“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” 2 Corinthians 13:5
But is there any need of such self-examination, when yet we preach Christ and stay ourselves on His name? Alas, it is possible both to preach and profess Him, yea to have a seeming confidence in Him and call Him our Rock and talk of His grace, and yet be lovers of sin and haters of holiness — thereby showing that we have no interest in Him — but are on the road to destruction.
Thus Jesus has told us (Matthew 7:22-23). Let us therefore examine ourselves. Is our faith in Him accompanied with much self-abhorrence, in the view of our sinfulness and pollution before Him?
Do we prize Him, not only for His favor to us — but for His own goodness, His grace, and His excellence?
Do we love Him, so as to love nothing else in comparison of Him: neither self nor the world nor pleasure nor advantage?
Then surely we are His, and He also is ours. These graces are the fruits of the Spirit within us. They are proofs of our faith and of our union with Him. And if we are united by the Spirit to Jesus, He will certainly own us before men and angels. He will never forsake us in time or eternity.
How dreadful will their case be, who habitually give themselves unto sin and iniquity, while yet they make mention of Jesus Christ and wish to be thought His disciples!
Keep us, Lord, we beseech You, from such sad delusion. O give us to remember all our past provocations and to know, to love, and to serve You in sincerity! Make us like Jesus in spirit, temper, and conversation, that there may be no doubt of our state.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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