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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Lord’s Supper and self-examination

Posted by Gary on March 1, 2012

1 Corinthians 11:23-32 “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.”

There are two errors often made as it comes to partaking of the Lord’s Supper. One is to examine ourselves, see our sin and think that we cannot come to the Lord’s Table. When the Bible calls us to examine ourselves before coming to the Table it never assumes that we will not find sin in ourselves but that we will. The issue then is whether or not we are willing to repent and whether or not we trust the grace of God in Christ to forgive us for our sins. Here many I am afraid reveal that they do not understand or believe the gospel. As it comes to the Table they look to themselves to determine whether or not they are worthy, conclude they are not but do not take hold of Christ’s promise to cleanse them.

The other error is not examining ourselves at all or at least not honestly. Many people think very little about whether or not the bread and cup will be a blessing to them or a curse. Without concern they eat and drink and encourage their children to do so also. It is true that many examine themselves out of partaking but it is equally if not more the case that many do not honestly evaluate the condition of their soul before coming to the Table.

I have always found J.C. Ryle to be so Scriptural and helpful. He is so again in these thoughts on coming to the Lord’s Table:

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Women haven't?

Posted by Gary on October 24, 2008

Ephesians 5:11-14 “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

(I normally do not comment on the actions and words of celebrities because most of them are not saved and there is no reason to expect from them anything other than sinful words and behavior, but because Bono claims Christ as Savior I write the following):

Earlier this week Bono addressed the CA Women’s conference speaking of the plight of children in Africa. Bono stated that men have developed an “ability” to live with the “absurdity” of what is happening to Africa’s children and then declared that “women haven’t”.

It is amazing to watch the blindness that veils the eyes of people who can on one hand see the value of some children’s lives and be concerned for their plight while supporting the ruthless murder of others. While I’m sure there were women in attendance who hold the lives of the unborn as sacred you can be sure that the overall majority in attendance here are ardent supporters of infant murder (Bono makes reference to the presence of the “Great Gloria Steinem”).

Women haven’t developed an ability to live with the absurdity of what is happening to children? First of all, absurdity will not suffice. Severing an infants limbs and vacuuming them out of the their mother’s womb or delivering them up to the head and then puncturing a hole at the base of their skull and suctioning out their brain is not absurd, it is murderous and wicked.

How could Bono say that women haven’t developed this ability to live with the plight of children when they murder 42 million of their own each year?

You know how this works don’t you? How does the devil blind us to the evil of our ways? He always gives us something good to do. Who isn’t for helping the orphaned, needy children of Africa? Yet it is this proper concern for some children that we use to justify our willing participation and support of the murder of other children. We must be good people, we care about the children in Africa!

It is really very scary. If you watch the video above (I suggest at least from  the 7:30 mark on) you will hear the hush that falls over the room as Bono holds before us the plight of Africa’s children and urges us to action and yet how many children have had their lives ruthlessly ended by those sitting there listening?

What Bono did here was immoral and shameless. While speaking to a group of adoring women he referred to men as those who have “a penis but no conscience”. Bono brought an obligation on himself when he passed judgment on the consciences of some, his obligation at that point was to speak to all. How dare you Bono speak to an auditorium full of women who murder children and say nothing about their consciences. Yes, you were loved, you were the hero and you were false.

Bono near the conclusion stated:

“You do not have to explain to the women of America, the mothers of America, the value of a child’s life (pause) on far away shores, that I’m sure.”

Yes Bono, a great number of America’s women need to have the value of a child’s life explained to them and no group needed it explained to them more than the group you were speaking to and you said nothing. You as a false prophet deceived their consciences by assuring them that their hearts are good because they care about children who have escaped the womb and said nothing about those don’t. Why were you silent about them? What does this say about your male conscience?

I do not even know if Bono opposes abortion (the Christianity of our day allows the support of infant murder you know) but if he does I know why he did not condemn it here…because to have spoken truth on this occasion would have been to forfeit the love and adoration of his listeners. Bono would have moved from being an idolized rock star to God’s spokesmen. Instead of throwing bras at Bono they would have thrown rocks.

Ezekiel 3:17-18 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.”

Spurgeon on examining ourselves before coming to the Lord's Table

Posted by Gary on October 2, 2008

Fencing the table is an important responsibility of a pastor. The invitation to the Lord’s Table for His children should be joyful and yet include the warning that approaching something powerful holds danger. Today I came across this from Charles Spurgeon in a sermon on fencing the Lord’s Table:

I fear that there are others who come to the communion table out of mere form. I find that it is the custom of certain persons to do this always on Christmas day and on Good Friday, though what particular sanctity there can be about those two days, I am sure I cannot tell. I see little enough of holiness about them, and a great deal of sheer superstition. But let all of us be careful that we never come to the communion simply because it is the first Sabbath in the month, or even because it is the day of our Lord’s resurrection, and because, as church-members, we feel that we ought to come there.

I mention these things—although I hope, to the most of you, they are unnecessary,—because they are necessary to a certain class of persons who, in one or other of these ways, thoughtlessly profane the table of the Lord. But, brethren and sisters in Christ? we need to examine ourselves, because it may be that, though free from these evils which I have mentioned, we have come to this solemn feast without due solemnity without serious thought, without the proper preparation of heart or the right observance of the ordinance.

We have come very often to the communion table, yet there has been but little real heart-fellowship with Jesus. There has been bread upon the table, and in our mouths, but we have not discerned the Lord’s body. There has been wine there, but we have not looked through the sign to the blood of which it is only the symbol. If it has been so with any of us, we have, to that extent, eaten and drunk unworthily, and I know not how much of deserved chastisement God may have laid upon us on that account but the apostle’s words have often been fulfilled since his day, ‘For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.’”

(Charles Spurgeon from the sermon “Fencing the Table”)