8/2/16 Doubts

Monday, August 1, 2016


2 Cor. 13:5

Morning Meditation 8/2/16

Verse 5 says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

A more direct question on the assurance of salvation is not found in the Scripture than this one. I believe there were those in Corinth that had doubts and Paul asks this question to point them in the direction of assurance. Have you ever doubted your salvation? I have heard a few Christians say they never have. That is great and that is possible. But the majority of us somewhere along life’s pathway have. And it is a miserable and scarey feeling. You see, if you are truly saved, you understand the Bible and believe it’s doctrines. You are fully aware that hell awaits the end of an unsaved man’s life (Luke 16:19-31). Unsaved people walk around you every day and never give it a thought. But not you. You know there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. And you know that the unsaved are only one heartbeat out of that horrible place. For you to know that and doubt, is to me filled with fear and dread. Corinth had members who fit this profile. Paul says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Paul seem almost put out with having to deal with this issue. But he does, so lets examine it.

The word “Examine” (peirazo) means “to put something to the test.” It is a present active imperative verb. The present tense and imperative mood means get on with this examination right now and stay with it until it is settled. The imperative mood is a command and suggests urgency. Paul understood that urgency. So does the one who doubts. The person who is saved and doubts is a very miserable person. If fact, there is torment in the fears that arise out of doubts. So there is a legitimate Scriptural warrant for self examination for the one who is in doubt.

The following is a summary of Adoniram Judson’s obtaining the assurance of his salvation:

“Adoniram made an instant impression on these two divines (in Andover). His personality was ingratiating, yet without false humility. His mind was of the finest order. He already knew more theology than many theological students. He was open to conviction. He understood that he must undergo inner regeneration before he could look forward to faith and personal salvation. BUT CLEARLY THIS WAS NOT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED IN A FEW HOURS OF ARGUMENT (Caps mine). The very qualities that made the boy so worth saving made him hard to save. Yet the visitors felt almost at once that if he could find conviction he could become a minister such as had not been seen since the days of Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards.”

“Soon he was completely engrossed in his new life of plain living and high thinking. Part of the day he spent in his room translating and working on theological problems. Part he spent with the two professors. Another part he spent alone, walking in a wooded grove behind the seminary building, reflecting on the meaning of what he was learning. November came. The grove was a less pleasant place, perhaps, than it had been in October. The ground was wet with fall rain, the weather raw; only a few lonely leaves lingered on the bare boughs. But with the trees bare, he could see farther. And as he walked thoughtfully through the grove, he found that he could see farther into his problems, too. He began to suspect he had not seen the forest for the trees, nor the trees for the leaves. THAT MONTH HIS DOUBTS BEGAN TO LEAVE, LITTLE BY LITTLE (Caps mind). He underwent no sudden conversion, felt no blinding flash of insight. But he was able to note that he ‘began to entertain a hope of having received the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit.’”

“On the second day of December—a day he never forgot—he made a solemn dedication of himself to God."

“With the issue settled and himself at peace, he devoted himself with a single mind to his studies. . . The next summer he joined the church at Plymouth, to the unrelieved joy of his father, mother, and Abby. From this time on he was literally a new man. He banished forever those dreams of literary and political ambition in which he had formerly indulged, and simply asked himself, How shall I so order my future being as best to please God?” (Quote from the Life of Adoniram Judson To The Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson).

I just wanted you to see that some of the great men of the past have and struggles coming to the full assurance of salvation.

The word “prove” (dokimazo) means “to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals.” This is what you are to do to your own selves. There were some in Corinth who needed to examine the genuineness of their faith in Christ.

There is a sure test of the genuineness of your faith. Paul puts it this way, “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates.?” The word “ye know” (epiginosko) is the word “to know” with a prepositional intensifier attached to the front of it and means “to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly.” It is a present active indicative verb. It means that you are thoroughly acquainted with whether Jesus Christ is in you if He is there. The words “except ye be reprobates” is the exception to the rule. You either know it or you are reprobates. That seems to be the only exception. The word “reprobates” (adokimos) means “not standing the test.” The test is the presence of Jesus.. It is not what you are doing for him. It is His presence. It is not your faith, it is His presence.

Sometimes the loss of assurance comes by being misdirected by the devil into believing that salvation depends on the strength of faith. This is a lie of Satan. Salvation has never been based on the strength of our faith. It is based on the TRUTHFULNESS OF GOD. John says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Some will tell you that they do not know whether they have believed. Paul answers that in this verse. If you believed, Jesus Christ is in you. If He is not there you are what Paul calls a “reprobate.” Can a “reprobate” be saved? Yes. What does he have to do? Believe the gospel. You say, “I have done that.” You haven’t, according to Paul, if Jesus Christ is not in you. Now you may be expecting some big BANG to take place. Please re-read the experience of Adoniram Judson. That was a hindrance to him also. He had to take God at his Word and press on. When he realized God could not lie and that He had kept His Word, the problem of assurance took care of itself.

May God bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

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