Have you ever looked at your behavior and wondered if you went too far and lost your salvation? Have you ever abstained from communion in church because you sinned that week and you were afraid something bad might happen? Keep reading, I’m about to set you free.
Toxic Christianity encourages self-examination that keeps you bound by guilt and shame. Toxic self-examination is rooted in a legalistic mindset and predominantly comes from a misunderstanding of Paul’s admonishment of the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11. Because of this misunderstanding, millions of Christians have been deprived of the power of communion. Toxic self-examination has filtered its way into many believers lives.
I have some good news for you, you don’t have to examine yourself to find sin, I can promise you, you commit some kind of sin every day. Sin is defined as this, anything that is not of faith. I can assure you, every day, you do something that is not of faith. But remember, you have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ who is seated at the right hand of God, ensuring our eternal life in him.
Does that make you think I’m saying sin is ok? No? Cool, we’re on the same page. Yes? Hang out a while, I’ll help you understand the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ.
For now, back to self-examination…
“Don’t take communion in an unworthy manner with unconfessed sin or you’ll go to hell”
Have you ever not taken communion because you committed a sin that week and you were afraid something bad might happen if you did take communion? Have you ever believed that you might go to hell for taking communion with sin in your life? Some folks call that “mortal sin.” The folks that use that term actually believe that your sin still separates you from God. If that’s true then we’re all separated from God most of the time, besides the fact that nothing can separate us from the love of God. God is love, soooo…sin doesn’t separate you from God.
Those are all horrendous heresies that place the focus on the believers works-righteousness rather than on the body of Christ and what he went through on our behalf.
Sin is never ok, you should avoid it at all cost, it brings death and hardens your heart, but because of Christ’s atoning work, it will never be the context through which God judges you.
Yep, that’s right, Jesus was already judged for your past, present and future sins. Does that make you want to sin? Does that make you think I’m saying sin is ok? Well, it’s time for you to repent believe the Gospel.
Let’s look at the passage that’s causing all the trouble…
1 Corinthians 11:27 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. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.
What is the “unworthy manner” he’s talking about? Lucky for us Paul defined the unworthy manner earlier in his letter…
1 Corinthians 11:18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. 20 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, 21 for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk.
That is the very definition of partaking of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner. They are divided as a church, they are judging each other, they are judging themselves as better or worse than each other, some of them are eating all the food and getting drunk while others go hungry. They are not sharing a meal together as the body of Christ, making sure no one goes hungry. AND!! They are not making the whole thing about the Lord’s body (crucifixion). They’re supposed to be focusing on, remembering and celebrating all that the Lord went through in his crucifixion on their behalf.
That’s the unworthy manner!!
He’s not talking about individual sin in their lives, he’s talking about how they’re treating each other as a church. Remember, we’re supposed to walk in love toward one another, laying our lives down for each other, they’re not doing that.
To take the warning and apply it to each person’s individual sin is improper exegesis, you have to read that into the text, and all you theologians out there should know better.
After Paul corrects them on what communion is about, he again addresses the solution in context.
1 Corinthians 11:33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment.
That’s his solution, wait for each other, love one another, remember the Lord’s body. Notice that his solution isn’t to tell them to not take communion for fear of the Lord judging them. In fact, he tells them that the Lord doesn’t want to condemn them, they should judge themselves and make sure they’re doing it in remembrance of the Lord’s body.
He says that people who don’t understand the Lord’s body are weak, sick and might even die prematurely. The insinuation is this, if you do understand the Lord’s body, it can be health and long life for you. “With long life I will satisfy you” Paslm 91. It’s not the magic of the communion elements, it’s the heart of the believer and how he relates to the indwelling resurrection power of Christ.
If this is hard for you to grasp, watch the video above, I explain this slowly with great detail.
How do I properly judge and examine myself?
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
You examine yourself to see if you’re in faith toward Christ. The church at Corinth was not remembering the Lord’s body during their communion supper, they were mistreating one another, therefore mistreating the Lord’s body. God sees them one and the same. To properly regard and honor the Lord’s actual body and what he accomplished is to lovingly regard and honor our fellow believers, especially in the time of remembrance through the sharing of the Lord’s supper.
Examine yourself to see if you’re in faith!! Remember that Christ is in you!! That’s the only test there is to pass!!
If God judged you, you would be found guilty and condemned to the lake of fire, which is the second death. However, Christ became your sin and served your sentence of condemnation for you. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. That is properly judging the Lord’s body and that is properly judging yourself. If you truly internalize that, to the point of empowerment, it will be long life for you. Understanding the Lord’s body means you understand that he took the penalty of sin for you, you are set free from the law of sin and death. Those who do not allow Christ to be that propitiation for them by faith stand condemned, but there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Examine Yourself to See if You Understand the Lord’s Body in Your Real-Life Situations
I focused on communion in this article but toxic self-examination is something we do to ourselves all the time. Toxic Religion has taught us to be conscious of our sin and feel bad about it. I’m not saying you should feel good about your sins, I’m saying you should not let your failures define you. Paul gave the solution, remember that Christ is in you, stand in faith, renew your mind (repent), put on your true eternal identity and proclaim Christ through your faith!! The presence of God can only dwell in a place that’s holy, knowing that you’re truly righteous and holy is properly understanding the Lord’s body
I don’t want to help you feel less guilty when you sin, I want to help you know that God is not holding your sin against you in any capacity, not so you can be free to sin but so that you can be free from sin.
God wants you to thrive and prosper, he wants you to be able to receive his blessings and be a blessing to others. God wants to extravagantly glorify himself through you to the point that the world is thankful for God because of the kind of blessing you are in the world. IN EVERY WAY!!
2 Corinthians 9:10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
In the coming weeks, I will be staying on this topic, I will discuss God’s favor, generosity and the idea of blessing. Stay tuned as we all open our hearts to thrive + prosper.
thrive + prosper
1 Examine Yourself to Find Faith Not Sin
Clint Byars - July 21, 2019
00:00 Clint Byars: This week, I'm going to start Thrive and Prosper. It's gonna be about a four-part series. And it's really cool, I love when other people, when the gifts of God in other people rise up and confirm the direction that He's wanting to go. So this idea of thrive and prosper comes out of a couple of different ideas. I've had this idea sitting in my notes for a few months and I've just been adding to it and it felt like the right time to go into it. God wants to bless you, all the way back to Abraham, all the way back to when God called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees. Abram's father was a priest in the courts of Nebuchadnezzar, a demonic kingdom serving pretty much a demon himself. And God called first generation out of that to be the blessing, the seed, the one through which God would bless the entire earth. Now, we know that the seed of Abraham is Christ. And so blessing is in the earth because of salvation as offered to all, but also through his family. God has wanted from the beginning that covenant that He promised to Abraham to bless him so that through his lineage that his offspring would be a blessing to all the nations and families of the earth. Amen?
01:21 S?: Amen.
01:22 CB: Am I going too fast? I had a lot of coffee this morning, so I'm gonna get going here in a minute. That's what God wants for the body of Christ. He wants the fulfillment of that covenant that He made all the way back then, and that is that He would have a family, that He would have a priesthood, a family and a nation of priests on this earth carrying His presence, representing Him, drawing the whole world into His holiness and righteousness and union within Him to bless them, all the way back to the garden in Eden. That's what God wants for us. We've messed it up, He's gonna fix it at some point completely, but in the meantime, we get to carry as much of it as we can let ourselves experience, amen?
02:06 CB: So we're gonna talk about this idea of thriving and prospering. Think about this, what if the family of God, the church, God's body, was so blessed by God in every way, not just money, I'm not just talking about money, but in every way that we were such a blessing to the earth, we didn't have to have socialized medicine, or socialized healthcare, any of that kind of stuff that mankind through government has tried and it will never work, it will never work. But what if the church was so blessed, was so open to the spirit of God that all of those issues went away. Think about that, I mean Solomon's... The richest man ever had more gold than they could count. They didn't even count the silver. Can you imagine that? "Yeah, we got so much gold we just spent our time counting that. We don't even count that silver." That's what it says. They didn't even count the silver. How many of you know how much silver you have?
03:10 CB: You know what I mean. Whatever your silver may be. So we're talking about this idea, and we're just gonna... For about four weeks, we're gonna pour some water on that part of the Word, and it's all rooted in this particular passage here, 2 Corinthians 9:10-11, "He who supplies seed to the sower, He supplied seed for you to sow." You get that? One of these messages will be about money. I don't use the word tithe 'cause we're not under the Old Covenant. It's about generosity, it's about what you purpose in your heart to let God do through you, that you are a blessing and generous. You are not under a curse if you don't give. You don't owe God 10%, amen? You are free from the curse of the law, every aspect of it. Y'all been in this church too long, 'cause that would've been, should have been at least one amen.
04:05 CB: I know y'all have been hammered and guilted using the law to give in church before. We ain't gonna do that. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. Whose righteousness?
04:27 S?: Ours.
04:28 CB: Whose?
04:29 S?: Ours.
04:30 CB: Don't talk about that. Verse 11. By the way, your righteousness is His righteousness, you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, amen?
04:39 S?: Amen.
04:40 CB: Alright, Verse 11. You will be enriched. This is what I want you meditating on every day for the next month. You will be enriched. Do you know how to use original language tools? Go and find them. We're gonna talk... I'm gonna jump in our Facebook group this week and do some live streaming and do some study on this type of stuff, do some collective prayer and meditating on the Word to cultivate fruit within us, so it'll be fun. If you're not in that group, if you're watching online, you can jump in there as well. Just go to the website, forward.church, and at the bottom, join the online community and you'll get in there. So you will be, say "enriched".
05:16 S?: Enriched.
05:18 CB: Watch, in the every way.
05:20 S?: In every way.
05:22 CB: Think about that, enriched in every way, to be generous in every way, isn't that amazing? Generous with your time, generous with your wisdom, your knowledge, your emotional depth. A lot of people need some stability. There are so many people that have no depth of faith within them, they're so emotionally shallow. Doesn't make them bad people, they've just been beat up by life. They need somebody that they can draw from. Prayerfully, you know how to have boundaries in place so that they don't become dependent upon you and you create some co-dependency, but people need us to be at peace. Amen? You'll be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. You see the picture here? See, I love finding little nuggets like this and relating them to other passages. This is exactly the same as what Jesus prayed in John 17, that He's taken back up the glory that He had before He went with the father, He's given us that glory, He is praying that we would be one, we, the collective body. Drive up and down the street here, however many churches are, however many signs they are, we. Say "we".
06:44 S?: We.
06:44 CB: We divide ourselves up too often. But anyway, "Which through us will produce thanksgiving to God." So that He prayed that we would be one, that we would know that we're one in Him, just as one with God as Christ is, and that our love for one another would be a testimony to the world that God sent Jesus into this earth. I say that a lot. It is a huge aspect of just kind of the vibe of what we feel like the message is that God has given us to continually camp on in this church. We are to be so united with one another in God, in Christ, that our love for one another shows the world, "Man, these Jesus followers over there. I don't know about that seven-day creation, or six day, seven-day creation, and I don't know about that... " Seven... Six day. I know what it is, six day. Anyway, "I don't know about those, that boat and all them animals. I don't know about all that stuff. But that love thing, that makes me wanna believe that God sent Jesus into the earth." And it's possible. That's not just elementary, that's not just kids church stuff. That's the mandate of the church. Amen?
07:55 S?: Amen.
07:57 CB: So I see that in here, that you would be enriched. It's enriching to experience your unity with God, isn't it? In fact, that's how you become, you let that enrichment ticking up within you. It's like a plant growing its roots deeper into the ground. It finds those minerals and draws them, draws that stuff out of the soil into itself, and up through it and assimilates it and produces fruit. That is us, drawing on the Spirit of God within us to produce fruit as we walk in love toward another. "which through us... " So then that produces thanksgiving to God, not from us, I mean from us, yes, but from the world. You being enriched in every way and being generous in every way will produce thanksgiving from the world because what that enrichment is doing through you, you being a blessing to the world. What if the general consensus amongst unbelievers in this earth was, "I don't know if I believe, but I'm thankful for Christians because of the power and the influence and the blessing that they are to this earth?"
09:09 S?: Amen.
09:11 CB: That's what he's talking about. I expect that. I'm not waiting for the church to shrivel up and the fruit to die on the vine, and we be an impotent church and God's gotta come rescue us. I don't know what the future looks like, but I know His kingdom will continue to increase, amen?
09:26 S?: Amen.
09:27 CB: And I expect this to happen to the church. I see it happening through this church. We had Jimmy up here, the last couple of weeks. We had Sebastian up. How great did Sebastian do last week? That was incredible. Show him some love. He's probably watching online.
09:41 CB: That's what it looks like, fruit. And then I know something... I know about their lives and how they're being a blessing to others. Alright, so here we go, this week, starting this series, we're gonna talk about examine yourself. But I've got the sub-heading there to find faith, not sin. You examine yourself to find faith, not sin. Let me ask you this, have you ever in your life, in your church life, not taken communion because you felt guilty that week or you sinned that weak, or for some reason related to your behavior that week, you didn't take communion that week? Raise your hand. Be honest, raise your hand. Hold it up high for me please. Look around. That's half, more than half. Some of y'all aren't raising your hands, but you did it anyway. It has been taught in Christianity that if you take communion the wrong way, you might go to hell, Let's just say it. There was a lady back here, Mia, that mentioned, she said that she was Catholic, and they'd go to confession on Saturday, and they had to try really hard not to sin to get to church on Sunday so they'd take communion.
10:52 S?: Amen.
10:54 CB: I've never heard that. I didn't really grow up in church. I'm like, "Why did you go?" Interesting. She said, "You know, that Saturday night and that Sunday morning, we felt really good. We were like on a pink cloud. We just felt really good." I'm like, "You know what that's called? Self-righteousness." It's okay to have confidence and be proud of yourself when you resist temptation. That's proper, that's healthy, that's good fruit. But if you think you're right standing is because you didn't sin for that 18-hour period, you have missed the gospel. Amen? So examine yourself in the words of what we're talking about.
11:37 CB: Now, it's mostly that phrase usually comes up where we're talking about communion. We're gonna look in 1 Corinthians 11, and we'll go through it, look at a couple more passages and deal with it. But here's the problem. That idea of examining yourself and disqualifying yourself because of your behavior something that God has for you is rampant. Most of us do that whether we realize it or not. We're constantly checking, we're examining ourselves to see where we missed it. And when we identify areas, and some of us have areas that are much easier to identify than the others, you want me to point you out? I won't do that. I'll do this. How's that?
12:15 CB: That's what we do. We spend our lives, our days examining ourselves, and then we come up with an emotion like guilt or shame or regret. I mean, how many of you've lived with regret? It's horrible. It's horrible, isn't it? It's like paralyzing. Guilt and shame can be paralyzing. If you've never really dealt with a sin habit or some kind of past that is just like every time you think about it, you kind of flinch a little bit, then you know what I'm talking about. And you're constantly aware of it. And there may be even emotions associated with it. That's not the examining that you're supposed to be doing, and we're gonna get there.
13:01 CB: It is possible... See, I don't have this in my notes, but let me just cover this real quick. There is this concept of your heart, this is in Hebrews, being sprinkled with the blood of Christ. Now, under the old covenant, the priest would commit the... Would execute their... Enacted the sacrifice and take that blood and sprinkle it on the altar, and that blood sprinkling on the altar was a temporary substitutionary atonement for your sin. Temporary atonement. We have an eternal, once and for all atonement, amen? So rather than the altar, this brazen altar, we have a new heart. And that blood, that life blood, spiritual, it's hard to even understand and grasp it, but we have the model in the old that we can understand under the new, your heart has been sprinkled from an evil conscience, from sin consciousness. That means that sin that you carry around, and that regret and that shame, God has cleared you from that. God is not holding your sin against you. You will not get to Heaven and stand in the line for whether or not you’re righteous and qualified for eternal life, and God's gonna check off, "You did this, you didn't do that. You are not righteous enough. Go that way."
14:27 CB: Now, if you're a legalist, you're thinking, "Well, it kinda sounds like you're saying sin's okay." But just hang on, hang tight, keep listening, we'll get you there. But that is the proper response of a legalist. "I don't know [14:46] ____, I'm just completely free, completely innocent? I'm completely absolved from the law? You mean I could do anything and God's not holding it against me 'cause I'm under the blood?" Bingo. No. The condition of your heart tells me how much you really desire to express holiness and righteousness that you've been given. 'Cause if you hear that and you think, "Man, I'm partying tonight."
15:18 CB: Or, "Oh wow. I wanna protect, I wanna guard this new heart. I don't want to sow seed that would cause me the lust of the eye, or the lust of the flesh, or the pride of life, or the deceitfulness of riches. I don't wanna be distracted by that stuff, 'cause I wanna guard this garden that's in my heart to let the Word of God bear fruit within me. Amen?
15:46 CB: Now, most of us have an examining of self process that we're holding that stuff against ourselves. Does this mean that sin is okay? Does this make you wanna go sin? If it does, I got an office right over there and we can talk about it. Alright, so examine yourself, see if you're in faith, not sin. Now, let's go ahead and look at 1 Corinthians 4, this is Paul. Watch this, this is powerful, "Let a man regard us in this manner." So he's talking about how the body of Christ is representing, how people view the body, talking to Christians, "Let's live this way." "Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God." Anybody got any mysteries rolling around in your heart? You could prophesy that.
16:37 CB: Verse 2, "In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy." Bearing the fruit of trust, being able to be depended on. "But to me, it's a very small thing that I may be examined by you." I love Paul. Paul's like, "Look, I don't care what you think about me." "A little thing for me to be examined by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even examine myself, for I am conscious of nothing against myself." Think about that, that's a clear conscience right there. Do you think Paul was living 100% sin free? Think about it. Probably not, but he's aware of nothing. We're talking about thriving, we're talking about blessing coming alive within you, we're talking about you being so full of and open and aware of God and full of His Word, and confident before Him, your heart trusting Him, so that you thrive. You thrive to the point where you are blessed in every way, generous in every way, and it causes thankfulness to God because of what He's doing, what you're letting Him do through you. That's what we're talking about. "I'm conscious of nothing against me." This to me sounds like one of the promises of the new covenant, "I will no longer hold your sin against you." That mean sin's okay? No. It just means that's not the context through which God is relating to you in now, right? Alright.
18:12 CB: "I'm conscious of nothing against myself, but I am not by this acquitted." So he gets it. He's like, "Look I'm not even holding anything against myself, but it's not that that causes me to be righteous." "Yet I am not by this acquitted, but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore, do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will bring both to light the things hidden in darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts, and then each man's praise will come to him from God." This is a reference to the end, the resurrection, the final judgment. Whatever happens up until then, I expect the kingdom to increase. There could be some really bad things. We got Elon Musk creating brain robots to talk to you and teach you things, and learn from you. You guys ever see that? Elon Musk got some brain robots happening?
19:07 S?: [19:09] ____.
19:11 CB: How far do... I did not wanna go into that right now.
19:14 CB: Brain robots, Elon. Go watch Neuralink, Elon Musk. You know Elon Musk, SpaceX guy, brilliant.
19:20 S?: Amazing.
19:22 CB: Is working with a company that is doing the research to install little itty bitty robots into the brain, about 10 or 12 they figure they can get in there, and they read and write. So, of course, it's a benevolent venture and that is... Alright, I'm just gonna go there. It's pretty interesting. You wanna hear about it?
19:50 CB: Tell me to shut up if you want me to...
19:50 S2: In the year 2525, there was a song about that in the '70s.
19:56 CB: Okay, here we go. This is what he's doing, he... Really, what this is is a shortcut to transformation. It's a carnal mechanism that could produce transformation, and if used properly would be pretty cool, but I don't want those things in my brain, I don't know about you. But the idea is this, they put these things in there in healthy people, too, and because your brain produces electrical activity that's electromagnetic in nature and the electrical imprint and signature of the brain activity of walking produces an electrical signature that reads out and it's consistent between people, these robots will read that brain activity in one person, put it in a computer, send it to the other person who can't walk, their legs can't walk, they will imprint that electrical frequency, that electrical signature through those things into the brain to teach that brain how to resonate on those frequencies which produce walking.
20:58 S?: Oh, my God!
21:02 S?: Wow!
21:03 CB: Now, what if they could do that with sinlessness? What if they could do that with teaching you how to make a bunch of money? I'm just thinking about it. I'm just... I went there so I'm gonna play with it for a minute, I don't know. Where they get that idea? They got that idea because of the function of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is your brain robot, the Holy Spirit is your heart robot. He is the one that teaches you how to live godly. He uses His grace to teach you to walk in His blessing. His Spirit can teach your body how to receive healing. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is giving life to your physical body. What does that sound like to you? It sounds like healing, sounds like life to me.
21:56 CB: Alright, rabbit trail over, back to this. "Therefore, do not go on passing judgment before the time but wait... " So this is talking about the end, the final judgment, the resurrection, just quickly. This is expressed in other areas, but what he's talking about is, at the end, at the resurrection, everybody goes before God, everybody stand before God. Believers go before the judgment seat of Christ, everybody goes before the great white throne of judgment. Judgment seat of Christ, the believers, your works are judged, but not for righteousness, for reward.
22:31 CB: You're already righteous in Him. When you pass away, you go stand before Him, you don't have to repent as your soul leaves your body to get righteous before Him. You know what I mean? You're there. But in that resurrection, we do know there is a time when everybody's before Him, and believers that have Christ in them receive a reward for their work, and it even says you will suffer loss, but you yourself will be saved. So just like you go up there with your little red wagon full of works and you pass through that fire, [23:00] ____ your stuff might...
23:02 CB: And you're like, whoo!
23:04 CB: Thank God I'm safe. I thought those were some pretty good works but they didn't make it.
23:14 CB: And then there's some that will be gold and silver, whatever that looks like. But heaven forbid those who do not have Christ, lake of fire, second death, perish. That's why we gotta preach the gospel. That's why we should be active sharing our faith, amen? That's why we travel around the world and live in a foreign country for 10 years, to announce the gospel, amen?
23:36 S?: Amen.
23:38 CB: Alright, examine yourself. We live a lifestyle of looking at the things that we've done wrong, carrying the emotion and limiting what God can do through us because we walk in guilt way too often. It doesn't mean that you should just not feel guilty for your sin, but when you release, when you alleviate the guilt, it's an interesting thing how you will steward freedom well. It's the reason I know that this nation was founded on Christian principles, because that is the foundation of the idea. Set them free, trust that they will live well and treat each other graciously and watch freedom thrive. You will thrive in freedom. Sebastian said something last week about that, about people stewarding their freedom well. Anyway, go watch it.
24:28 CB: Alright, next verse. We're getting it to the part where he talks about examining yourself and feeling guilty if you've lived improperly and you disqualify yourself from communion. That's horrible that that's the way it happens. It's happened, but let's correct that. Sound good? Not just so that you'll be happy when you take communion and actually do it focused on the Lord, but so that you'll learn a mechanism of not living life of constantly examining yourself, constantly wondering and feeling like you haven't done enough, you don't measure up, you've done too much. I've had the opportunity to minister to so many people that feel like they just crossed the line, they've done just a little too much and that's it for them. There're no hope for their salvation. Mental institutions are full of people like that, think they've committed the unpardonable sin. I mean, there's a statistic at one point, I'd have to go back and read again, but 75% of the people in mental institutions that would talk about spiritual ideas would say, "It's too late for me, I can't be saved, I've done too much wrong." And it drove them crazy. It's that powerful. I don't want you to go crazy, I want you to quit examining yourself. That's a bad word, crazy, right? Anyway.
25:43 CB: "But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse." Talking about communion in context. "For in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you." That phrase, divisions exist among you, is the whole concept of judgment coming for improperly taking communion or mistreating people and not honoring the Lord's body in communion the right way. So it leads into examining yourself, which leads into other areas of our life. Remember that, divisions exist among you, 'cause that's the context of the judgment, alright? "And in part, I believe it." So he's, "I've heard these things about you and I believe it." How'd you like Paul to say that? "I heard this was really bad about you and I believe it."
26:40 CB: "For there must also be factions among you so that those who are approved may become evident among you. Therefore, when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's supper, for in your eating, each one takes his own supper first, and one's hungry and another's drunk." What! It's like this, if you were to come in here, we do communion collectively the first Sunday of every month, but we have the elements out every week if you're interested in taking them. But it would be like if all the rich people sat here, and all the poor people sat back there, and all the white people sat back there, and all the black people sat right there, that's what's going on here. And all these people come in and they eat up all the food and they're drinking up all the wine, and the other people, the poor people, they're going... 'cause for them, it was more of a meal, a collective meal that they would come in and they would eat. It was like a meal program for the church. They'd come in and they'd celebrate, and they would honor the Lord and remember His body and they did it in remembrance of Him. But these people are coming for the party. That's what he's talking about. Those are the divisions that he's talking about. You see it, right? Pretty clear.
27:47 CB: "What? Don't you have houses to eat and drink? Or do you despise... " He didn't say... Anyway. Or do you despise... You got it. [chuckle] Don't read into that. "Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I will not praise you." So now he's gonna correct it. "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." You see that picture? He's before the 12, He knows what's about to happen. He knows He's about to be betrayed, He knows that He's about to face the cross, He knows that He's about to let Himself be arrested. He knows that He's about to become the curse, He knows that He is the sin offering to the world. And He's sitting at that table, and He knows it starts that night. You see that picture? That's what He's going through right now.
28:52 CB: "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." Now, do you feel that? Just kind of that reverence that... And what if somebody came running in here with kazoos and a bottle of wine? "Whoo!" And they're like, "Wanna party." It's like, "Man, we're talking about Jesus here." That's what's happening. "'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.'" Stop laughing, you're gonna make me laugh.
29:32 CB: "Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me." That's what it's all about. Remembering Him. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. That's the correction, that's what he's talking about. Now he's gonna go back again and deal with the divisions among them and how they're mistreating each other. And imagine what would happen, imagine what the poor people would be thinking about the rich people and the rich people thinking about the poor people. Imagine the rich people coming up and eating and drinking and they're drunk, what are they thinking about the poor people back there? You see that dynamic? That's what he's about to address.
30:14 CB: "Therefore, whoever eats bread and drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." This is basically saying if you're coming into this environment and you're not honoring the body, your faith probably isn't in Him. That's not saying, "You better watch out." This is saying, "That's not how a Christian acts. I wonder if you're even saved," type things. Not that we try to judge each other by behavior, but this is what he's talking about. Do you even know what the Lord's body is about? Do you even know what He did for you? 'Cause that's what he's about to say. "Therefore, whoever eats the bread and drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner," not whether or not you've sinned that week, he just described what he's talking about. Do you see? This is really important that you see this. Unworthy manner, what does that mean?
31:04 S?: Unbelieving.
31:05 CB: Does it?
31:06 S?: Behavior?
31:09 CB: Because he just described it right before this.
31:11 S?: How they're treating each other around.
31:12 CB: How they're treating each other. How they're coming in to honor the body. You do see that, right? Whoever takes it in an unworthy manner, he just defined it. Do you see that? We don't just get to make up because I sinned this week. He's talking about how they're expressing their faith in that moment. Is that clear?
31:37 S?: Yes.
31:37 CB: Alright, it's very important. "But a man must examine himself." Now wait a minute, Paul, you just said you don't examine yourself. "But a man must examine himself and in so doing, he is to eat the bread and drink of the cup, for he who eats... " So examine yourself to find faith. We're gonna read in a moment where he says, "Examine yourself to see if you're in the faith." That's what he's talking about. Don't examine yourself looking for sin. He already defined what unworthy manner is. Examine yourself to make sure that you're focused on Christ. "For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly." You eat and drink judgment to who?
32:28 S?: Yourself.
32:29 CB: So where's the judgment coming from?
32:32 S?: You
32:32 CB: Is it coming from God?
32:34 S?: No.
32:35 CB: Pretty clear. What is the judgment based on? That you're not judging the body rightly, not that you sinned that week. I mean, I'm breaking out the scalpel, 'cause this is important. Pay attention and listen to this and get this in your heart. The unworthy manner in which he's addressing is not whether or not you sinned that week, it's whether or not you're coming in and you're honoring and you're reverencing and you're remembering what He did. And then it spills out into trustworthiness and how they treat each other. Are you with me?
33:14 S?: Amen.
33:16 CB: "For he who eats and drinks eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason," what reason? Not judging the body rightly, not understanding the body of Christ. When you don't understand the body of Christ, for this reason, many among you are weak and sick and a number sleep. King James says, "Or die prematurely." When you don't understand the Lord's body, you are weak, you are sick, and you might die prematurely. In other words, the Lord's body is life to you, health, long life. I think in week three, we're gonna go through Psalm 71, and there's a promise in there, "With long life I will satisfy you."
34:00 S?: Wow.
34:03 CB: You believe that?
34:03 S?: Mm-hmm.
34:05 CB: Is that for you?
34:07 S?: Yeah.
34:11 CB: I'm reading straight through Scripture here, keeping it in context. Are you with me?
34:15 S?: Yes.
34:17 CB: You have to add a layer of eisegesis to come up with, "My sin this week." Eisegesis is when you read yourself into Scripture. Exegesis is when you through and you lift it out in context, in order of what it's actually saying. We're talking about what it's actually saying.
34:36 S?: Wow. I've never heard that.
34:39 CB: I Corinthians 11:31, keep going, "But if we judge ourselves rightly... " How do you do that? We're gonna get there, "We would not be judged." Probably by each other, and even themselves. I mean, maybe one of them went home and was like, "Man, I shouldn't have drank so much. We're supposed to be talking about Jesus." We would not be judged, but when we are judged, so then when you feel that conviction, when you feel that guilt, when you feel that shame, look what happens. "We're disciplined by the Lord," He makes you a disciple, "so that we will not be condemned along with the world." So that you will not be condemned. Wait a minute, wait a minute. I thought if I sinned this week and I come in and I take communion the wrong way, I'm condemned, 'cause that's what we think "judged" means, condemned. There's a difference. Condemned is, this is your sentence, death. God, if you mishandle it, wants to discipline you back, not with cancer or losing your job or you break your foot that week, whatever things people assign to the will of God or the working or the sovereignty of God. No. It's... We're gonna get to what he's talking about. I'm gonna show you how to judge yourself. Hold that thought.
36:02 CB: If anyone... "But when we are, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world." He doesn't want you condemned. He's not setting it up saying if you take it wrong, you're condemned. He's setting it up saying if you take it wrong, you're gonna produce all this judgment within yourself and all this... You're not understanding the Lord's body, but God will discipline you back to understanding the Lord's body, and He does it with His Word and with His Spirit. "So then my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another." Again, back into context, wait for one another. He's addressing the collective. He's not addressing the individual, he's not addressing whether or not you've sinned that week. He's back on context, stating context the whole time. Do you see it? He never left the topic of how they were coming in and acting together as a church. "If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home so that you'll not come together for judgment. The remaining matters I'll arrange when I come." There's probably something that we're missing in translation about judgment to yourself, but what is clear is that He doesn't want to condemn you, He wants the body to be brought back into the unity of Christ, and it's not... I mean, it's not for condemnation. I hope you see that. So we're gonna keep on going.
37:25 CB: So here's the question. How do you judge yourself? 'Cause he said that, right? He says if you judge yourself properly, then you're understanding the body and you won't be weak, sick, and die premature. 'Cause he says those who take it in properly don't understand the Lord's body, and are weak, sick, and die premature. Do you see that? All right. So how do you judge yourself properly? Watch this. This is amazing. Same book... Well, 2 Corinthians is really just a continuation. "Examine yourselves," there it is again, "to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or don't you realize this about yourself, that Jesus Christ is in you?" Unless indeed you fail to meet the test. The only test there is is Jesus in you.
38:17 CB: Now, for these guys, they would have known Jesus is the exact representation of the invisible God. This would mean Jesus is the presence of God. This would mean what he's saying is, "Don't you know?" So when you examine yourself to be in faith, don't you know the presence of God is in you? The presence of God cannot be in an unholy, unworthy vessel. You examine yourself, rooted in Christ in you, the presence of God in you. We don't get it in our Gentile mindset to know... We don't get the power of what it means to have the Spirit of the living God within us, that the presence of God is in us. You know that presence that was hidden behind a curtain, that if they carried the wrong way on the ark, death; that if you touched, death; that they couldn't even go into the direct presence of; death? That presence, that holy creative presence is in you, not to kill you but to bring you life, to be a blessing through you.
39:36 CB: We don't know what's in us, we just don't. We carry this guilt and the shame, and we throw all this mud on top of our heart that should be yielding to the power of the presence of God within us in a real way that produces real transformation. I mean real transformation where you stop worrying, you quit playing around with that sin, you quit depending on money as your peace, you quit holding stuff against each other in a proper order. Test yourselves. This is what you do, test yourself, like right now, test yourself. Don't you know that Jesus is in you? What does that mean to you that He's in you? I wrote this just to encapsulate the idea. This is around the idea of judging yourself, examining yourself, testing yourself, this is how you do it. If God judged you, you'd be found guilty and condemned to the lake of fire, which is the second death. However, Christ became your sin and served your sentence of condemnation for you. There is now no condemnation for you who are in Christ. Does that make you wanna go sin?
40:58 S?: No.
41:01 CB: There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. That is properly judging the Lord's body because that's the effect. So you properly understand the Lord's body by understanding the effect of His body, which is, He is the veil through which you enter the presence of God, that His body was cursed for you so you will never experience the curse of the law; that His body bore your disease so that you can experience life in Him. That's understanding the body. That is applicable in every situation of your life. What is it that His body experienced and accomplished and overcame for you in your situation? If you truly understand that, it will be long life for you, that being what His body accomplished. And I'm not talking about having enough faith or any of that kind of stuff, I'm talking about understanding what He did and living within the power of that. Understanding the Lord's body means you understand that He took the penalty of sin for you, which means you are set free from the law of sin and death. Those who do not allow Christ to be that propitiation for them stand condemned, but there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. The only test you need to pass is having Christ in you.
42:23 S?: Amen.
42:27 CB: Bring it down for a minute, kind of a practical life, this sounds good, appreciate it, good doctrine in the Bible, teaching, fine, wonderful teaching. Your life, you're about to go out and live the rest of your life, daily. Test yourself, examine yourself. Because the reality is Christ in you is the solution to every problem you will face. "Well, Jesus isn't my spouse. I need a spouse." Okay, let's think about that. Jesus can give you peace, He could speak life to you, He can transform your heart, He can lead you in such a way and make you, if you yield to that process of transformation and be transformed, into the person that can receive who He has for you. Jesus ain't your husband. I mean, the Father God has betrothed Himself to us, 'cause you hear that, right? You hear, "Jesus is everything that you need." And there's somebody sitting over there going, "Well, you know what, I need some food today. I need to be able to get to work. I need my kids to quit being crazy. How is Jesus gonna be there for me?"
43:41 CB: He will in the form of wisdom, sanctification, redemption, transformation, but you gotta engage the Word of God. You have to engage the Spirit of God at a heart level. That means you gotta read the Bible. Put it in there, 'cause that's what He's gonna use to work you into what He wants you to be. He's gonna use that to mold and shape you. He's gonna use that to change how you think. Think of your thoughts and your choices as frequency. When you harmonize with how He's trying to lead you, you will experience what He wants to put through you. And what He wants to put through you is blessing, to the degree that in every way you are enriched in Him, and in every way you are generous so that people are thankful toward God.
44:35 CB: So here's the last idea, examine yourself to see if you understand the Lord's body in your situation. Does that make sense to you? You're gonna go out and you're gonna live your life, you got choices to make, you got things to do. In a real way the body of Christ. So I'll give you some homework, go to Isaiah 53, read through it, really 53 and 54. Read through 53 and 54, because that's the exchange of what happened on the cross. There's so many areas but we'll just start there, Isaiah 53. Go and read through what He went through for you. Understand it and let the Holy Spirit teach you how that's applicable to your specific situation. 'Cause this is what we do as Christians, we go to church, it's like, "Man, that was pretty good. Clint was on fire today." Thank you very much, I appreciate that.
45:27 CB: "Now I got this problem here. What should I do?" You know? Right? How do we actually engage the Spirit of God to be led and taught by the Spirit for life? You know how to do that? I don't know how to teach you how to do that, but the Holy Spirit will. Like this is as far as I go. Now you take it from there. You and your God. You and the Spirit of God in you. Use this method, use this idea, use this principle, this doctrine, this truth. Examine yourself. In this situation, I'm feeling fear. Do I understand the Lord's body? I'm feeling regret, I'm feeling shame, I'm confused, do I understand the Lord's body? I'm sick, I got a bad report, do I understand the Lord? Let me dig in Scripture and find out what He did, how does this relate to this situation? And there's just something that we don't understand... Even when Jesus talks about it in Mark 4, Matthew 13, the Word in there is gonna produce fruit, it bears fruit after its own kind. And He says, "This is... You don't know... This is how it works. The farmer puts the seed in there, he goes to sleep, he wakes up, and it bears fruit."
46:41 CB: We don't trust that the Word of God can bear fruit unto sustainability in your life, unto practical application in your life. We wanna go to church where they give us the seven points and they give us all these little cute little outlines, you write your words down, it's like, "Well, this is what Bible, this is what the preacher said today," but you don't really engage the Spirit of God and change. Change that thing, change yourself, your brain literally becomes rewired. That's a process. That's sometimes why repentance is so hard because there's a physical aspect to it. When you're thinking a certain way, limiting yourself to your own effort or your own sin, and you gotta change how you're thinking to become dependent on God, the physical body has to work and change as well. Your neurons have to learn, you gotta fire new neurons and think in different ways. I would love to see a long-term study of the brain activity of transformation.
47:44 S?: Wouldn't that be cool?
47:47 CB: That'd be pretty cool because it's real. Your brain is in a state of neuroplasticity. You can grow new cells, you can grow new neurons, you can think different ways, you can become outwardly what you really already are inwardly. This is what we're doing, we're renewing our mind and putting on our identity in Christ so that we... This is how I see God as wanting to... He's not trying to tell you, "Do this, do this, do this, do this, do this. Oh, you did really well. I'mma bless you today." It's like, "No. Unlimited blessing is your path. Now remove that. Quit thinking that way. Quit believing that. Believe this 'cause this is the reality." It's like you're a fire hose that's limiting itself with all this junk that's just untrue. Do you see it?
48:40 CB: Now this is the part where I wish I understood more of the dynamic of transformation because it's something that you just gotta engage yourself. But you do it this way, you judge yourself, ask yourself, "Don't I know that Jesus is in me?" What does that mean to you? That just a Scripture? Or is it real? Is it alive? What passage relates to where I'm at? I might not understand it, I'm not even sure that I believe it, but I know this, that my Lord, my savior told me that if I put this in, it will bear fruit. So I'm gonna camp out on it. Now, when you distract and you start to drift away from your hope in that thing, it chokes out the Word, it chokes it, it limits it, it strangles it. Any gardeners in here? You know about gardening? When those weeds and those vines come in and they strangle? It chokes out, it limits the fruit. That's what unbelief is. That's what all of this junk is. That's what guilt and shame is, it's limiting. The thing itself is alive, you yourself are alive. But fruit may be hindered because of not engaging the Word of God within you.
49:54 CB: Now, you probably agree with this. I'm sure that 100% of everybody in this room would say, "Yes, the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible is true. It works." But are you doing anything about it? Are you actually taking Scripture, putting it in your heart, in your mind, meditating on it, making it your hope, writing down the insights that you get from it in that specific area? What does the Bible say about your situation? It's not that challenging but we don't do it. I mean we think that we do, but we don't. I'm telling you the truth. I mean, I don't wanna just stand up here and preach at you. I want this church, the body of Christ to be that entity that can solve the material problems of the world. Do you believe that's possible? It's happened. Churches have built hospitals. Churches have provided in communities, all kind of things. It doesn't change hearts. You can't legislate righteousness. You can't change somebody from the outside, but it starts to open their heart to let God in, right?
51:06 S?: Oh, yeah.
51:07 CB: Praise God. I have, I have just incredible unlimited optimistic expectation that the Word of God works. I just wish I believed it every time.
51:22 S?: Amen.
51:22 CB: Amen?
51:22 S?: Amen.
51:24 CB: So what's your homework? I hope you come up with your own homework. Go through Isaiah 53. I'm going to jump in our Facebook group this week that we have that's for the church. If you're watching online, send us a message to the church Facebook page. We'll add you to that if you want if you're in here and you're not in. And if you're not on Facebook, well, you're just gonna miss out, I'm sorry but...
51:44 CB: No, I'll try to figure out how to get that to you, but send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org if you're not on Facebook and you want to participate. We'll figure it out. And by it, I mean we might even take Isaiah 53 and just walk through it together and meditate on it. Maybe some of you can post, "Alright, this is the area of my life that I'm dealing with." And together we'll look at it, go through the Word, find some things, you stand on it. I mean, you eat every day, you do certain things every day, let's stand on the Word every day.
52:16 S?: Every day.
52:17 CB: Amen?
52:18 S?: Amen.
52:18 CB: The last idea. Examine yourself to see if you understand the Lord's body in your situation. It's there, and it's powerful, and it works. Amen?
52:28 S?: Amen.
52:28 CB: Father, we thank you for your Word. We thank you that we are at peace with you, we trust you, and we don't wanna limit you. And we want to be an open vessel for you to pour your blessing through, so that we are enriched in every way, and that we are generous in every way, to the point that it brings thanksgiving to you because people have experienced that blessing. We trust you, we love you.
53:00 CB: You know, if you're not in here or if you're in here, and you don't know the Lord, you're watching online, you're just not sure that you have Christ in you, if you have expressed faith in what He did for you, He's in you. If you've never done that, it's very simple, just make the decision, just even in your heart, if you're in this place right now and you're not sure, or you know you're not sure. Just invite Him, "I trust you Lord. Jesus I believe that what you did was for me. I am open to you. Fill me with your Spirit. I trust you. I trust you." And then contact us and we'll walk you through it and help you out. Alright, we made it.