Paul reminded the Corinthians, who were arrogant in spite of their many spiritual flaws, to examine themselves. In regard to the manner of observing the Lord’s Supper, Paul said, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” In regard to the manner in which we approach the Lord in worship we should examine our motives and actions. Later, in 2 Corinthians, after responding to their scrutiny of him, Paul bids them to take a taste of their own medicine by saying, “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?” The Corinthians, like all Christians, needed to do a spiritual inventory to make sure they had enough of the proper faith.
If we are honest with ourselves, we will recognize our shortcomings and see the need for improvements in our Christian lives. In our prayers, we should be like the apostles who on one occasion called on the Lord to increase their faith (Luke 17:5). Like the father of the demoniac who cried out with tears, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24), we also have a part of us that believes and a part of us that doubts. We must increase that part which believes.
How do we increase our faith? By imbibing of the word of God. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” At the Jerusalem conference, Peter mentioned the conversion of the first Gentiles by saying, “Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe” (Acts 15:7). The word of the gospel is how faith comes and how it increases. We must take time to read and meditate upon God’s word so that we have sufficient faith (Psalm 1:1-3; 119:97; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15).
Times will come in our lives when our faith is tested. It will either become firmer or fail. When the apostles were out on the sea caught in a terrible storm they feared; Jesus asked, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25). When it comes to the storms of life, where is your faith? Will you have fortified your faith enough to remain true to God even in dark days? James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” If our faith passes the test, then we can be assured that God will carry us through to the heavenly goal. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
Ask yourself these questions about your faith:
Where is my faith?
Is my faith stronger now than when I obeyed the gospel?
Am I more active in the work of the Lord now than one, five, or ten years ago?
Do I visit the sick?
Do I have personal Bible studies with others?
How much time a week, beside that spent in regular church services, do I take to spend time in prayer and Bible study alone and with my family?