Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
But 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 weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
-I Corinthians II :27-29
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith. Prove your own selves.
-II Corinthians 13:5a
But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
For every man shall bear his
Read Rev. Hellenbroek's answer to Question 22 of the catechism memorization questions at the end of this chapter. How do his three points relate to misery, deliverance, and thankfulness?
To determine whether one has a divine right to participate or not requires internal self-examination. This self-examination is to concentrate upon the scriptural marks and fruits of grace which can be summarized under the following three experiential points:
When examining his own heart, a person should prayerfully ask for God's light and guidance and seriously ask himself such self-examining questions as follows:
Misery -Do I know and feel something of the heavy burden of sinfulness? Have I learned that I am nothing but sin, a totally guilty and hell-worthy sinner? Have I painfully experienced that I cannot save myself, but that my heart is a fountain of sin and therefore I can only add to my sin continually? Do I abhor my sinnership (my original and actual sins) before a holy and righteous God? Have I experienced heartfelt sorrow for transgressing God's law and the curse due to me for my sin?
Deliverance -Do I know and feel a deep need for Jesus Christ as the only, perfect, and complete Savior for such a lost sinner as I am? Is He my only source of hope and trust for salvation? Do I need, believe in, and hope for the forgiveness of my sins only through Christ's perfect, substitutionary sacrifice?
Thankfulness -Do I know of a love in my heart in return to God for the wonderful salvation He has provided for a sinner such as I am? Do I desire and strive to live my life in a way which is pleasing to God out of true love to Him? Do I know and feel a hating of and struggling against my spiritual enemies: sin, self, the lusts of the world, and Satan?
Do I love to do that which is pleasing to God? If I sin, does it cause deep pain in my heart that I have sinned against the One whom I love most? Do I know and feel a wholehearted desire to obey God and to walk in His ways, not only because I am commanded to, but most deeply, because I love to serve the Lord with my whole heart?