Summary: In Paul’s day the early church met in homes and had a meal (agape feasts) that was followed by the Lord’s Supper. One of the many problems in the church was the abuse of this event. Paul had a word of rebuke for them.
I CORINTHIANS 11: 17-28
INTRODUCTION: Exam time can be pretty intense. As we prepare for that moment we can get pretty anxious. This passage concerns the observance of the Lord’s Supper. A key verse is “v.28”. In Paul’s day the early church met in homes and had a meal (agape feasts) that was followed by the Lord’s Supper. One of the many problems in the church was the abuse of this event. Paul had a word of rebuke for them.
This passage reminds us that when we observe the Lord’s Supper we should be careful how we come to His table. Let’s look at three things here.
I. Why Should We Examine?
A. The Possibility of Abuse: See v.18, 22. This event is abused by many today. Some think it is actually eating and drinking Christ (flesh/blood). Others think of it as a saving ordinance. Neither one is correct. This is a “symbol” of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. It is symbolic of feeding on Christ.
B. The Purpose of Amending: It is a time when we examine ourselves to see if there is that which would hinder our relationship with Christ. Is there bitterness? Lust? Pride? Dishonesty? Immorality?
C. The Potential of Adversity (v.29-30): Leon Morris wrote, “Spiritual Ills May Have Physical Results.” Alan Redpath said, “If we come carelessly we may incur God’s chastisement.”
II. What Should We Examine?
A. Our Knowledge of the Symbols (v.25): Bread represents His crucified body. Juice represents His shed blood.
B. Our Faith in the Saviour: Are you trusting in Christ alone? If so, He welcomes you. He wants your fellowship. Come and remember His death.
C. Our Understanding of His Sacrifice: Do you know what it cost Him to redeem you? What right does an unrepentant person have here?
D. The Extent of Our Sentiments: Do you love God? Do you love your brothers and sisters?
E. Our Willingness to be Submissive: What about our obedience? Paul did not say we had to be perfect to come to the table. None of us would be able. But do you desire to be holy? Do you desire to be rid of sin? Jesus welcomes you!
III. Who Should We Examine?
“A man ought to examine himself.” God has not died and left us on His throne to examine another’s heart.
CONCLUSION: After proper examination, come with a sense of wonder, self-abasement and a believing hope! It’s exam time!