"Examining Ourselves," Pastor Doug Kamstra, Psalm 19:12-14, January 5, 2020, AM

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Examining Ourselves Psalm 19:12-14 (Discovering God’s Will Together; #5)

“But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:12-14)

“Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:28)

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

“The awareness of sin used to be our shadow. Christians hated sin, feared it, fled from it, grieve over it. A man who lost his temper his temper might wonder if he should still go to holy communion. Our new language fudges: I’d just like to share that we just need to target holiness as a growth area.” Where sin is concerned, people just mumble now.” (Neal Plantinga)

THE CALL

A. If we are serious about Jesus, we’ll do anything to look more like Him

“Search me, God, and know my heart; Test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

“Examination of the world without is never as personally painful as examination of the world within . . . yet when one is dedicated to the truth, this pain seems relatively unimportant.” (M. Scott Peck)

B. “Spiritual examination” is bringing my whole self before God

1. This involves examination (naming our sin), confessing (owning our sin),

repenting (grieving the sin), seeking forgiveness (reconciling with the offended)

restoring (redeeming the offense), and being transformed (avoiding future sin)

“The knowledge of ourselves not only arouses us to seek God, but also, as it were, leads us by the hand to find him.” (John Calvin)

2. Only through self-examination can we hope to grow closer to God

THE CERTAINTIES

A. The first truth is “God loves you!”

B. The second truth is “We are broken people”

C. The third truth is “We cannot fix ourselves”

D. The fourth truth is examination/confession is a communal discipline

E. The fifth truth is God’s grace is sufficient

“If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

THE CHALLENGE

A. We all have a false self and a true self 1. The false self is ego centric, guided by what we want others to think

2. The true self is focused on being the person God made and called us to be

B. There are some traditional methods of self-examination:

1. Beatitudes (Eastern Orthodox Christians)

2. Lord’s Prayer (Roman Catholics)

3. Ten Commandments (Protestants)

4. Seven deadly sins

5. Twelve Step program

6. Awareness Examen: The examen of conscience (The Psalm 139 prayer) and

the examen of consciousness – the search for God in our day

[Jacob] “Surely the Lord was in this place and I knew it not.” (Genesis 28:16)

C. An Examination (True or False) 1. ___I say “yes” when I sometimes mean “no.” 2. ___I get depressed when people are unhappy with something I did 3. ___I need to have other’s approval in order to feel good about myself. 4. ___I act nice on the outside even with people “I can’t stand!” on the inside 5. ___I often remain silent in order to “keep the peace.” 6. ___I believe that if I make mistakes, I am a failure. 7. ___I criticized others in order to feel better about myself. 8. ___I try to avoid looking weak or foolish if I don’t have the answer. 9. ___I have to be doing something exceptional to feel significant 10. ___I have to be needed to feel confident 11. ___I tend to be fearful and don’t like to take risks. 12. ___I often do what others want so they won’t get mad at me 13. ___I use knowledge and competence to cover my feelings of inadequacy 14. ___I want my children to behave so others will think I am a good parent 15. ___I often compare myself to other people

THE CONFESSION

A. Our examen must lead us to God

B. Our examen must lead us to confide in someone else “...confess your sins to one another and pray for one another...” (James 5:16)

C. Our examen must lead us to confess to the one we sinned against

D. Our examen must lead us to reconcile with community

E. Our examen must lead to appropriate change

THE COMMITMENT

A. God is calling us to be a community that confesses its frail humanity

B. Make time for self-examination and confession

C. Find a trusted companion or two who will hold you accountable

D. Be Courageous. Be Obedient. God is not through with you yet!

E. Never forget. God’s grace is sufficient. By grace we are saved!

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