1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Contrary to most churches today, the Lord’s Supper in New Testament times seems to have been a part of a fellowship meal. During that meal the congregation would remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ by memorializing what He did during the Passover meal. Unfortunately, some were arriving to the meal ready to pig out, or to get drunk. The memorial was becoming a travesty. There was a lack of worship, decorum, and care that should have surrounded communion. Besides that, there were divisions in the church (11:18). Communion wasn’t being observed with “careful regard for the body” (11:29), meaning that some didn’t get to celebrate properly either because of gluttony, drunkenness, or disdain. So, if we don’t do the Lord’s Supper as a fellowship meal today, what does this mean for us? I believe that it functions as a warning to us that we need to be sure that we are behaving properly and caring for one another when we come together for communion. Being selfish in the body of Christ means that we don’t fully understand and appreciate the selflessness that is shown through Jesus Christ giving His body and blood for us. We need to examine ourselves to make sure that we are behaving properly towards others, or else we will be in danger of being judged by the Lord (11:29). However, even though there may be times we are judged by God for our sin, it’s for our benefit. It means that we are His and not a part of the world (11:32).

Hebrews 11:5-8 “And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? ‘My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.’ Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons.

We should also note that, since we are “proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes” (11:26), the Lord’s Supper can be an effective way of sharing the gospel. But more than that, we are also affirming our belief that He is coming again when we celebrate!

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