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Honoring God In The Lord’s Supper    1 Cor. 11:17-34    March 28, 2010


Introduction

Remember in our text there were not many different kinds of churches but just one church. They did not

have one church who believed the bread and juice became the body and blood of Christ before they partook, (Catholic) nor did some believe the bread and juice became the actual body and blood after it got in their body, or some combination of those views. Baptist believe the bread and juice are symbols of the body and blood of Christ. Remember this letter was written to the members of the church in Corinth. We need to apply it to the membership of our church, and our practice when we observe the supper.

 

1.   Honoring God In The Lord’s Supper Focuses On . . Decisions. 11:17-22

       A.   The Decision To Correct . . Factions. 11:17-19

       17 Now in giving the following instruction I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better

       but for the worse. 18 For, to begin with, I hear that when you come together as a church there are divisions

       among you, and in part I believe it. 19 There must, indeed, be factions among you, so that the approved

       among you may be recognized.

 

B.   The Decision To Correct . . False Attitudes And Actions. 11:20-22

20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not really to eat the Lord's Supper. 21 For in eating,

       each one takes his own supper ahead of others, and one person is hungry while another is drunk!

       22 Don't you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you look down on the church of God and embarrass

       those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I do not praise you for this!


Ryrie

11:19 factions. When this happens, it can serve the good purpose of distinguishing those who are faithful.


11:20 when you meet together. The early Christians held a love feast in connection with the Lord's Supper, during which they gathered for a fellowship meal, sent and received communications from other churches, and collected money for widows and orphans. Apparently some of the wealthier members were not sharing their food but greedily consumed it before the poor showed up (v. 21). If the purposes of the love feast were not being realized, it was better to eat at home (v. 22).


Life Application

11:21, 22 When the Lord's Supper was celebrated in the early church, it included a feast or fellowship meal followed by the celebration of Communion. In the church in Corinth, the fellowship meal had become a time when some ate and drank excessively while others went hungry. Paul condemned these actions and reminded the church of the real purpose of the Lord's Supper.

 

Ryrie      11:23 received from the Lord. Not necessarily directly, but likely through others, though nonetheless authoritatively.

11:24 This is My body. The bread represents Christ's body and the "cup" (v. 25) His blood. See note on Luke 22:19.

11:25 the new covenant. See note on Matt 26:28.

11:26 you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. The Lord's Supper is an acted sermon (proclaim), looking back on Christ's life and death and looking forward to His second coming.


Wiersbe

(vv. 20-22).

The early church often held a "love feast," a fellowship meal, in conjunction with the Lord's Supper. But at Corinth, the rich came with their bounties while the poor sat on the side with a crust of bread. "Eat at home!" Paul commands them. "Your gluttony and drunkenness are a disgrace to the Lord!" (v. 22). If believers do not love one another, they can never partake of the Lord's Supper and be blessed.

 

(Dake Annotated Reference Bible.)

e] Seven disorders in the church (1 Cor 11:17-34):

1.    Divisions (1 Cor 11:18)                                2.    Heresies (1 Cor 11:19; note, Acts 5:17)

3.    Selfishness (1 Cor 11:21)                              4.    Misuse of the church (1 Cor 11:22)

5.    Shaming the poor (1 Cor 11:22)            6.    Partaking unworthily of the Lord's Supper with its benefits (1 Cor 11:27-30)

7.    Failure to judge selves (1 Cor 11:31-34)

 

Verse 20

a [not to eat the Lord's supper] This refers to the social meals of the early church, the love feasts (2 Peter 2:13; Jude 12), followed by the Lord's Supper. According to the Greek custom each brought his own provisions. The rich would fare sumptuously while the poor had very little to eat (1 Cor 11:21).

 

2.   Honoring God In The Lord’s Supper Focuses On . . Discipleship. 11:23-26

       A.   The Discipleships Focus On The . . Teachings Of Jesus. 11:23-24

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: on the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, 24 gave thanks, broke it, and said, "This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me."

 

       B.   The Discipleships Focus On The . . Training Of Jesus. 11:25-26

25 In the same way He also took the cup, after supper, and said, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood.

       Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the

       cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.


(Life Application Study Bible.)

11:24, 25 What does the Lord's Supper mean? The early church remembered that Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper on the night of the Passover meal (Luke 22:13-20). Just as Passover celebrated deliverance from slavery in Egypt, so the Lord's Supper celebrates deliverance from sin by Christ's death.

Christians pose several different possibilities for what Christ meant when he said, "This is my body."

(1) Some believe that the bread and wine actually become Christ's physical blood and body.

(2) Others believe that the bread and wine remain unchanged, but Christ is with the bread and wine.

(3) Still others believe that the bread and wine symbolize Christ's body and blood.


11:25 What is this new covenant? In the old covenant, people could approach God only through the priests and the sacrificial system. Jesus' death on the cross ushered in the new covenant or agreement between God and us. Now all people can personally approach God and communicate with him.


11:27 ff Paul gives specific instructions on how the Lord's Supper should be observed.

(1) We should take the Lord's Supper thoughtfully: we are proclaiming that Christ died for our sins (11:26).

(2) We should take it worthily, with due reverence and respect (11:27).

(3) We should examine ourselves for any unconfessed sin or resentful attitude and be properly prepared (11:28). (4) We should be considerate of others, waiting until everyone is there and then eating in an orderly and unified manner (11:33).


DAKE

Verse 24

a [this if my body, which is broken for you] This is a symbol of My body.


Verse 25

a [This cup is the new testament in my blood] This is a symbol of My blood, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. It symbolizes His blood that seals the new covenant which is based upon better promises.

b [as oft as ye drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come] As oft — daily (Acts 2:46), weekly (Acts 20:7), or anytime you do this you show forth the Lord's death till He comes again (1 Cor 11:25; Luke 22:19).


 

Verse 26

Set laws in churches that it has to be taken every Sunday or only once a year are man-made and without scriptural authority.

DAKE

 

3.   Honoring God In The Lord’s Supper Focuses On . . Discipline. 11:27-34

       A.   The Discipline Desiring To Correct . . Shameful Practices. 11:27-29

27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 So a man should examine himself; in this way he should eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

 

       B.   The Discipline Desiring To Correct . . Sinful Practices. 11:30-32

30 This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep. 31 If we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged, 32 but when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we may not be condemned with the world.

 

       C.   The Discipline Desiring To Establish . . Standard Practices. 11:33-34

33 Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that you can come together and not cause judgment. And I will give instructions about the other matters whenever I come. HCSB


(Life Application Study Bible.)

11:30 That some of the people had died may have been a special supernatural judgment on the Corinthian church. This type of disciplinary judgment highlights the seriousness of the Communion service. The Lord's Supper is not to be taken lightly; this new covenant cost Jesus his life. It is not a meaningless ritual, but a sacrament given by Christ to help strengthen our faith.


11:34 People should come to this meal desiring to fellowship with other believers and prepare for the Lord's Supper to follow, not to fill up on a big dinner. "If you are really hungry, eat at home" means that they should eat dinner beforehand so as to come to the fellowship meal in the right frame of mind.

(Life Application Study Bible.)


Ryrie

11:27 in an unworthy manner. I.e., with unconfessed sin. This may result in judgment, even sickness or physical death (v. 30). Therefore, each one is to examine himself before partaking (vv. 28, 31).

Ryrie Study Bible:


Wiersbe's Expository Outlines

B. They were chastened (v. 30).

God allowed sickness and even death to come to the Corinthian church because it was partaking of the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner. Paul never tells us we must be "worthy" to eat at the Lord's Table; for if that were the case, no one would be able to partake. Though we are not worthy, we can partake in a worthy manner by understanding what the Supper means: having a heart free from sin; being filled with love for Christ and His people; being willing to obey His Word. Christians often think they can "get away" with carelessness in church, but this is impossible. If our hearts are not right, God has to chasten us to bring us to the place of blessing.


Self-judgement (vv. 31-32).

If we face our sins honestly, judge them, and confess them, then God will not chasten us. "Let a man examine himself' is Paul's command in v. 28. At the Lord's Supper, we take three "looks": we look within and confess our sins; we look back and remember Calvary; and we look ahead and eagerly anticipate His return. The principle is clear: if we do not judge our sins, God will have to judge us.

Wiersbe's Expository Outlines

 

DAKE    Verse 27

Eight Ways to Partake Unworthily

1 .  In envying and strife (1 Cor 11:18).      2.   By taking it just to celebrated the passover (v 19)

3.   In gluttony and drunkenness (v 21-22).

4.   In irreverence. (1 Cor 11:22).              5.   In disrespect to the poor and needy (1 Cor 11:22).

6.   Not discerning the Lord's body and blood. ( v 27-30).

7.   By taking it as an unsaved man with sin in the life and without making proper confession and

      acknowledgement of personal needs (1 Cor 11:27-30).

8.   By taking it without judging oneself so as to escape chastening from God (1 Cor 11:31-32).

 

Verse 28

a [But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup] Each person should examine himself to see if he is in the faith and decide his fitness to partake of the Lord's Supper before he does so. It is better not to partake if one is not fit, and yet one should not feel that he is unfit if he knows he is born again and is walking as he should be in the gospel (1 John 1:7; Col 2:6-7; 3:5-10; Rom 6:14-23; 8:1-13; Gal 5:16-26).


Verse 30

a [For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep] It is the Lord's body one must discern (1 Cor 11:29).

 

Verse 33

a [Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another] Let us have order at the Lord's Supper and in the house of God. Satisfy hunger at home, and do not come together in disorder and condemnation (1 Cor 11:33-34).

(Dake Annotated Reference Bible.)