Posted by: missionventureministries | August 17, 2017

HONORING THE LORD’S SUPPER IN COMMUNION – 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29) 

When we study the depth of the meaning of the Lord’s Supper we start understanding the spiritual intensity of its meaning.  

During His last celebration of the Passover on this earth, on the eve of His death Jesus instituted a significant sharing of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine that we observe to this day. It is an integral part of Christian worship which causes us to reflect on our Lord’s death and resurrection. 

The Passover was the most sacred feast of the Jewish religious year. It commemorated the final plague on Egypt when the firstborn of the Egyptians died and the Israelites were spared because of the blood of a lamb that was sprinkled on their doorposts. The lamb was then roasted and eaten with unleavened bread. God’s command was that throughout the generations to come the feast would be celebrated. The story is recorded in Exodus 12. 

During the Last Supper, while celebrating the Passover, Jesus took a piece of unleavened bread and gave thanks to God. When He broke it and gave it to His disciples, He said, “‘this is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’” (Luke 22:19-20). He concluded the feast by singing a hymn (Matthew 26:30), and they went out into the night to the Mount of Olives. It was there that Jesus was betrayed, by Judas and was crucified the following morning becoming “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) 

The accounts of the Lord’s Supper are found in the Gospels (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:7-22; and John 13:21-30).  

The apostle Paul also wrote about the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29; and incorporates a statement not found in the Gospels: “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).  

Every Christian should ask what it means to partake of the bread and the cup “in an unworthy manner,” meaning that if you treat this holy ordnance in a common way, you become literally liable or guilty, for the body and blood of the Lord. 

In many religions, communion has become a dead and formal ritual where people come to the Lord’s Supper with unconfessed sin. Many treat the Lord’s Supper unworthily by making it a performance rather than something meaningful, by just participating in the ceremony rather than understanding it.  

Preachers need to instruct their flock about the Holy Communion because those who are not truly born again and are not pursuing holiness have no right to partake of the Lord’s Table. 

Born again are people are those who have repented of their sins and turned to Christ for their salvation, and as a result have become part of God’s family forever. Once that happens the born again Christian pursues holiness, which means that they reflect each day how they behave towards the Lord by ways of their attitude, what they say, how they dress, what they participate in, what they watch, listen to and read. In summary it is to intentional stop sinning and to have a forgiving heart.  

We need to be constantly probing our heart as we walk in the sight of our Lord each day. We need to remember that the Lord said: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16), and that “… without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). 

People who are not truly born again and pursuing holiness have no right to partake of communion. To understand who is unworthy to partake of the Lord’s Supper, we have added a few examples:

  • You treat it just as a ceremony and do not really understand the meaning of what Jesus did for you on the cross.
  • You do not understand that the Lord’s Supper is a holy and sacred communion and a restoring relationship experience with your Creator.
  • You treat the ceremony just as a ritual rather than treating it seriously.
  • You come to this table with bitterness toward another person and
  • You continue living in sin that you will not repent of or turn from.

If you come to the table without the highest respect for God, Christ and the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, if you come without total love for the brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, you come to this table unworthily and should not participate until you repent, change your attitude and make peace with your Lord and Savior. 

In keeping with Paul’s instruction, it is imperative that we examine ourselves before we participate of the Holy Communion. If you participate with sin in your life, or have never been saved from sin you’re guilty of violating the blood and sacrifice of Christ.  

The Corinthians were being disciplined by God because they wouldn’t examine themselves and clean up their life. They were literally treating Jesus Christ in an unworthy manner and had become guilty of that kind of disrespect.  

Someone who tramples the blood of Christ with indifference and a sinful lifestyle in the elements of communion is guilty of dishonoring Him, and is mocking Jesus Christ.  

It is therefore extremely important that we examine ourselves first before partaking of the Lord’s Table as stated in verses 28-29; because he that eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks chastisement. If you eat and drink unworthily, you will eat and drink judgment to yourself because you are not honoring the Lord’s body. In other words, you’re not treating the sacrifice of Christ with seriousness, dignity, purity and holiness. 

If you don’t see the seriousness and the sacredness of the Lord’s Supper, and you treat it with sinfulness, then you are literally guilty of dishonoring Him; you come under God’s judgment and you will be chastened because you have dishonored the great sacrifice that Jesus suffered to save you from your sins and from an eternity in the Lake of Fire. 

Therefore: “Do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)

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