Do You Pass the Test?
Today we finish out 2 Corinthians. At the beginning of today's reading, Paul expresses a lot of frustration about the fact that he needed to defend himself before the Corinthians. He has "been a fool" to legitimize his ministry, and it really ticks him off. He's coming to visit again, and it probably won't be a very pleasant visit. This is a visit to "clean house" in the Corinthian church and deal with many issues that he's already dealt with in his letters. He makes it clear that there are those that are continuing on in sin despite previous warnings, then writes these lines:
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
So - what is "the test"?
"In view of Paul’s imminent return to bring God’s judgment to Corinth, his commands in 13:5 again contain a severe warning. In the past, he postponed his return in order to give the Corinthians time to repent, since his primary goal as an apostle of the new covenant is the ingathering of God’s people (cf. 1:23–2:4; 5:18–20; 10:8; 12:19). In his next visit, however, Paul will carry out both aspects of his apostolic calling by being a fragrance of both life and death to those he encounters with the gospel (cf. 1 Cor. 1:18 with 2 Cor. 2:15–16a). Like the prophets of the old covenant, Paul thus announces the coming judgment in advance in order to bring about the repentance of those who are truly God’s people (cf. 10:1–6). He does so by calling the rebellious in Corinth “to examine” or “test themselves” to see if they are truly “in the faith” (13:5). The goal of the test is to make it clear that Christ is indeed in them (cf. 7:11–12; 8:7–8).
The means by which the test is performed is Paul himself. Allegiance to him as their apostle is the criterion that determines whether Christ is present in their lives, since Paul is confident that he himself has already passed the test (13:6). To accept Paul’s message of reconciliation is to accept God’s message of reconciliation (cf. 5:18–20). For this reason, because they have responded to Paul and his preaching in the past, he gives them the benefit of the doubt that Christ is in fact in them (13:5b).
In view of their current rebellion, however, the Corinthians must confirm the reality of their conversion by responding once again to Paul’s person and proclamation. His call for repentance is therefore based on the assumption that those in whom God is at work by his Spirit will recognize that Paul’s holiness, sincerity, and way of life all derive from the same grace of God that Paul is now calling them to accept (cf. 1:12 with 6:1–2)." 
There something VITAL here that we need to realize, lest we miss the whole point of this letter: Paul is not just trying to get people on "his side". This isn't an issue of Paul's ego, but of the Gospel. Paul urges them to accept his ministry because He preaches Jesus and the Gospel, not prosperity and entertainment. This is not ultimately about Paul, but about the Gospel. That is why acceptance of Paul's ministry is so essential: it is the acceptance of the Gospel. It is acceptance not of a person, but of THE TRUTH.
So how about us? What is the "test" for us? I think it is twofold:
1. Do we believe Paul? In this case, that refers to whether or not we believe and trust the Bible in what it tells us and the Gospel that it contains.
2. Do we believe the Gospel? Believing the Bible is one thing, but what about truly believing the Gospel? How many of us are drawn to church simply for entertainment or community?
When you're down, wondering whether or not you are accepted by God, what is the Truth? The entertainment and community that comes with church can never sustain you. But you CAN know that you believe in the truth of the Gospel. You can cling to the love, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus. If that is what you believe, you pass the test. Jesus is in you even if it doesn't FEEL like it. Trust God. Believe the Gospel. Do that and you pass the test.