“But let a man examine himself. . .(1 Cor 11:28a)

by Jonathan Spurlock
(Holts Summit, MO)

Text: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34


Introduction: The Lord’s Supper is one of the two ordinances He commanded us to observe or follow. Each of the four Gospels tells of this, as does Paul in 1 Corinthians 11. The problem in Corinth was that some in the church were not observing the Lord’s Supper properly. Paul wrote these words, among others, by the direction of the Holy Spirit, to show them what was wrong and the importance of self-examination before any believer takes part in this ordinance.

CONDITIONS:
-We don’t know if the whole assembly of Corinthian believers were gathering together, or if this was something only small groups did.
-Nor do we know if the met in someone’s house or in a more or less central location
-We do know they were missing the point: some came early, ate the food they brought and left nothing for those who came later.
-Some were even getting (arriving?) drunk.

COMMAND:
-Examine means put yourself to the test (illustration: drawing lines on a chalkboard and then comparing these with a yardstick. Whose was straight? Nobody’s!)
-Are you a genuine Christian? Most were but possibly some were not. Seekers? Misbelievers?
-Are you genuinely right with God? Some were but clearly many were not
-Are you genuinely and properly observing the “what” and the “why” of the Lord’s Supper?

CONSEQUENCES:
-“Unworthily” means in an unworthy manner. Who is really worthy to take part in this?
-Unworthy manner results in judgment to the believer’s self.
-Judgment equals discipline. Someone observed that God doesn’t spank the Devil’s children.
-Many in Corinth were weak and sick—suffering physically (what alcoholic beverages do the human body is close to terrifying)
-Even worse, many “slept” or died early because of this: not partaking in the Lord’s Supper, but by doing so in an unworthy manner.

CONCLUSION:
-Examine yourselves now, and then take part. No reason to remain in a “wrong” or backslidden condition. Repentance is instantaneous!
-If Jesus gave His all (and He did!), why can’t we do the same?
-If He made this possible, why not take part in this?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. http://www.lockman.org


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