The Meaning of 1 Corinthians 11:28 Explained

1 Corinthians 11:28

KJV: But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

YLT: and let a man be proving himself, and so of the bread let him eat, and of the cup let him drink;

Darby: But let a man prove himself, and thus eat of the bread, and drink of the cup.

ASV: But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup.

Discover 1 Corinthians 11:28

What does 1 Corinthians 11:28 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The reason for examining oneself is to determine that we are partaking in a worthy manner rather than in an unworthy manner. In the context this would involve behaving in a loving and unselfish way toward our fellow Christians as well as being appreciative of the significance of the Lord"s body and blood. We need to examine ourselves so the Lord will not have to examine and judge us for failing to participate worthily ( 1 Corinthians 11:31).
Having conducted this brief self-examination the believer should then proceed to participate. An unusually sensitive Christian might hesitate to participate after thoughtful reflection feeling overwhelmed by his or her personal unworthiness. However no one is ever worthy to partake. If someone thinks he Isaiah , he is not. We are only worthy because Christ has made us worthy. We need to partake feeling unworthy to do so. This attitude is part of what it means to partake in a worthy manner.
This simple reflection and participation lie at the very root of motivation for living a life that glorifies God. The church has invented many ways to motivate Christians to put Jesus Christ first in their lives. These include altar calls, "revival" services, campfire dedication services, and many others all of which have values. Unfortunately we have also neglected what the Lord Jesus instructed us to do that will motivate His people to live for Him better than anything else. If this observance has lost its punch, it is because those who lead it have failed to give it the preparation, attention, and priority it deserves in church life. The frequent observance of the Lord"s Supper in a way that takes us back to the Cross is one of the most powerful and effective motivators for living the Christian life. If you think a frequent observance of the Lord"s Supper tends to become tiresome, remember that your spouse never tires of your frequent expressions of love for him or her.

Context Summary

1 Corinthians 11:23-34 - Observing The Lord's Supper
There was much disorder in the Corinthian church, because the love-feast, which preceded the Holy Supper, was the scene of riot and conviviality, of ostentation and jealousy. In the love-feast of the early Church each brought his own supply of food, which was put into a common stock and shared by all alike; but at Corinth each family or group retained their own provisions, and a great distinction was thus made between rich and poor. This caused much heart-burning and was unworthy of Christians.
Note that the Apostle received the words of institution by direct revelation. The Lord's Supper is intended not only to commemorate the supreme act of Calvary, but to enable us spiritually to incorporate into ourselves the very life and death of Jesus, so that we may truly be crucified with Him and nevertheless live. "That I may know Him and the fellowship of His sufferings." We are liable to condemnation if we do not recognize the Body of Christ-that is, the Church-the unity of which is disturbed and obscured when there is dissension. If we judge ourselves, we escape the judgment and chastisement of the Almighty. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Corinthians 11

1  He reproves them, because in holy assemblies,
4  their men prayed with their heads covered,
6  and women with their heads uncovered;
17  and because generally their meetings were not for the better, but for the worse;
21  as, namely, in profaning with their own feast the Lord's supper
25  Lastly, he calls them to the first institution thereof

Greek Commentary for 1 Corinthians 11:28

Let a man prove himself [δοκιμαζετω αντρωπος εαυτον]
Test himself as he would a piece of metal to see if genuine. Such examination of one‘s motives would have made impossible the disgraceful scenes in 1 Corinthians 11:20. [source]
So []
After self-examination and consequent knowledge of his spiritual state. [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Corinthians 11:28 mean?

Let examine however a man himself and in this manner of the bread let him eat the cup let him drink
δοκιμαζέτω δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἑαυτόν καὶ οὕτως ἐκ τοῦ ἄρτου ἐσθιέτω τοῦ ποτηρίου πινέτω

δοκιμαζέτω  Let  examine 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: δοκιμάζω 
Sense: to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals.
δὲ  however 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
ἄνθρωπος  a  man 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἄνθρωπος  
Sense: a human being, whether male or female.
ἑαυτόν  himself 
Parse: Reflexive Pronoun, Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἑαυτοῦ  
Sense: himself, herself, itself, themselves.
οὕτως  in  this  manner 
Parse: Adverb
Root: οὕτως  
Sense: in this manner, thus, so.
ἄρτου  bread 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: ἄρτος  
Sense: food composed of flour mixed with water and baked.
ἐσθιέτω  let  him  eat 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἐσθίω 
Sense: to eat.
ποτηρίου  cup 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: ποτήριον  
Sense: a cup, a drinking vessel.
πινέτω  let  him  drink 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: πίνω  
Sense: to drink.

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