Originally scheduled for June 21
It is a curious fact about communion meditations: we are often told
that we should examine ourselves so that we might partake of
communion in a worthy manner. This comes directly from the
But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the
bread and drink of the cup.
(1 Corinthians 11:28 NASB)
This verse is frequently quoted but seldom explained. Most of us are
content with that; we want to let sleeping worms lie. This morning,
we will look at looking at ourselves.
The first thing we must do is this: we must recognize that all of us
are sinners. This begins with the idea that I personally am a
sinner, and therefore I need to do something about it. Sin separates
us from God, and therefore requires some maintenance to get things
back in working order.
We also must recognize that everyone else is a sinner. We therefore
have no privilege of making a comparison with someone else (“I’m a
better man than…”) Whether or not I am less of a sinner than you is
completely irrelevant. Indeed, how can I condemn you when the
Scripture tells me that you are under no condemnation?
Therefore there is now no condemnation
for those who are in
(Romans 8:1 NASB)
If you are in Christ Jesus you are not condemned. If Christ Jesus
will not condemn you, who am I to make the accusation? Seriously, I
have enough problems of my own and I don’t need to worry
about your list of sins. Let each man examine himself, not others.
Most of us can understand recognizing our own sins. But why
confession? After all, God already knows all about it. I’m not
delivering anything in the way of news to Him. And besides, it hurts
my pride to have two admit this. Which, of course, is exactly the
point; it hurts your pride and enhances your humility.
One good reason for confession is that it tells some other persons
that you are a sinner and you know it. It’s a good antidote to
“holier-than-thou.” It helps them to know that you struggle with sin
just like they do. Another reason is that confession helps you
secure their assistance. We are a body, a united body, and if one of
us has a problem with a particular sin the rest of us should be
willing to help — if we know about it.
There is a particular instance where public confession is required.
This is usually the case when it involves leadership of the church
and the sin is quite serious. The principle here is that we do not
sweep the dirt under the rug, for doing that just leaves more dirt
under the rug.
This is the follow through to confession. Golfers understand the
principle; hitting the golf ball requires that you follow through
correctly, or you will not hit the ball where you wanted it to go.
The same is true with regard to sin; you can confess all day long
but if you do not repent and follow through it is of no use. Simply,
ask forgiveness of those whom you might have offended, if possible.
Then let your actions speak louder than your words; change what you
do to avoid sinning again. This may be a very repetitive process,
another reason to seek the help of the church.
Body and blood
You are given the body and blood of Christ so that you might
remember what he did for you. It should not be a mere memorial, but
a call to action. Examine yourself — and then partake.