(Bro. Bakht Singh – Balance of truth 1957 March)
(A word of warning to those who gather to remember the Lord in His death and resurrection)
On the Lord’s Day we gather round the Table of the Lord. Remember, it is the Lord’s Table, and not the table of any man. It is the Lord Jesus Christ himself who is inviting you to take part, and all who have been purchased by His precious Blood have free access to this Table. If you look into your heart, you will know if indeed you have been purchased by His blood, and if you are not born again, please do not touch the bread or the cup, even if they are passed to you. These things belong only to those who are part of His living Body, – the Church. They do not belong to any who are not born again. This then, is the first point of self-examination L “Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith.” 2 Cor. 13:5.
This Table reminds us of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in that death it reminds us also of the mighty and eternal victory wrought on the Cross. Our Lord wants us, each one, to have a life of victory and triumph and He has made every provision in His broken body and shed blood to enable us to enjoy that abundant life. As we partake of the bread and the cup we live by Him. We are reminded also that we have to be clean before we partake of it. We may have been taking part for many years, but even so, we need to examine ourselves on every occasion, lest we are unclean,- lest we take part unworthily, – for “whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” 1 Cor. 11:27. Are we clean and worthy before Him? This is why we need to examine ourselves before we take part. Are we obeying Him in all things? Is there any matter between ourselves and a fellow-believer? – is there any envy or jealousy? Is there any disagreement or disunity? Then, before we partake of the bread or the cup, that matter must be confessed and put right, both before God and with our fellow-man; that envy and jealousy must be confessed and put under the Blood; that hatred or disagreement must be brought to the light, and dealt with and put right. Every weakness can be overcome by His life. Every defilement can be washed by His Blood; and every past loss can be covered by humbling ourselves. As we remember His death, we remember that we also are dead to sin, and must yield ourselves servants to obey Him. Rom. 6:16-19. As we obey Him, so in greater measure He is able to pour His life into us and through us. This, then, is the second point of self-examination; “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. For this cause many are week and sickly among you, and many sleep.” 1 Cor. 11:28-30.
It is the desire of our Lord Jesus Christ that His church should be presented “to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing… holy, and without blemish.” Eph. 5:27. Not only is it His desire but He has also made every provision for it. Jude; 4, II Thess. 1:10, 1 John 3:1-3; John 6:36-57: “Ye shall live by me”. We must keep this standard of God before us that we may become spotless and blameless, as He wants us to be. He wants us to be like Himself, ‘confirmed to the image of His Son.”
As we come around the Lord’s Table we must remember that we have come around our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our standard, and not some preacher, or teacher, or other fellow-man. We are not to try to be like other human beings, or great saints, or great preachers, or even like the apostle Paul. Our Lord wants us to become like Him, and every word that we speak, every thought that we entertain, and every plan that we make, must be according to His perfect way. As we examine ourselves, let us ask Him: “Lord! Are you satisfied with my life?” Others may be satisfied with me, but what about the Lord Jesus Christ? Is He fully satisfied with my life? Does my life give my Lord full joy and pleasure? Let us think of these things as we ask Him; “Lord! Are you fully pleased with my life?” As we think of His death let us ask ourselves whether He can see in us the travail of His soul and be satisfied. As we think of His resurrection, let us ask ourselves whether we are truly walking in fullness and newness of life. This is the third point of self-examination: In how much is God pleased with my life? Am I being fully confirmed to the image of His Son? Is His resurrection life and power manifest in me?
Then let us give to Him our full worship and praise and love, that we may give to Him full joy and pleasure as we come around His Table.