Have you been to the doctor for a check-up lately? No, I’m not talking about the one in the white coat, (if you are lucky enough to actually get an appointment). I’m talking about the Holy Spirit.
He will examine your heart to look for signs that the disease of sin is growing into something that requires “surgery.” You cannot let yourself be examined by the Holy Spirit unless you are first “in” the Spirit. After all, this is called a “self” examination.
“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:28; 31-32).
BELIEVERS ARE ALIVE IN THE SPIRIT
Yes, it is possible to be “alive” in the Spirit while not “walking” in the Spirit:
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Galatians 5:25; Romans 8:9,;12-13).
God will judge His children who try to walk according to the flesh. It is impossible for the child of God, if he or she strays into habitual sin, to walk according to the flesh for very long. That is what our examination is supposed to reveal for us to correct, before God steps in and corrects it for us. Notice what God says about the discipline of His children:
“And make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:13).
When you try to “walk” in the flesh, God will correct your path! It is definitely going to hurt so you really should judge yourself so you will not be “corrected” by the Lord. God’s ultimate goal of course is for you to “be healed.” That is, to put to death the deeds of the body through the work of the Holy Spirit.
If we would “condemn”(judge) ourselves we would not be chastened by the Lord. We must judge ourselves and repent in order to change the behavior for which the Lord will chasten us, to cause His hand of judgment to lift away.
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)
“For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30-31).
Paul always stressed the seriousness of God’s chastening judgment on the believer who is not walking in the Spirit. So, when at times you feel overwhelming guilt, you have likely not been “walking” in the Spirit.
Satan wants you to think you are “eternally” condemned when you have strayed from abiding in Christ. If he can get you to be consumed with worry over your eternal state, you will be sidetracked from repenting of the sins weighing you down in your temporary state (the flesh).
Satan wants a root of bitterness to spring up in you, as a result of extreme worry over your salvation, so you will continue to walk away from the path of Christ.
BELIEVERS ARE NOT ETERNALLY CONDEMNED
God does not want us to condemn ourselves with the condemnation of eternal separation and punishment in hell:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:1, 33-34).
“For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” (1 John 3:20-21).
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35)
ABIDE IN HIM
God wants you to continue to abide in Him by walking in the Spirit. He wants you to have confidence!
“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).