. In the last chapter he states, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." A whole book on the evidence of salvation in a person's life. This is what your life will look like and this is what is will not look like if you are saved. However, he ends with I have written these things so you will KNOW you have eternal life. Examination leads to assurance of salvation.
I struggled for a year after hearing Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, John Piper and reading Spurgeon, No Holiness No Heaven and many other great preachers. I really fluctuated weekly with whether I was saved or not. I had my highs in Jesus and my spiritual walk and then the lows where I prayed I wasn't going to hell. However, God revealed much to me in that time. I no longer struggle. I actually have no more doubt (99.9% of the time and the .1 is so short lived). That peace came through examination of MYSELF. In the adapted words of Voddie Baucham "I am not the woman I should be, but thank God I am not the woman I once was!" It is the change in my life that gives me assurance. I see God's hand, I see His change brought out in me. Some of it is visible to others, but much is deep within my heart and soul. When I doubt, I look at who I was and who I am. The change is evidence of His work.
Another reason I believe in the examination of self. It brings about worship. My life has truly become a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1). It isn't my work but His. I can see His Spirit changing me. I can see power in overcoming things that I know isn't from me. It is all to His glory. When I see my life, my faults, compared to God's goodness I am overwhelmed with a spirit of awe and worship. I am so humbled that he chose me. I am grateful for his mercy and grace. I am more compassionate to those struggling. I want to point everyone to Jesus. Thank God that He is removing the blemishes and making me holy as He is. Glory always to God!