The Lord's Supper
Biblical Teachings on The Lord's Supper
by Norman H. Wells
Former Pastor, Central Baptist Church, Cincinnati
Now With The Lord

<<==The Late Dr. Norman H. Wells

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Chapter 6


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"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." (I Corinthians 11: 28.)

The dictionary tells us that "examine" means, "to inspect or scrutinize with care; investigate critically. To test by questions or exercises as to qualifications, fitness, etc., as a pupil." Our text says, "Let a man examine himself." Observance of the Lord's Supper is to be a time of self-examination. We are to scrutinize with care and to investigate critically!!

We are to examine ourselves in the light of God's Word and will!! It is not an easy thing to submit to the full brilliance of this light. It reveals our flaws, mistakes, shortcomings, sins, envies, etc. Generally an examination in this light does not present a very pretty picture. We are reminded of the fact that we are only "sinners saved by grace." A true examination destroys pride, conceit and haughtiness and brings us in humble repentance before God. We are brought again to the realization of the goodness of God and it brings us to repentance.


Participation at the Lord's Table is a time of reflection! It is a time to remember! However, it is also a time of inspection, a deep soul-searching examination for sin and involves confession and repentance unto God. There is one other step! It is also a time of correction!! It is one thing to have our sins revealed by our examination and it is another to do something about them. We need to correct the sins and go forth, in God's power, to abandon those sins. Remember how clean and guiltless you felt those first precious hours after your salvation? In a great measure this should be duplicated each time you partake of the Lord's Supper!!

One part of our definition of the word "examine" states "to test by questioning or exercises as to qualifications, fitness, etc. as a pupil." All are possibly familiar with this usage of the word. The youngster in school knows that success or failure in his studies is proven by the examinations or tests that the teachers administer. The grade he receives in his work depends largely upon these examinations. Most of us can recall "final exams" and the last minute "cramming." Certainly there is something of this nature implied in our text, "Let a man examine himself." The Lord's Supper is examination time!

First, it would be well to examine ourselves as Christians. It is always well to review our own personal salvation, to go back in memory to the time and place of salvation. Of all the things in the world we need to be certain about, salvation should head the list!! A great host of folks who are deceived would be enlightened if they examined their salvation!!

Many times it would be discovered that a decision to live better, to join the church or something of this nature had been mistaken for salvation!!

We certainly need to examine our lives as Christians! Are we living a close, separated life, dedicated unto God? Maybe a close examination will reveal we have become casual and compromising in our living!! Can it be we have cooled in our love of God? Perhaps we are tolerating, yea, even participating in questionable sin!! Does our life and conduct bring honor and glory to God or --- reproach?

There is always the need to examine ourselves as church members!! Scriptural baptism is the first requisite of a Christian life! How many need to examine their baptism and see if it fulfills scripture's demands.


How many times it is true that a Christian life is never quite successful because of a failure to observe the requirements of scriptural baptism. As a member of a church are we striving for its advancement, attending all the services, helping sustain its ordinances and discipline, supporting its program with our tithes and offerings and doing everything we can to spread the gospel? Let a man examine himself!!!

We need to examine ourself as to our relationship to others!! Are we walking together in Christian love with our Christian brothers and sisters? Are we doing what we can to win the lost? Do we avoid all tattling, backbiting, gossiping, etc.? Do we watch over one another in brotherly love and remember one another in prayer? Are we quick to give aid in time of want, sickness and distress?

We are admonished to take the examination! What is your grade?

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