'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.
‘Examine yourselves to see whether you are still in the Christian faith. Test yourselves! Don't you recognize that you are people in whom Jesus Christ lives? Could it be that you're failing the test?’ 2 Corinthians 13:5 God’s Word Translation
This is healthy self examination. The implication is clear, if Christ is genuinely 'IN' you, then you are truly saved, a 'child of God' and part of His forever family -you have eternal life and can look forward to be 'with Him forever' (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Further, the evidence of this will be the kind of lives we live. Our lives, therefore, should reflect the character and graces of the Christ within. We need to constantly remember this amazing and wonderful fact that being a follower of Christ means being 'born again' and being 'born again' implies that Christ Himself has been 'born' IN us. The life of Christ comes to reside within our being. We become 'Christ ones'. It is 'Christ IN us' that is our 'hope of glory'. Galatians 2:20, Colossians 1:27. That is why Paul said that he agonised in prayer over the Galatian believers ‘…until Christ be formed in you’. This ‘Christ likeness’ is what ‘holiness’ and ‘godliness’ is all about. This is the ‘work of God’ in the believer. What we do ‘for’ Christ is a product of what we ‘are’ in Christ. Paul restates this to the Galatians again in 3:27, ‘For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ’. To the Roman believers he said, ‘…put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.’ Romans 13:14.
- Moses & the Lord Jesus
Moses was the man who pointed forward to the Lord Jesus with these words, ‘The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken’. Deuteronomy 18:15.
Both Peter in Acts 3:22 and Stephen in Acts 7:37 referenced that prophecy and identified the one whom ‘God will raise up from the midst of thee’ as being none other than Jesus the Christ, Yeshua Ha Mashiac, Jesus the Messiah, Kurios Iesous Christos, The Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus the anointed one. It is not surprising that the Lord Jesus therefore said of Himself, ‘I am meek and lowly in heart’ (Matthew 11:29), just as Moses was. I submit to you that this characteristic, in a very special way, is one of the important marks that identify the Lord Jesus as the one who was promised. Meekness is a distinguishing mark of His first coming. He came, this first time, as the one who, as a meek, gentle, harmless perfect lamb, would offer Himself to take away the sins of the world, to be the once for all, ‘offering for sin’. This is in sharp and frightening contrast to how he will appear the second time. Then, when He comes, it will be in such fearful and frightening power and glory that the book of Revelation describes it in almost contradictory terms; yet so significantly and employing the force of contrasting imagery, when it tells us that those who see Him will cry out, ‘…hide us from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the lamb.’ Revelation 6:16.
The whole passage deserves to be quoted for the context,
‘…the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?’
The answer to that question is, only those who have demonstrated the same characteristic of meekness as seen in Christ at His first coming and have humbly bowed down and submitted unconditionally to His Lordship –those ‘whose names [are] … written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ Revelation 13:7.
The reference here is, of course, to those who will worship the beast and his image. Those who do so, who will worship the beast and his image, are those whose names are NOT written in that book which is called, ‘the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world’. Make sure your name IS written in that book –if it is, it is there because you will NOT be among those who WILL bow down and worship the beast to whom Satan gives life and power in the end of the age. That time is rapidly coming and it will be a time of very great trouble (tribulation) that is soon to come upon this planet.
With all of that in mind, here are Jesus’ words concerning Himself as the one promised by Moses,
Matthew 11:29, ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ For those who had ears to hear, this, as we have seen, was yet another mark of the Messiah, the promised Redeemer of Israel.
Here are some other times when the ‘meek’ and ‘meekness’ is highlighted in scripture. Notice that God looks for and takes careful note of those who are meek and are characterized by this beautiful quality we are discussing.
‘The LORD lifts up the meek: he casts the wicked down to the ground.’ Psalms 147:6 KJV
‘For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.’ Psalms 149:4 KJV
‘The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.’ Isaiah 29:19 KJV
‘The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;’ Isaiah 61:1 KJV
‘Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.’ Zephaniah 2:3 KJV. Note: Here the Word of God exhorts us clearly to SEEK meekness!
‘Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: ‘ 2 Corinthians 10:1 KJV
‘Meekness, temperance (self control): against such there is no law.’ Galatians 5:23 KJV
‘Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.’ Galatians 6:1 KJV
‘With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;’ Ephesians 4:2 KJV
‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;’
Colossians 3:12 KJV
‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.’ 1 Timothy 6:11 KJV
‘In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;’ 2 Timothy 2:25 KJV
‘To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.’ Titus 3:2 KJV
‘Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.’ James 1:21 KJV
‘Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation/way of life/lifestyle his works with meekness of wisdom.’ James 3:13 KJV
‘But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:’ 1 Peter 3:15 KJV
Wow! I urge you to read through those references again and ponder them carefully.
I am particularly impressed with this quality because, as we have seen, it is so hugely significant throughout the Bible. I am further challenged, and deeply concerned, that it is often noticeably lacking in some high profile Christian leaders today. Instead I notice the opposite in their manner and ministry style. When we share the Word and minister to one another we need to do it in a spirit of meekness and gentleness, NOT arrogantly, proudly, and dogmatically. We need to learn to ‘walk softly’ before the Lord. We are not always right, and we do sometimes make mistakes. None of us are perfect, we are all ‘a work in progress’ and we need to remember that and practice this ‘spirit of meekness’. The Lord Jesus is the pattern for all of us. Paul modeled on Christ and we need to do so as well. The only time the Lord Jesus did not minister and speak with graciousness, gentleness and meekness was when confronting religious hypocrisy –then, and only then, He was very blunt and straightforward. C.f. Mat 12:34, 23:33, John 8:44 et al.
Consider these words of Paul in this context of being meek and practising meekness,
‘Let this mind [attitude of heart] be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;’ Philippians 2:5-15. KJV
If Christ is in us, we will have the same attitude as the Lord Jesus. We need to ‘work’ on this because only those who ‘humble themselves shall be exalted’ with Him in the glory that is to come. Those are Jesus’ words and they are found in both Luke 14:11 and 18:11.
Indeed, in the light of all we have considered here from the Word of God, if we are lacking in this quality, then we need to urgently fall down on our knees before the Lord right now and ask him to ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ Psalm 51:10. Otherwise, we should reflect whether we are truly ‘in the faith’. Let me repeat 2 Corinthians 13:5,
‘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?’