Summary: A sermon on motives for self-examination, what to look for, and how to respond to deficiencies in our Christian development.
Self-examination I Cor 11:28
INTRO.: it is important we observe the Lord’s supper properly. The Corinthians were not and their meeting were doing more harm than good. V. 17.
They had connected the Lord’s Supper to a love feast. It was a time of sweet fellowship and sharing. Each family brought food and the rich shared with the poor. From the food provided, the bread and wine for the Lord’s Supper was supplied.
All this worked very well until sin began to exert its influence and some very unlovely things happened. Those who had more food began to despise and neglect the poor. The congregation was divided into cliques and each would only eat with those who were “in” with them. Some went hungry and others became drunk.
The Apostle Paul says under these circumstances, it would be impossible to properly observe the Lord’s Supper and it would be better to not even try. He calls upon them to examine themselves so they might partake in the right way.
We may not sin in the same way they did, but it is still good advice to examine ourselves and not necessarily just at the Lord’s table.
Some thoughts on self-examination:
I. Why should we examine ourselves?
A. Why examine ones self at all?
1. After all, isn’t it easier to judge someone else?
2. Because we cannot help ourselves unless we are aware of the problems we face.
3. Because God will judge us and He knows even our hearts.
4. We can’t judge someone else’s heart. We only know ours.
B. Scripture says God will judge us if we don’t clean up our own lives.
1. Christians at Corinth were sick and weak because of their abuse. I Cor 11:30-32
2. God used drastic means in dealing with them, but it was for their own good. It was discipline.
3. God gave us the Lord’s Table as a means of bringing our lives into line with His will.
C. Why examine ourselves at the Lord’s Table?
1. Not to exclude some as some religions teach. “So let him eat.”
2. Here we see a demonstration of God’s great love. We must ask if we’re living a life worthy of Calvary.
3. Also, we may become aware of some good in us as well as bad. Some ability or opportunity.
II. What are we looking for in self-examination. Let’s focus on the positive. What does the cross teach us?
A. A willingness to sacrifice for others:
1. Corinthians made themselves unworthy by selfishness.
2. If we selfishly refuse to help others, how can we help being embarrassed at the Lord’s Table?
3. If unwilling to bear others’ burdens, how can we contemplate the sin bearer?
B. A sense of reverence and devotion to Christ that excludes the claims of the world on us.
1. To come to the table with other things on our minds is unworthy.
2. If concerned about worldly things, how can we discern His body?
3. Only Christ-like thoughts should occupy our minds.
C. A spirit of love and unity.
1. Must be no anger or hatred in our hearts.
2. We can’t truly love God and hate a neighbor.
3. When thinking of the love seen on Calvary, can we fail to love others?
III. What shall we do if our self-examination reveals deficiencies?
A. Confess our sins to Christ:
1. Again, it is easier to confess others’ sins.
2. But, no one knows our sins like we do. No one is as qualified to confess them and we are not qualified to confess sins of others.
3. We can’t keep our sins secret from God anyway.
4. A doctor can heal the body only if we go to him and tell him we are sick. Jesus is the physician of the soul.
B. Repent and ask forgiveness:
1. Repentance is not just feeling sorry, but changing your behavior.
2. Sin may be fun for a while, but it is dangerous.
3. Repentance is like surgery. It hurts but is necessary.
4. There is little use asking forgiveness if we are not willing to repent.
C. Be assured, God will forgive if repentance is sincere.
1. He made that promise. I John 1:8, 9
CONC.: self-examination is a very important part of the Christian life. It more necessary than an annual physical. It is not just for Sundays at the Lord’s Table. It is a daily necessity for our spiritual well being. “Let a man examine himself.”