1Co 11:30-32 “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.”
In order to understand the “cause” that Paul speaks of, we must look back to verse twenty-nine, which says “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” Any attempt to partake of the communion of our Lord Jesus without truly understanding His sacrifice for us as the church, the body of Christ, condemns us. The consequence of our action is that we are spiritually weakened with infirmity to the extent that we become dead to the joy of His kingdom.
The condition described in these verses in no way indicates that we can lose our eternal salvation. Scripture plainly teaches us that we cannot be plucked out of God’s hand (Joh 10:28-29). The fact that Paul was taking the time to write to the church at Corinth and call them brethren is a clear indication that they were already recipients of God’s saving grace. As such, no man could remove them from Christ’s hand or the Father’s hand.
A lot of judgment in this world could be avoided if we would take the time to judge ourselves. The word translated as “judge” in the first part of verse thirty-one means “to separate thoroughly (see Strong’s).” According to Strong’s, the word “judged” in the second part of this same verse means (among other things) “to try, condemn, or punish.” Therefore, if we would separate ourselves from the vanity of the flesh, as the scripture gives us example, then we would not find ourselves being punished.
Although it may not seem so at the time, there is room for thanksgiving when we find ourselves suffering punishment (chastening). The scripture here assures us that our judgment is not the judgment of men. Instead we are chastened by the loving hand of our Lord from which no man (not even ourselves) can pluck us. While being weak, sickly, and possibly near death is nothing to celebrate, at the same time it should encourage us to know the cause and the Administrator.
Our Lord, in His great love for us, judges and chastens us when we fail to discern His body. In no way should this judgment be confused with the condemnation of the world. The fact that we are chastened is proof positive that we are loved by Him (Heb 12:6). That we are not condemned with the world is proof that we are His peculiar treasure.
May we daily take stock or ourselves to walk in communion with Him that we might have the health of His countenance, praising Him for health, strength, and vitality in His kingdom!