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"I Do Not Even Judge Myself"


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#1 mattquarterstein

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 10:30 AM

I was looking at 1 Corinthians 2-4 with my Dad, and this set of verses jumped up and bit me:

1 Cornithians 4v3-4: (NIV)

"I care very little if I am judged by you or any human court; indeed I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me."

For a couple of weeks I'd been feeling a bit distanced from God, and couldn't figure out why. I was trying to think about the things I'd done wrong, if there was something specific, if there was something I needed to do. I talked to people about it, and they concluded I was being a bit hard on myself.

I was. I was judging myself. "I'm not close enough to God," I thought, "I'm not going to make it, I'm not good enough. Am I sincere enough?". But I see, thanks to this verse, it's not up to me to make that judgement,. It's up to me to do the best I can, to trust and love God with all my heart, soul and strength, yes, but its God who judges me.

I suppose its like doing an exam. You may think while you're doing it "I'm gonna fail for sure". But it's not up to you to make that call while your doing it, the teacher will assess you when your done. You just have to do the best you can, and if you mess up, you keep on going, trying not to do so again.

So yeah, it bit me. I was convicted. Thank you Lord. :popcorn:

#2 Cajowa

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 12:06 PM

Hi Matt ... Thanks for your post, I hadn't picked up those verses before... just a question as to what you think of these verses later on in 1 Corinthians chapter 11... verses 28-32

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. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.


Perhaps it does suggest a balance, we do not judge ourselves by looking at others around us, but judge ourselves or examine ourselves in the light of Christ, by doing that we will see how far short of the glory of God we fall and come before him in humility and thankfulness for what has been done for us!

:popcorn:

Edited by Cajowa, 15 March 2005 - 12:07 PM.

The day is so short ... the work to be done so great!!!

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."

#3 Deborah

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 07:24 PM

It's up to me to do the best I can, to trust and love God with all my heart, soul and strength, yes, but its God who judges me.

Yep, it's easy to fall into the trap of being too hard on yourself. I was in that trap for years. I suppose the other extreme is excusing your every fault by saying - 'Oh, I'm just human' with no intention of improving yourself. But as you say, if you do your best, there is no need to be so severe.

I suppose its like doing an exam. You may think while you're doing it "I'm gonna fail for sure". But it's not up to you to make that call while your doing it, the teacher will assess you when your done. You just have to do the best you can, and if you mess up, you keep on going, trying not to do so again.


Ooh, I like that analogy. I have been really nervous about taking my GED exam. Thanks :popcorn:
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#4 DJP

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 09:46 PM

See also I John 3:20:

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

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#5 Evangelion

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 10:50 PM

See also I John 3:20:

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

DJP

I Corinthians 11:31-32
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

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#6 Adanac

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 10:57 PM

Reminds me of my Bible Boxing days.
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#7 Asyncritus

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 06:58 PM

I was looking at 1 Corinthians 2-4 with my Dad, and this set of verses jumped up and bit me:

1 Cornithians 4v3-4: (NIV)

"I care very little if I am judged by you or any human court; indeed I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me."

For a couple of weeks I'd been feeling a bit distanced from God, and couldn't figure out why. I was trying to think about the things I'd done wrong, if there was something specific, if there was something I needed to do. I talked to people about it, and they concluded I was being a bit hard on myself.

I was. I was judging myself. "I'm not close enough to God," I thought, "I'm not going to make it, I'm not good enough. Am I sincere enough?". But I see, thanks to this verse, it's not up to me to make that judgement,. It's up to me to do the best I can, to trust and love God with all my heart, soul and strength, yes, but its God who judges me.

I suppose its like doing an exam. You may think while you're doing it "I'm gonna fail for sure". But it's not up to you to make that call while your doing it, the teacher will assess you when your done. You just have to do the best you can, and if you mess up, you keep on going, trying not to do so again.

So yeah, it bit me. I was convicted. Thank you Lord. :tarkus:

As in one place we have: 'Let a man examine himself' and here we have AV "I judge not mine own self" it's worth a closer look to see why there's an apparent contradiction.

There are 2 separate verbs:

1 Cor 11.28 : 1381 dokimazw dokimazo dok-im-adí-zo

1) to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals
2) to recognise as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy

1 Cor 4.3

350 anakrinw anakrino an-ak-reeí-no

1) examine or judge
1a) to investigate, examine, enquire into, scrutinise, sift, question
1a1) specifically in a forensic sense of a judge to hold an investigation
1a2) to interrogate, examine the accused or witnesses
1b) to judge of, estimate, determine (the excellence or defects of any person or thing

So the two verbs are quite distinct.

The Message Bible comes up with this:

3 It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I donít even rank myself. Comparisons in these matters are pointless.
4 Iím not aware of anything that would disqualify me from being a good guide for you, but that doesnít mean much. The Master makes that judgment.

This is very much in keeping with the context of the divisions about Paul and Apollos. Obviously some were saying'Paul is a lousy apostle, speaker, example compared with Apollos and these other apostles who visit us.'

So he is saying, I don't bother with making these odious estimates of who is better or worse: me or Apollos or others. Christ's is the only opinion that matters.

In 1 Cor 11.28

He is addressing a different question altogether: that of the rich eating and drinking themselves drunk at the agape feast while their servants, slaves and the poor starved, like Lazarus at the gate of the temple.

The examination here is for a different purpose: for determining whether you were creating two strata in the Lord's body: the have's and the have not's. If you were, then you were declaring yourself 'unworthy', (disgusting is probably a better description) and worthy of condemnation.
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#8 CaptainCutshaw

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 09:46 PM

In 1 Cor 11.28

He is addressing a different question altogether: that of the rich eating and drinking themselves drunk at the agape feast while their servants, slaves and the poor starved, like Lazarus at the gate of the temple.

The examination here is for a different purpose: for determining whether you were creating two strata in the Lord's body: the have's and the have not's. If you were, then you were declaring yourself 'unworthy', (disgusting is probably a better description) and worthy of condemnation.

If this interpretation were correct, then self examination would only be necessary for the rich. The poor cannot be guilty of lauding their wealth over the rich, after all. There's nothing in the passage that says that this verse is addressed only to the rich, however.

Asy's explanation would also mean that these later verses, which pick their theme from verse 28, were addressed only to the rich:

31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.


In fact, those verses are addressed to all of us. We all face judgement, and deserve to be found guilty. It is by finding the faults in ourselves and repenting of them before God that we can avoid unpleasant chastening now, and annihilation in the future.

#9 Asyncritus

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 08:44 AM

One problem with the 1 Cor 11.28 verse is the bit of the context that goes on to say '"...not discerning the Lord's body".

As it stands there, that doesn't make much sense. How do you 'discern the Lord's body'? NET supports the view I expressed: "who eats and drinks without careful regard for the body"

Does it mean

1 You can't make out that this is the Lord's body through the alcoholic fog coming from drinking yourself drunken? And that will result in your condemnation?

2 You can't make out the fact that the Lord's body is a unity, and you are making another division based on economic stratification? And that will result in your condemnation?

3 You can't make out that this represents the sacrifice of Christ, and shouldn't be treated as contemptibly as you are doing and turning it into a gorging orgy?And that will result in your condemnation?

4 Something else

The whole context is of this eating and drinking oneself drunken while others starved, and any meaning we attach to the 'examine himself' should take this fact into account. He does go on to say that "30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (= 30 Thatís why so many of you even now are listless and sick, and others have gone to an early grave.MESSAGE)
.
) We don't need to be reminded of the lethal consequences of overeating habitually! And if there were others who weren't getting enough food, then that is just as pointed.

33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
33 Therefore, brethren, when you come together for this meal, wait for one another.

The 'wherefore, therefore, and so then' ties this statement very firmly to the preceding verses, and indicates that the interpretation I have given is probably along the right lines.

Edited by Asyncritus, 20 March 2005 - 09:24 AM.

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#10 Asyncritus

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:20 AM

Actually, CC, now you mention it, those two verses create their own problems, so what exactly are they saying?

32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

I am a little perplexed by this.

When we are judged (by ourselves?) we are chastened of the Lord???? Can't be right.

So what happens if our judgment is incorrect and unjustified? As it sometimes is.

There's a little problem here

Edited by Asyncritus, 20 March 2005 - 09:32 AM.

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#11 CaptainCutshaw

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 10:13 AM

I notice you have evaded my main objection to your interpretation. Why is the command to "examine himself" not aimed only at the rich, since they are they only ones you believe were doing something wrong?

The main problem dealt with in 1 Cor 11 is that the Corinthians were not taking the breaking of bread seriously enough. In the Corinthians' case this meant some ended up overeating and getting drunk. Paul exhorts the Corinthians to approach the breaking of bread with the correct state of mind, which involves self examination rather than a big hedonistic party. :party:

There is still a danger that we will approach the breaking of bread with a similarly unacceptable state of mind, even if the visible results of that state of mind are not the same.

It is not a Christian attitude to look at a chapter like this and say, "we're not as bad as them. We don't commit these particular sins. Therefore we can relax." That isn't Christianity. It's more like Pharisaic Judaism.

Edited by CaptainCutshaw, 20 March 2005 - 10:14 AM.


#12 Asyncritus

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 08:32 PM

I think you are making something into a generalisation which was never intended to be a generalisation, taken from a passage which deals with a specific problem.

"The main problem dealt with in 1 Cor 11 is that the Corinthians were not taking the breaking of bread seriously enough."

You note the generalisation: "the Corinthians" all indiscriminately lumped together.

This is simply not right. Paul is not addressing those who were starving - he is addressing those who over-indulged, ignoring the needs of the poor.

21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk.
22 Donít you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?

"In the Corinthians' case this meant some ended up overeating and getting drunk."
And what was he saying to the poor who were going hungry? I should be interested to hear your opinion.

"Paul exhorts the Corinthians to approach the breaking of bread with the correct state of mind, which involves self examination rather than a big hedonistic party."

There were very clearly those who were NOT having a party, big, hedonistic or otherwise, but were going without:

20 When you come together, it is not the Lordís Supper you eat,
21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk.
22 Donít you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?

So what were the poor to examine themselves about in this regard? I should be interested to hear.

If you wish to make generalising navel-gazing homilies from a passage which was not intended as a generalising navel-gazing homily, then you are making shipwreck of Paul's intention. You are being unfaithful to the text. But you're welcome to do so.

It is not a Christian attitude to look at a chapter like this and say, "we're not as bad as them. We don't commit these particular sins. Therefore we can relax." That isn't Christianity. It's more like Pharisaic Judaism.


Wahey! The big stick comes out again! "It is not a Christian attitude...Pharisaic Judaism!!" Wonderful, judgmental Christianity, CC. "As you mete, so shall it be meted unto you." But not by me.

If you want to draw a lesson, isn't it obvious that the lesson to draw, the one that takes full account of the context, is the one that says that:

"If my brother doesn't have enough, and I do, then I ought to share with him. And I should be examining myself to make sure that I am doing that and not letting him go without"?

As James says:

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

and the Proverb:

Pr 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

and Isaiah:

Isa 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

I hope you do that, rather than waving your bludgeon about.

Edited by Asyncritus, 20 March 2005 - 09:21 PM.

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#13 mji

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:23 PM

v34 is interesting:

If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that when you assemble it does not lead to judgment.

Seems doubtful to me the one going hungry in v21 was doing so because he was unable to provide himself with food.
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#14 Asyncritus

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:26 PM

v34 is interesting:

If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that when you assemble it does not lead to judgment.

Seems doubtful to me the one going hungry in v21 was doing so because he was unable to provide himself with food.

Why do you say that? This isn't 21stC Britain. These were slaves and worse. James is obviously looking at a very similar situation.
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#15 Flappie

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:30 PM

Why is Paul telling him to eat at home if he can't provide his own food? That wouldn't make sense, and it'd be rather rude as well.

Look at v33. If you can't wait to begin eating before everyone is ready, eat at home, so you're not hungry and you won't feel the need to start eating before everyone is ready. This isn't about people starving to death, just people who start eating without waiting for anyone.

Edited by Flappie, 20 March 2005 - 09:32 PM.

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#16 Asyncritus

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:57 PM

Why is Paul telling him to eat at home if he can't provide his own food? That wouldn't make sense, and it'd be rather rude as well.

Look at v33. If you can't wait to begin eating before everyone is ready, eat at home, so you're not hungry and you won't feel the need to start eating before everyone is ready. This isn't about people starving to death, just people who start eating without waiting for anyone.

I think you've got the wrong end of the stick here.

He's telling the people who have the food to eat at home instead of being pigs here at the meeting while the poor went hungry.

What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not?

21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry

The ones who are hungry are those who "have not [food to eat, is the obvious meaning] " as in the above verse.
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#17 CaptainCutshaw

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 10:02 PM

In verse 34 he specifically tells the hungry ones to eat at home, as mji has pointed out.

#18 mji

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 11:16 PM

I think Async's point stands in v22, but not so sure about v21 - you could read it his way.

I reckon Async is right about the specific scenario Paul is addressing - the problem is those who are selfishly indulging, not recognising their responsibilities to the Lord's body.

I agree with CC's point that it is possible for us to take note of what some in Corinth were doing wrong, and apply the lesson to ourselves. We don't go ahead and get drunk at the Lord's supper, but we can easily put ourselves first, not discerning the body of Christ in ecclesial life. And my reflections at the MM may well be on what I want, what troubles me, what annoys me - rather than on the Lord who unites us and brings us together to serve one another. So Paul's words can, in principle, be applied to me.
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#19 Asyncritus

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 11:33 PM

In verse 34 he specifically tells the hungry ones to eat at home, as mji has pointed out.

So if they 'have not' what are they going to eat? They didn't come empty handed because thet HAD food. They came empty handed because they HADN'T any food.

Edited by Asyncritus, 20 March 2005 - 11:37 PM.

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#20 Asyncritus

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 11:35 PM

I think Async's point stands in v22, but not so sure about v21 - you could read it his way.

I reckon Async is right about the specific scenario Paul is addressing - the problem is those who are selfishly indulging, not recognising their responsibilities to the Lord's body.

I agree with CC's point that it is possible for us to take note of what some in Corinth were doing wrong, and apply the lesson to ourselves.  We don't go ahead and get drunk at the Lord's supper, but we can easily put ourselves first, not discerning the body of Christ in ecclesial life.  And my reflections at the MM may well be on what I want, what troubles me, what annoys me - rather than on the Lord who unites us and brings us together to serve one another.  So Paul's words can, in principle, be applied to me.

I'll put up an exposition of this whole passage (11.28 in its context). It is a much greater exhortation than one to navel-gaze. Feel free to comment. What unnecessary words! :coffee:

Edited by Asyncritus, 20 March 2005 - 11:38 PM.

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#21 CaptainCutshaw

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 11:37 PM

So if they 'have not' what are they going to eat?


I don't know... old shoes? :clap2:

The fact that Paul's solution for people turning up to the BoB hungry is "eat at home" suggests that nobody in the Corinthian ecclesia was so poor that they had no food in the house. Otherwise, his statement in verse 34 would be heartless in the extreme.

Edited by CaptainCutshaw, 20 March 2005 - 11:38 PM.


#22 Asyncritus

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 08:21 AM

So if they 'have not' what are they going to eat?


I don't know... old shoes? :clap2:

The fact that Paul's solution for people turning up to the BoB hungry is "eat at home" suggests that nobody in the Corinthian ecclesia was so poor that they had no food in the house. Otherwise, his statement in verse 34 would be heartless in the extreme.

Well, we know he wasn't heartless, so what's he saying in v34?

34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Connect that with v33

33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

which harks back to

21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

Therefore 'if any man hunger' is talking about the group who DID have food, who WERE acting like greedy pigs and who SHOULD have known better.

Effectively he means: If you people who have food are really 'starving', then for goodness sake top up at home instead of coming here and behaving in this offensively divisive manner which brings the Lord's condemnation on you.

Edited by Asyncritus, 21 March 2005 - 11:18 PM.

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