Know Thyself: A Biblical Perspective

“Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless, indeed, you fail the test!”

2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:5‬ ‭

Friends, sin makes everything about us. Not only is “i” central to this tiny, English word, but it is the primary lens through which our self-bent hearts interpret meaning and purpose. “I know best!” “I need to be right.” “I know what they need!” And on and on it goes. Sin sets our gaze “in.” It focuses our minds upon the desires and dreams we have as opposed to recognizing that God’s might be completely different.

“There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12

This post is very simple… Are we living as we used to live…Following the whims of our hearts and seeking the approval of man? Or are we looking to God for His wisdom and leading? You see, looking within is what we used to do… it’s the old way of examining ourselves. We are not to set our minds on us, but on things above where Christ is (Col 3:2). And to acknowledge Him in all our ways (Prov 3). It’s his Holy Spirit that needs to examine our hearts…and it’s completely by His grace.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭

“in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:2-10‬

Its not the flesh (old self) that should control the flesh (self-control), and it’s not the heart which can judge the heart? It’s not even by knowing your personality type that all of your brokenness can be quelled (a false hope). Friends, it’s by Grace alone! It’s through the Gospel of Jesus!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23, 25‬ ‭

As we pray (depend on Him) and read God‘s word (fill our minds with Truth) the peace and joy that Jesus gives holds us through each and every circumstance. Repentance brings rest, dear sister. Look to Him! Repent and look up! Let God examine your heart…He knows what He is doing!

Friends, if you hear anyone quote Augustine and/or Calvin in such a way that promotes “knowing yourself as to know God,” please do the following 3 things:

  • 1) Grab your Bible.
  • 2) Read Augustine’s words (Calvin’s source) for yourself (here).
  • 3) Peruse this Biblical response by Marcia Montenegro from Christian Answers for the New Age (here).

2 Corinthians 13 NET

Paul’s Third Visit to Corinth

13 This is the third time I am coming to visit[a]you. By the testimony[b] of two or three witnesses every matter will be established.[c]I said before when I was present the second time and now, though absent, I say again to those who sinned previously and to all the rest, that if I come again, I will not spare anyone,[d]since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He[e] is not weak toward you but is powerful among you. For indeed he was crucified by reason of weakness, but he lives because of God’s power. For we also are weak in him, but we will live together with him, because of God’s power toward you. Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you—unless, indeed, you fail the test![f] And I hope that you will realize that we have not failed the test![g] Now we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong, not so that we may appear to have passed the test,[h] but so that you may do what is right[i] even if we may appear to have failed the test.[j] For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the sake of the truth. For we rejoice whenever we are weak, but you are strong. And we pray for this: that you may become fully qualified.[k]10 Because of this I am writing these things while absent, so that when I arrive[l] I may not have to deal harshly with you[m] by using my authority—the Lord gave it to me for building up, not for tearing down!

Final Exhortations and Greetings

11 Finally, brothers and sisters,[n] rejoice, set things right, be encouraged, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 [o] Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. 13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship[p] of the Holy Spirit be with you all.[q]

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 13:1 tn The word “visit” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
  2. 2 Corinthians 13:1 tn Grk “By the mouth.”
  3. 2 Corinthians 13:1 sn A quotation from Deut 19:15 (also quoted in Matt 18:16; 1 Tim 5:19).
  4. 2 Corinthians 13:2 tn The word “anyone” is not in the Greek text but is implied.
  5. 2 Corinthians 13:3 tn Grk “who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
  6. 2 Corinthians 13:5 tn Or “unless indeed you are disqualified.”
  7. 2 Corinthians 13:6 tn Or “that we are not disqualified.”
  8. 2 Corinthians 13:7 tn Or “that we may appear to be approved.”
  9. 2 Corinthians 13:7 tn Or “what is good.”
  10. 2 Corinthians 13:7 tn Or “even if we appear disapproved.”
  11. 2 Corinthians 13:9 tn Or “fully equipped.”
  12. 2 Corinthians 13:10 tn Grk “when I am present,” but in the context of Paul’s third (upcoming) visit to Corinth, this is better translated as “when I arrive.”
  13. 2 Corinthians 13:10 tn The words “with you” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
  14. 2 Corinthians 13:11 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:8.
  15. 2 Corinthians 13:12 sn The versification of vv. 12 and 13 in the NET (so also NRSV, NLT) is according to the versification in the NA28 and UBS5 editions of the Greek text. Some translations, however, break the material up into three verses, i.e., 12-14 (NKJV, NASB, NIV). The same material has been translated in each case; the only difference is the versification of that material.
  16. 2 Corinthians 13:13 tn Or “communion.”
  17. 2 Corinthians 13:13 tc Most witnesses, especially later ones (א2 D Ψ M lat sy bo), conclude this letter with ἀμήν (amēn, “amen”), while several early and significant mss (P46 א* A B F G 0243 6 33 630 1175 1739 1881 sa) lack the particle. Such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom 16:27; Gal 6:18; Jude 25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding ἀμήν in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, ἀμήν is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant. That so many diverse witnesses lacked the word here is strong testimony to its absence for the original text of 2 Corinthians.

2 thoughts on “Know Thyself: A Biblical Perspective

  1. Such an excellent reminder about how “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” I will keep much of this tucked away when I talk about sin with my kids. (i.e. ‘i’ being central, looking within versus looking to God, our hearts being deceitful, etc)

    Liked by 1 person

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