Need of Self-Examination
Mark 12:34
And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God…

There is great cause for every one of us diligently to try and examine our knowledge and faith in Christ, whether it be true, sound, and sincere; or whether it be an hypocritical and counterfeit faith, seeing one may be "not far from the kingdom," and yet not in it. The rather, because so many deceive themselves with a vain persuasion and opinion of faith, thinking they have true faith in Christ, when it is not so. We are to try our faith by those marks of it, which are taught in the Word of God.

1. By the object of it. True faith believes and applies not only the promises of the gospel touching forgiveness of sins and salvation in Christ, but also all other parts of God's Word, as the precepts and commandments of it forbidding sin and commanding holy duties, also the reproofs and threatenings denounced against sin and sinners.

2. By the means by which we attained to it, and by which it is daily nourished in us.

3. By the contrary sin of unbelief. Look whether thou feel and complain of thy unbelief, and doubtings of God's mercy and forgiveness of thy sins in Christ, and whether thou daily pray and strive against such doubtings.

4. By the fruits and effects of it, especially by our hatred of sin, and care to avoid it, and to live holily.

(G. Petter.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

WEB: When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God." No one dared ask him any question after that.

Nearness not Possession
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