Testing and Trials

We have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15.

Temptation is a 'testing', a trial. In the Scriptures this idea is used in five ways:

First, humans may test other persons, as in a cross-examination. Jesus' enemies constantly tried to trap him into making self-incriminating statements about his attitudes to the Roman authorities (eg. Mark 12:15).

Second, we are to test our own life and motives, so that we don't become too cocksure about our spiritual state (2 Corinthians 13:5), lest we go astray (Galatians 6:4). Such self-examination ought to precede our coming to the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 11:28). Such disciplined self-scrutiny, if done regularly and honestly, can lead to a very healthy self-knowledge.

A third way in which the Scripture uses the idea of 'temptation' is in its occasional record of someone who dared to challenge God. Such defiant testing of God's truth or his goodness is irreverent and blasphemous, and is expressly forbidden (Matthew 4:7).

May I be more inclined to examine myself than to examine others. Amen.


This article is published courtesy of Rowland Croucher, John Mark Ministries. If you would like to peruse more articles from the pen of Rowland Croucher, visit his website at http://www.pastornet.net.au/jmm.

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