What we know: We need to take heed and exam ourselves. It isn’t acceptable to just keep moving on and winging it when it comes to our faith. First Corinthians is a corrective and instructive letter from Paul to the church in Corinth. One of the issues Paul addresses is the manner in which the people were taking communion. Often a “love feast,” or fellowship meal, would accompany communion, meaning communion was more of an “event” than it is in many churches today.
How important is self-examination? 1 Corinthians 11:17–34 indicates that some were gorging themselves at the feast while others were left hungry. Some were even getting drunk. The people were not waiting for one another, nor were they appropriately sharing provisions—they ate the food they brought themselves, and, if someone couldn’t bring much, he did without. Separation between rich and poor was evident.
Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Master, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world
English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Corinthians 11:28–32). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
God’s goal for us: So … what are we to do? We are test ourselves. We are to ponder our hearts. Our faith is at stake. This is important. We are to get right with God and our brothers. This is essential.
- 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB) — Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus the Messiah is in you — unless indeed you fail the test?
- Haggai 1:5 (NASB) —Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways!“
- Psalm 4:4 (NASB) — Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
- Hebrews 3:12 (NASB) — Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
- Psalm 77:6 (NASB) — I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders.
- Haggai 1:7 (NASB) — Thus says the Master of hosts, “Consider your ways!“
- 1 Corinthians 11:28 (NASB) — But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
- Haggai 2:15 (NASB) — But now, do consider from this day onward: before one stone was placed on another in the temple of the Master.
- Haggai 2:18 (NASB) — ‘Do consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month; from the day when the temple of the Master was founded, consider.