“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?” 2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV)
These words were written by the Apostle Paul, under the influence of The Holy Spirit of God, to the believers in the church at Corinth. In this the last chapter of Second Corinthians, Paul tells them that he plans to visit them in order to personally address the incorrigible members among them who did not respond to his repeated warnings. (2 Corinthians 13:1-2) He exhorts them to examine themselves. Then he asked them a rhetorical question, “Do you not realize that Christ Jesus in you?” He ends by telling them to strive for full restoration, to encourage one another, to be of one mind, and to live in peace. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
As believers we are saved. Unfortunately, even though we are believers in Christ, we still sin. When we fall back into sin, we do not lose our salvation; we just interrupt the fellowship that we have with Christ. That is why we should frequently ask to be forgiven because we sin daily. Remember, in addition to our actions, our sinful behavior, we can sin with our words (Matthew 15:18) and with our thoughts. (Proverbs 23:7 and Matthew 5:28) There are also sins of omission as well as sins of commission. We all need to check ourselves regularly and confess our sins. When we pray, we should ask God to forgive us, cleanse our heart and mind, and renew a right spirit within us. (Psalm 51:1-4 and 10) The Holy Spirit of God is within us (Ezekiel 36:27) and our behavior should exhibit the fruit of The Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) Our life, our walk, and our talk should be different after we accepted Christ than it was beforehand. It does not matter how long we have been in Christ, we should all be growing in knowledge and holiness. (2 Peter 2:18) The only things that do not grow are things that are dead. We should strive to be more Christ-like each day. People should be able to see The Christ in us.