Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. —Ephesians 4:13
When an individual is saved by the blood and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, he is then equipped to serve the Lord in holiness. There will always be things that the Lord is perfecting and areas in which a child of God will grow. Our purpose is to become more and more like Christ as we daily yield and surrender ourselves to the will of God. A saint of God need never be afraid of acknowledging a failure or a weakness. It is then that we can obtain greater victory and power. Never be discouraged when the Lord reveals a spiritual need. That is the mercy and love of God to help us prepare for the judgment.
This quarter, the subject is not as intensely theological as it is more exhortational in manner. The burden is to share some of the scripture relating to the necessity of self-examination. It is so hard for us to see ourselves, for most people tend to view themselves in the best light possible. We will never be able to grow in Christ if we are not willing to examine our life and be honest about the needs that exist. God is never going to ask us to change something without also giving us the grace and ability to change.
Our world is filled with people who profess the name of Christ but still live in sin. What would happen if everyone were to honestly weigh their lives by the Word of God without making excuses or pointing fingers at other people? Sinners need to recognize their sin, but I am more burdened this quarter with people who profess to be saints and yet are living substandard to the Word of God. None of us are exempt from the instruction of the Word. Many people are acting as if they can set their own rules and standards and fit God in the middle of it all. God is not changing, and we must change our life to be in accordance to His will. This is where we will find true peace and satisfaction in serving the Lord. It is a miserable condition to profess to be a child of God and yet cover up wrong, hoping no one will find out. It is sad that people are becoming more unashamed of worldly living among God’s people.
While it is needful to examine our doctrines and beliefs, it is even more important to examine our attitudes and affections. People can have the doctrines right and yet have attitudes or things in their lives with which God is not pleased. Let us open our hearts to the Spirit of God. Let us take heed when we read the Bible and hear messages from God’s anointed vessels. As we examine our life and follow Christ, we will experience more and more of His fullness.
Michael W. Smith