Explore the Bible
April 8 2017
1 Corinthians 11:17-29 (CSB)
One of the things I always find intriguing when reading Paul’s letters is that despite being written 2000 years ago they address many of the same issues that continue to be prevalent in the lives of Christians and churches today.
In 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 Paul addressed the Corinthian church’s lack of unity and misappropriation of the Lord’s Supper.
The Corinthians were forming factions and when they came together some would eat and drink while other less-fortunate congregants would be left hungry.
“Don’t you have homes in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? ... I do not praise you in this matter!” wrote Paul (1 Cor. 11:22).
Paul emphasized to the Corinthians that the Lord’s Supper which he received from the Lord was not simply a meal meant to satisfy earthly hunger and thirst but an ordinance through which followers of Christ should worship proclaim their faith and remember what Christ accomplished on their behalf.
Paul warned both believers and unbelievers of the consequences of taking part in the Lord’s Supper in an improper manner.
By improper manner I don’t mean that Paul mandated using grape juice instead of wine or decreed a certain number of times a church should take the Lord’s Supper per year; Paul warned against taking the Lord’s Supper without being a follower of Christ or for believers without first examining oneself and one’s relationship with Christ.
This passage had me thinking a lot about the way the Lord’s Supper is treated in our churches today. While nearly all Southern Baptists believe the Lord’s Supper is important I wonder how many of us actually take seriously Paul’s warning to examine ourselves before partaking?
“Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord. ... For whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Cor. 11:27 29).