X-Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org X-Organization: IPB Mime-Version: 1.0 Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 09:11:57 +0200 Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel From: Teus Benschop Subject: Catechism, 32 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Q. After what manner must you examine yourself before you come to the Lord's supper? A. 1. I must examine whether I abhor myself for my sins and humble myself before God on account of them. 2. Whether I believe and trust that all my sins are forgiven me for Christ's sake. 3. Whether I also have a sincere resolution hence forward, to walk in all good works. Nobody is allowed to go heedlessly to the Lord's supper. That is what Paul wrote us. He wrote: Before one eats of the bread and drinks from the cup, let him examine himself. For, is he is unworthy, and he eats and drinks of the Lord's supper, then he eats and drinks damnation to himself. To avoid such an aggravation of one's own damnation, let him then examine himself. That is what Paul wrote in the next text: "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." (1 Corinthians 11:28,29) We see then that one should examine himself, before going to the Lord's supper. That examining himself means that he investigates whether he is a believer or not. For, there are many who think that they believe, but in reality they don't. Let then everybody examine himself, if he is not deceiving himself, pretending to be a believer, and not being one. To help us examining ourselves, our answer gives us three guidelines. 1. Examine if you feel your sinful state; 2. Examine if you trust your sins are forgiven; 3. Examine if you wish to walk in good works. These three guidelines will be enlarged upon. The first one is: I must examine whether I abhor myself for my sins and humble myself before God on account of them. So, I must examine whether I abhor myself. Abhor myself? Why? Because I am such a wretched sinner, daily increasing my guilt before God. Abhorring yourself is not simply saying, that you are a sinner, but abhorring is much more. It is having a real aversion to yourself. Since I am such a great sinner, and never cease provoking God to wrath, and always continue in heaping sins on sins; since I am such a wretch, I abhor myself before God, and humble me for Him on account of them. It is not a mere saying: "I am a sinner", and then continuing with the next step. Such a man, who thinks himself an abomination before God, is much alarmed about his state. Such a sinner! Will God forgive such a one? When we see and feel our real behaviour before God, we rather hide ourselves, away from the sight of God, then that we cheerfully say, that we are sinners. Look to Adam, who, when he had committed the first sin, hid himself in the trees of the garden, from the presence of the LORD (Gen.3:8). Let then everyone, who really abhors himself because of his sins, tremble, expecting God's coming judgement. But when we stand still here, there is something wrong. The next guideline follows. I must examine whether I believe and trust that all my sins are forgiven me for Christ's sake. When I believe that my sins are forgiven me, than also this is not a mere saying. But it is a conviction, which is given me by God, that my sins are forgiven me for Christ's sake. Many say: "Believe in Jesus and all is well". This is often said very superficially. But the true faith has deep roots. It is given by God, after there has been a deep conviction of own sinful state. When I believe that my sins are forgiven me, then I trust, and feel in my heart, that these things are so. Seeing in ourselves nothing but inability, and all wretchedness, we have put our eyes on God, Who is merciful for Christ's sake. We find nothing in ourselves to put our trust in. Therefore, having turned our back on ourselves, we turned to God. We turned to God, since He drew us to Him. He gave us the faith, that, when in action, connects us with God through Christ. We should then examine ourselves, before going to the Lord's supper, whether we possess such a true and saving faith. The third directive is, that I must examine whether I also have a sincere resolution hence forward, to walk in all good works. Such a sincere resolution, to walk in all good works, is an expression of thankfulness towards God. We wish to please Him, by doing what He asks. He has given us His law, to be our rule, according which we must live. When we then wish to live according to that rule, we do so, since it is God's will. Such a sincere resolution flows from the knowledge, that I am saved through faith. Knowing that the faith is such an infinite appreciated good, we wish to thank God by doing His will. Together with the faith, God also gives us that will. When the faith is strong, and actively working, we feel driven to do good works. So, when we examine ourselves, to see if we have such a sincere resolution hence forward, to walk in all good works, it is, together with the other signs, indicating that we are saved through faith. Not that good works have any meriting value in themselves, but they are a sign of the true believer. Doing good works, to earn heaven thereby, is a vain work. Good works merit nothing, but they are a sign of faith. When we have examined ourselves, and found nothing, or not all these things, we must keep off from the Lord's supper. Let us then pray to God, that He will give faith, and its accompanying signs. But when we have examined ourselves, and we have found true faith, we may go to the Lord's supper, to see the signs and seals of Christ crucified, and to receive them. By this, our faith will be strengthened, through the working of the Holy Ghost. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Teus Benschop -- email@example.com Listowner of firstname.lastname@example.org "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel" Institute Practical Bible-education Web: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/ipb-e/ipbe-home.html ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-032.txt .