Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity – Monday
Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. – I Corinthians 11:28.
How should you examine yourself, and according to what rule, when you would eat of this bread and drink of this cup?
You should, first, examine yourself as to whether you truly repent of your sins. A child of God is most heartily sorry for his sins. A child of God is controlled and moved by the Holy Spirit, working through the Word of God, and perceived sin is as intolerable to him as a mote in the eye.
You should examine yourself, secondly, as to whether you believe in Jesus Christ. To believe in Jesus Christ is to have a correct knowledge of the great and mighty grace, ever new, which Jesus Christ has procured by His suffering and death, and which He has laid down in the Holy Sacrament and always offers you there freely and without price, and to put your trust in it, and comfort yourself with it in the face of all, indeed, all your sins.
Thirdly, you are to believe in the doctrine of the real presence, that is, you are to accept the words of the Savior concerning His true body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine in Holy Communion.
You should examine yourself, fourthly, as to whether it is your sincere purpose and intention henceforth to mend your sinful life with the aid of God the Holy Ghost, working through the Word. A child of God that is heartily sorry for his sins and appreciates the forgiveness purchased by Christ most assuredly is earnestly resolved to abandon those sins. Indeed, knowing and rejoicing in the super-abounding grace of God in Christ, will cause the Christian gladly to mend his life, and most earnestly strive to please God. Examine yourself as to whether these four things are found with you. If so, even though in a small measure only (for you still have the wicked old Adam), then go to the Lord’s Supper, and there again receive the assurance of the grace of God. That will strengthen you spiritually.
PRAYER – My dear Heavenly Father, I know Thou lovest me still as Thine own, though against me the world, sin, and hell combine. Grant to me Thy Holy Spirit, working through Thy Word, that with heartfelt repentance for my sins, with true faith in my Savior Jesus Christ, and with a sincere purpose of henceforth mending my sinful life I may come to Thy gracious Supper. And then bestow on me all the blessings which, by means of Thy Word, Thou hast treasured up in this Sacrament. Amen.
Grant that we worthily receive
Thy Supper, Lord our Savior,
And, truly grieving o’er our sins,
May prove by our behavior
That we are thankful for Thy grace
And day by day may run our race,
In holiness increasing.
Hymn 306, 7.