1 Corinthians 11 – [Part 2] – “Examination and Unworthiness”

1 Cor 10.3-4, 5-6, 11-12 says: all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink…they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did…Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction…Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”

Paul speaks in direct reaction to Old Testament sin: They sinned as an example, so examine yourself!  Israelites should have examined.  They should “have taken heed lest they fall”.

In case you are joining us in medias res, the point of my long writing is to show that 1 Corinthians 11 DOES NOT exclude infants (that is, those who can eat) from eating at their father’s meal, the Lord’s Supper.  Yes, that was a loaded sentence.


1] God warned the people of the Old Testament about eating his meals and judgment.

2] But those meals still included children.

3] Therefore, the command to “examine” to avoid “judgment at a meal” does not exclude children.


The reason this is really such a bang-up argument, in my opinion, is that “our examination passage” (1 Cor 11), is directly preceded by 1 Cor 10, an OT EXAMINATION PASSAGE where Paul uses judgment at OT feasting to warn of judgment at NT feasting.  Paul’s argument can be boiled down like this:

We know that we ought to examine our actions in relation to the meal, because our fathers should have examined themselves before they ate so unworthily.

The POINT of this post is to examine the details of 1 Cor 10.  In 1 Cor 10, Paul reviews many cases of OT gross adult sin, and in effect says, “They should have examined themselves, but they at least serve as an example to us not to make the same mistakes”

Unity Demonstrated

10.2    No one was excluded from baptism

10.3    No one was excluded from eating

10.4    No one was excluded from drinking

10.5    ALL Should have examined themselves

10.12 Based on this example, we should examine ourselves (take heed)

SINS and MEALS listed:

5.7-8 Passover [Ex 12]

10.3   Manna, Quail [Ex 16, Num 11, Ps 105.39-41]

10.4   Water from the Rock [Ex 16, Ps 105.39-41]

10.7    Idolatry – Golden Calf actually mixed idolatry with Peace Offerings [Ex 32.1-6 esp 5-6]  (cf. 10.21)

10.8    Immorality – mixed with idolatry.  [Num 25.1-9]

10.9    Despising God’s provided food: Manna [Num 21.5-9]- greed and gluttony [cf. Ps 78.18, Ex 17.7].

“Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.”

10.10   Grumbling {Rebellion -Num 14.9, Murder threatened 14.9-10}

[Num 14.2, 29-37 cf. Ex 12.23, 2 Sam 24.16, 1 Chr 21.15, Ps. 78.49]

10.18   “Sacrifices” – usually means Peace Offerings



I hardly need to prove that children ate Manna, or drank the Water from the Christ-rock.

It is clear that children took part in the Peace Offerings (sh’lamim – a.k.a.: Fellowship Offerings, Sacrifice of Thanks, Sacrifice of Praise, Vow Offerings, Freewill Offerings). [Dt 12.5-7, Lev 10.14].

Passover was INTENDED [Ex 10-9-10] for children, and COMMANDED for ALL Israelites:

9Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old. We will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, for we must hold a feast to the LORD.” 10But he said to them, “The LORD be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Look, you have some evil purpose in mind. (Ex 10)

47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep [passover].  (Ex 12)


Simply put, the need for ALL to examine is proven by the fact that ALL Israel was unified by baptism, eating and drinking but were still judged for grown up sins.  Those who are old enough to commit these sins are old enough to examine and old enough to repent.  Those who are not old enough to examine, are not old enough to get in trouble.  Not old enough for judgment.  BUT they are old enough to eat.


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