1Cor 11:28 Self Examination Everything that we do in the body of Christ is for a reason. The New Testament church is not steeped in ritual, ceremony, or rites; but rather, we are practitioners of worship. As that is true in all other aspects, so it is true concerning the Lordís Supper. Sadly, many Christians do not know the reasons for what we do. So as we celebrate the Lordís Supper tonight, let us share one of the reasons for partaking of the Lordís Supper. It is a self examination. \\#28\\ Notice the Bible tells us plainly one of the purposes. In the church, it is not primarily the pastorís duty to examine the members. Nor is it primarily the deaconsí duty to examine the members. Nor is it primarily the other membersí duty to examine the members. Rather it is the individualís duty to examine himself or herself. That does not mean that another Christian can not see some thing amiss in your life and speak to you about it. It just means it is not their responsibility first. Every believer is responsible for their own spiritual life and God has given us this service, in part, to encourage us to do just that. What do we need to be looking for? Several things. I. We should be examining our salvation. A. The sad truth is that many of the religious are lost. Matt 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 1. The greatest concern that I have is for lost church members. 2. Too many have not heard the salvation message! a. Some have never heard it for it was never told to them. b. Others have heard the words but resisted the message. B. This is a great concern of the Bible. 1. Paul wrote the Corinthians. 2Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2. As did the writer of Hebrews. Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 3. As did John the Baptist. Matt 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 4. As did Jesus Himself. Matt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. C. How can I tell if I am saved. 1. There is only one way. Salvation produces a change in the sinnersí life. 2Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new! 2. It is not about changing a few habits, going to church, or turning over a few leafs. It is about a new birth that produces a totally new creature in Christ. 3. If there has been no change in your life, there has been no Christ in your life. 4. Now you must look into your life and see if it was so. a. Not a temporary change. b. Not a partial change. c. Not a on again and off again change. d. But has there been a change in your life that rocked you to your bones and altered the way you think and live? e. Look and see, Friend! That is what this service is about. Do you find yourself having to confess the same sins over and over again? Do you love Jesus more today or less today that the last time we had this occasion? D. Now some will answer that salvation is personal. 1. They are quick to point out that salvation happens in the heart and soul of the individual. a. It cannot be observed, verified, documented, or tested. b. It moves different people to do different things in different ways. c. All of this true and because salvation is personal, some use that as an excuse to deflect questions about oneís salvation. 2. However, salvation is also spiritual. a. That means it is always a work of the Holy Spirit. He is always the person who is doing the work. b. And that means salvation will always effect everyone in some of the SAME ways. Two come to mind. (1) Salvation will always move sinners away from sin. The order of the sins we deal with may be different, but the direction will always be the sameóaway from sin. (2) Salvation will always move sinners toward God and worship. A love for the Bible, for church, for Christian fellowship. II. We should be examining our devotion. A. How devoted are we to Christ? 1. That question is always answered by how much do we love Jesus. 2. Those who love much are devoted. Those who are not devoted do not love much. B. Jesus gave us this truth in two short parables: Matt 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Matt 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 1. These parables makes sense only when you realize the men in both of them loved wealth. 2. When they found what they loved, they sold everything else to secure it. 3. When you find what you love, you will be devoted to it. C. Now this brings up a real question. 1. There are some who just donít seem to love Jesus very much. 2. Their devotion is just so low. 3. What causes that? Just two things. a. They have not been saved. (That takes us back to the first point of our examination.) b. They have not understood just how good Jesus was to them. Luke 7:41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. c. Notice who Jesus expected to receive the most love from? (1) The one He had forgive the most. (2) Here is the thing, Jesus forgives us all of the same billóeverything We are all just as guilty no matter how much wrong we have done! (a) All sins demand the same penalty - eternity in hell. (b) All sins demand the same price - Jesus death on the cross. (3) It is not the value of the bill but the appreciation of the payment that produces love. (4) Some just do not understand how great their sin actually is. (5) Do you think hell would be any more pleasant if all you did was J walk? (6) Friend, rethink your sinfulness and fall in love with Jesus! III. We should be examining our consecration. A. This is a good Bible term that has only recently been brought back up in importance to me. B. Consecration is dedication, dedication to Godís holiness and to Godís service. 1. In truth, every person who ever gets saved should have consecrated himself at that point. 2. Yet, like the sinner does not have to fully understand everything about doctrine to believe what he knows at salvation, so he does not have to understand everything about consecration to surrender all that he understands at salvation. C. I recently heard a preacher say that he believed every Christian ought to have a definite date after their salvation where they totally surrender their all in consecration to God. D. Christians need to understand Lordship. Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. Ro 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: E. Who is in charge of your life? What do you thing about sin? How much should we surrender to be pleasing to Christ. IV. We should be examining our sanctification. A. Sanctification means our separation from sin. B. Sin is not something to be taken lightly. It is a toxin that kills the body, hardens the soul, and separates our spirit from God. C. Christians are commanded to get away from sin and to stay away from it. Joh 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; D. Yet, like a familiar friend, we let sin gradually move back into our lives. E. Do not let it be so! Examine yourselves. Find the sin that rooted itself to your heart and confess it God as you turn from it. 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
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