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Verse

1 Corinthians 11:31

ESV But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.
NIV But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.
NASB But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.
CSB If we were properly judging ourselves, we would not be judged,
NLT But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way.
KJV For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

What does 1 Corinthians 11:31 mean?

In this sobering passage, Paul elevates both the meaning and importance of the Lord's Supper and the consequences for participating in it in an unworthy manner. Paul has been clear that to eat the bread that represents Christ's body and drink the cup that represents His blood without proper respect for Christ and each other will bring judgment. In the previous verse, Paul shockingly said that some in Corinth were sick and others had already died for this very reason (1 Corinthians 11:27–30).

In short, God will judge His children for failing to honor Christ's sacrifice in their observance of the Lord's Supper. He will not react well if they fail to honor each other while participating in it. The following verse will define that judgment as the discipline of a loving father. This is not about a loss of salvation, or a complete rejection by God. On the contrary, God does this, in part, to keep people from experiencing judgment. Even those Christians He brings to death, in this life, will spend eternity with Him in glory.

Still, Paul now writes, believers can avoid any judgment at all for violating God's intent for the Lord's Supper. To do so, they must judge themselves first with sincerity. In other words, we must be brutally honest with ourselves before joining in the Lord's Supper and change our attitudes toward Christ's death and all those He died for. Then we will not have to worry about God's judgment afterwards.
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