Let a Man Examine Himself

1Corinthians 11:28-34 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that you come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. 

‘But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.’ Each person should examine himself to see if he is in the faith and decide his fitness to partake of the Lord’s Supper before he does so. It is better not to partake if one is not fit, and yet one should not feel that he is unfit if he knows he is born again and is walking as he should be in the gospel (1Jn. 1:7; Col. 2:6-7; 3:5-10; Rom. 6:14-23; 8:1-13; Gal. 5:16-26).

‘Discerning the Lord’s body’ [Greek: diakrino] distinguish; come to decision; separate to holy purposes. Translated “make to differ” (Acts 15:9; 1Cor. 4:7; Jude 1:22); “judge” (1Cor. 6:5; 11:31; 14:29); “contend” (Acts 11:2; Jude 1:9); “be partial” (Jas. 2:4); “doubt” (Matt. 21:21; Mark 11:23; Acts 10:20; 11:12; Rom. 14:23); “waver” (Jas. 1:6); “stagger” (Rom. 4:20); and “discern” (1Cor. 11:29; Matt. 16:3). The idea here is really to decide one has faith in the death of Christ and lay hold of the benefits provided by it not turning to one side or the other.

‘For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.’ It is the Lord’s body one must discern (11:29). It is by His stripes we were and are healed (Isa. 53:4-5; Matt. 8:17; 1Pet. 2:24). If one does not want to be sickly and die prematurely, and then let him have faith in the healing which was provided by Christ as well as forgiveness and other blessings. Nothing will be impossible with such faith (Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26).

‘For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged’ – If we will thus judge ourselves and have faith in the work of Christ on the cross, we shall not have to suffer or go without the benefits provided for us. If we will not do this, then we shall have to reap that what we have sown. If we judge any sin committed, ask forgiveness, and put it away, then we are not chastened by God. If we refuse to judge ourselves, then He judges by chastening (11:31-32). ‘Wherefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, tarry one for another.’ Let us have order at the Lord’s Supper and in the house of God. Satisfy hunger at home, and do not come together in disorder and condemnation (11:33-34).

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