On two separate occasions, Paul urged the Christians in Corinth to test themselves (see 2 Corinthians 13:5). It is not good enough if a Christian was only loyal to God in the past. Christians should constantly trust God, and they should always obey his commands. They must test their thoughts, attitudes and behaviour to make sure that they are serving God properly.
An especially important time to do that is before a Christian accepts the bread and wine at church. That ceremony is a holy occasion because of its connection with Christís death. It is very wrong for a person who is living in an unholy manner to accept those sacred gifts. So, at that special moment, Christians should examine their own lives in front of God.
Often, of course, they will discover that they have done wrong things. Perhaps they are guilty of many evil deeds, and some of those may be severe. Then, they should remember that God desires very much to forgive. He forgives every kind of wrong and evil deed (Exodus 34:6-7). His Son, Jesus, died so that he could forgive his people. We would be lying if we claimed never to do any wrong things. So we must confess our wrong deeds to God. He will forgive us and he will give us a right relationship with him.
That is how Christians can accept the bread and wine at church. They do not deserve to receive any holy thing because of their own efforts. But they know that Christ died for them. They have confessed their wrong deeds to God, and God has accepted them because of Christís death. So, they eat and drink with thankful hearts.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.