By Mark Griffin
I Corinthians 11:23-34
What Opportunities Do We Have For Self- Judgment?
We have every opportunity to judge ourselves from the time we come to Christ throughout the rest of our lives. There are also specific times which are more conducive to awareness of truth because of the working of the Holy Spirit. God has provided times and occasions for the specific purpose of helping us in self- judgment and He expects us to take advantage of these.
The Lord’s Supper provides a regular discipline of self- examination.
When we find we have a need at the time of the Lord’s Supper, God wants us to confess it to Him and ask for His cleansing and then partake. We are not to refuse to take part in the Lord’s Supper because of sin. It only takes a moment of repentance and forgiveness to make us ready. He said to examine ourselves and then “so let him eat.” The blood of the New Covenant was specifically for the remission of sin.
God uses tests and trials of faith to help us discover our reactions under pressure.
We don’t know what we will do under certain circumstances until we experience them. God know, but He wants us to know ourselves. His purpose is never to bring us into condemnation but to bring us to ask for the help we need. This opens us up to God’s help.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit within us causes us to know our own hearts.
Introspection on our own is a bad habit because it is always destructive. But the Holy Spirit will bring to light certain areas of need at the time God is ready to deal with them. If we will allow the song of the Lord and praise to dwell in us at all times, the Holy Spirit will take the initiative in calling an area of need to our attention. He does this in a constructive way which will build our faith for receiving His help. The Lord uses undershepards to help us recognize our faults and errors.
Undershephards are responsible before the Lord to watch for our souls. That is exactly what “oversight” means. Many times the Lord will direct them to speak to us and to discipline us when they see with God our areas of weakness and need. If we will accept their words and corrections as from the Lord, we will be greatly blessed and many times will avoid having to learn the hard and longer way by experiencing failure.
God may use times of affliction to call attention to areas of sin in our lives.
When we call for the elders of the church in times of illness, we are to confess our faults to them as preparation for the prayer of faith and anointing with oil. Very often healing is only received as we acknowledge our correct specific habits. (See James 5:14-16.)
What Is The Purpose Of Chastening?
Chastening means to inflict suffering upon someone for the purpose of moral improvement. If we fail to judge ourselves God chasten us. It has been said that if we will not hear, we will feel. If we do not heed God’s dealings with us through the Word and by the urgings of the Spirit and the warnings of our brothers and sisters in Christ, God will set up circumstances to correct us. (II Sam. 7:14, 15; Psa. 94:12; I Cor. 11:31; 32.)
Chastening disciplines us to grow up.
We should be thankful for God’s care for us which includes correction and training. He is making something out of us we could not make of ourselves. We should cooperate with Him when He deals with us rather than either resenting the chastening or gibing up in discouragement. Chastening is the portion of all true sons; it will make us better people. (Heb. 12:3-11; Job 5:17, 18; Prov. 3:11, 12.)
Chastening produces righteousness within our character and obedience in our walk.
Chastening causes us to turn around and agree with God. We change our ways and flow with His purposes. Through chastening, the Holy Spirit imparts to us the righteousness imputed to us (credited to our account) at the Judgment of the Cross. Our character is formed as God trains us through self- judgment and chastening. (Heb. 12:11.)
Chastening makes us submissive to authority.
We are all born with an innate distaste for being told what to do by others. We would rather make our own decisions, even if all we do is make mistakes. But God has purposed both that we walk in complete submission to His Lordship and that we learn to submit to one another- especially to those He puts in authority over us.
1 Children must obey their parents (Eph. 6:1-3).
2 Servants must obey their masters- this applies to employees and employers (Eph. 6:5-8).
3 Wives must obey their husbands (Eph. 5:22,23).
4 Sheep must obey the undershepherds God has placed over them in the church (Heb. 13:17).
Examine yourself and see where you stand.