Let a Man Examine Himself August 10, 2012Posted by regan222 in Books, General Ranting, Religion.
Tags: belief, Bible, Christ, Christian, church, faith, Gideon, God, Jesus Christ, Law, motives, salvation, works
Watch the video and then watch the sermon
But Let a Man Examine Himself
1 Corinthians 11:27-29
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
Taken in context, these verses encourage anyone partaking of the Lord’s Supper to examine their own hearts and make sure they are approaching the Lord with the right motives before they sit down at His table. It may be inferred that self examination is profitable at any time. I made the majority of that video a reflection in a mirror for a reason. We need to pause and reflect upon our own reflections for a moment and take stock of our growth and progress. Hopefully what you have just watched will offer up some things to look at as you examine yourself.
I. Examine your Methods.
Right away we should be aware that God is not so nearly interested in what we do as He is in why we do it. Each of us has been given talents and gifts to make us uniquely suited for the role God would have us play in the world.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
We have no right to glory or boast in our abilities because God is the source of the talents and abilities we have received. God, in His wisdom, knew that the church would need many different kinds of workers, just as the body needs many different kinds of organs. Some He called to preach or to teach or to give, or to encourage, but we all have in common the source of our abilities and what we are to use them for. Of ourselves, we are nothing. If you are a great singer, a powerful speaker, a wise businessman, beware of pride. What exactly did you get outside of God who sovereignly gives and takes away? Look at the person who has nothing and think for a moment, there but for the grace of God go I.
As this is the case, we are held responsible for very little. In the work of salvation, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. We only accept or decline. As a witness we are called upon to spread the gospel. We are not held accountable for its results. I don’t hold James responsible for carrying out the trash or washing the car yet. There is very little that we are held responsible for because we are capable of very little. God does, however, expect at least two things from us. We must be faithful in our service if we want to serve and we must do our best. If we have the faith of a mustard seed we can do much, but we must have that faith.
This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:
And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.
And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof:
And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;
And on the second day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:
And on the fifth day nine bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:
When we do give something to God, be it sacrifice or service, He only wants our best efforts. We need to examine ourselves and see if we are truly giving our best.
II. Examine your motives
To a Christian, motives are the most important factor in their actions. The unsaved man’s motivation comes from worldly things. They are focused on self and what pleases self. Even their good deeds are motivated by selfish motives. They give to causes and charity because it makes them feel good. All actions from the lost man are motivated by self and the world.
The early Southern Baptists held that “The scriptural doctrine of depravity is not that every man is a bad as he possibly can be, for there may be indefinite progression in guilt:–nor that one man is necessarily as wicked as another,–for there may be as many shades of depravity as there are sinners in the universe. But it teaches us that man, by nature, is destitute of all holy principles and desires; that there is nothing in his character which is pleasing in the sight of God; that being alienated in his heart from God, corrupt in the very fountain of action, in the temper and spirit of his mind, all the actions that he performs, even those which are in themselves excellent and lovely, are still the service of an alien and a rebel, and consequently an abomination in the sight of heaven.” The lost man, even in the act of caring for his child or providing for his family, is in the service of “an alien and a rebel” and is “consequently an abomination in the sight of heaven.”
The Christian, on the other hand, is commanded to put self last on the priority list. We are motivated by God’s will. He asks and we act in disregard for self or worldly gain or anything else that would motivate a worldly person. History is filled with examples of Christians who would prefer to live in poverty or die in pain rather than act out of God’s will.
Matthew 6: 1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
The lost soul does good to receive a reward. They operate under the law. When the Pharisee prays on the street corner and in the market place he gets his reward from the people who are impressed when they see him. The Christian is commanded to do alms, or to give, in secret. No one should know. We are not motivated by worldly recognition. We only seek God’s well done. We need to examine ourselves and see if we are acting out of love for God or for ourselves.
III. Examine your Future
You’d think we should examine the past first rather than the future, but as you will see, the past determines the future. For the saved church member, we stand at a critical junction. Like Gideon’s army at the river
Judges 7:4 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
Look around for a moment. There are seats empty that were once filled. The people who sat there have, for one reason or another, fallen by the way. We have a place being prepared for us just as the Israelites of the Old Testament but not everyone who set out with us on this journey will arrive. In order to have a future we must be faithful in the present. They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until none of that original generation of adults was left alive because of their lack of faith. The group future was preserved just as God promised but a lot of individual futures fell by the side of the road getting there.
Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
The church has been described as a vine. I am not so familiar with grapes but I have an acute awareness of blackberry vines. The best way to get more fruit from the vine is to cut away the dead wood during the winter. The time for pruning is when the vine is not actively producing fruit. The wise gardener knows this and when he sees the vine with no fruit he cuts away the dead wood. In the spring, the remaining wood produces more fruit. No vine ever died from careful pruning and in fact, they produce more fruit for the gardener. We need to examine our future. Don’t be part of the pruned. Hold fast and remain faithful and receive the reward.
IV. Examine Your Past
Contrary to what you might think, the past is more important than the future in this case. The past writes the future. If you believe and receive the gospel in the past, then in the future, your reward is assured. If you have no past relationship with Jesus Christ, you have no future. You cannot sneak into heaven. Some people have the mistaken idea that if they hang around the church long enough, attend enough services, give enough, even get baptized or become a member of the church, then they will somehow establish a relationship with Jesus by proxy or by just being around long enough. You need to examine your past right now and see if there is a moment in time when you definitively responded to the call of the gospel and accepted Jesus Christ as savior. Somewhere at sometime in your life you said yes to the Lord and your life was changed. This is the only way in to heaven.
The past is past. It’s gone. The wonderful thing about the present is that you have a chance to change the future. Today is your opportunity. It’s the only chance you are absolutely guaranteed. The future is very uncertain. You might not have one outside of this door. Don’t take that chance. Examine your past and write your future here in the present and for all time. Accept the Lord Jesus in faith. Choose to believe the gospel that he died for you and rose again and you will rise as well.