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The Scriptorium

Judge Yourself

It's that important. 1 Corinthians 11.27-34

1 Corinthians 11 (6)

Pray Psalm 84.1-4.
How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.

Sing Psalm 84.1-4.
(Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
LORD of hosts, how sweet Your dwelling; how my soul longs for Your courts!
Let my soul with joy keep telling of Your grace forevermore.
Like a bird upon the altar, let my life to You belong.
Blessed are they who never falter as they praise Your grace with song!

Read 1 Corinthians 11.1-34; meditate on verses 27-34.

1. What does Paul teach about preparing for the Lord’s Supper?

2. What does he teach about taking the Supper?

Paul strongly cautioned the Corinthians against taking a cavalier approach to the Lord’s Supper. We must prepare for the Supper, examining ourselves and listening as the Spirit searches us (v. 28; cf. Ps. 139.23, 24) that we may confess and repent of any sins. In the Supper we enter the most intimate reaches of the fellowship of Jesus. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the occasion, in the beauty of His holiness.

As you take each of the elements, set your mind on Jesus, crucified and forgiving (v. 29). Let your senses engage the elements fully as you give thanks to the Lord for His sacrifice. As the tokens of His body and blood enter you, seek to enter more fully into the fellowship of Jesus with a grateful and joyful heart. Savor the elements as food for your soul, not for your body (v. 34).

Take the elements together with the rest of those with you who share in the fellowship of Jesus (v. 33). Let this be a way of realizing and expressing the oneness we have in the Spirit of o ur Lord (Eph. 4.3). As you feed your soul on the body and blood of Christ, sense His Body present with you, you a member with the other members and His Spirit the lifeblood for you all (Jn. 6.63).

The Lord can chasten those who do not feed on Him as He intends. We don’t want to risk coming under that discipline, for it is always unpleasant (vv. 30, 31; cf. Heb. 12.3-11).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.
“Will it be well when He searches you out?”
“Will not His excellence make you afraid,
and the dread of Him fall upon you?” (Job 13.9, 11).

Paul is trying his best to put the gravitas of taking this Supper unworthily before the eyes of the Corinthians, and by extension, us. How terrifying to contemplate that we are “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11.27).

The psalmist Asaph warned the people to keep the commandments of God and to teach their children to obey them, so that they would not be “a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God” (Ps. 78.7, 8).

For truly “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10.31).

The good news is that if we judge ourselves carefully, and make sure our hearts are right as we take this Supper—that we have confessed our sins and are totally focused on our Savior Jesus Christ—and if we wait politely for all participants to worship together, then this time of communion with the Lord, and our fellow-believers, will be a time of true oneness—remembering Jesus as He wanted to be remembered.

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Cor. 11.26).

For reflection
1. Why is the Lord’s Supper so important to our lives as Christians?

2. How do you experience the fellowship of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper?

3. What can you do to have a deeper and more transforming experience of the Lord’s Supper?

The apostle points out the duty of those who come to the Lord’s table. Self-examination is necessary to right attendance at this holy ordinance. If we would thoroughly search ourselves, to condemn and set right what we find wrong, we should stop Divine judgments.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11.23-34

Pray Psalm 84.5-12.
Look to the Lord for the strength you will need for this day. Examine yourself in silence before Him. Call on Him to forgive and cleanse you as needed, and strain to see the glorious face of Jesus, seeing you (2 Cor. 4.6).

Sing Psalm 84.5-12.
(Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
Blessed are they whose strength is founded in Your strength, O LORD above.
All whose hearts in You are grounded journey in Your strength and love.
Though they weep with tears of sadness, grace shall all their way sustain.
In Your Presence, filled with gladness, they shall conquer all their pain.

LORD of hosts, my prayer receiving, hear me, help me by Your grace!
In Your courts I stand believing; turn to me Your glorious face!
LORD, our sun, our shield, our glory, no good thing will You deny
to those who proclaim Your story, and who on Your grace rely.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Two books can help you see both the greatness and the smallness of God’s salvation. Such a Great Salvation and Small Stuff will show you how to think small, live big, and know the salvation and glory of God in all your daily life. You can learn more about these books and order your copies by clicking here and here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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