Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians 11: Dangerous or Delightful?

"Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:27).
People who profess salvation through partaking of communion yet do not possess it, because true faith is not present, become guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Those people will not be able to claim ignorance when they stand before God. The Lord's Supper clearly proclaims the Gospel.

Christians are never guilty of the blood of the Lord, they are never condemned, & they are always worthy. This scripture cannot be about them. But some might say, "This was written to the assembly at Corinth. That means this scripture must be addressed to Christians." Paul wrote to the Corinthians again and said, "Examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith" (2 Corinthians 13:5). Paul said the same thing here, "Let a man examine himself" (v28). Why would he write that if he did not have reason to think there were non-Christians among the assembly at Corinth? He wouldn't, thus it is ignorant to think that everything in Paul's letters must apply to Christians or only addresses Christians.

"He who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep." (1 Corinthians 11:29-30).
God is not cursing, condemning, or killing off Christians in this text. When we see "the Lord's body" Paul is not making the body analogy referring to God's family because the Lord's supper is specifically about the broken physical body of Christ. It says the people spoken of here are unworthy because they are "not discerning the Lord's body." If you don't discern the Lord's body you cannot be saved because the Lord's body is what brought salvation & new life. His body is also what brought physical & emotional healing. By the stripes on the body of Christ we are healed. The passover bread had stripes & piercings baked into it. These people were sick because they did not recognize the body of Jesus our Lord thus they did not have the power to be healed. Those who do not recognize the healing Christ's body obtained sentence themselves to weakness, sickness, & death.

"If we would discern ourselves, we would not be judged." (1 Corinthians 11:31).
Those who recognize themselves to be a sinner and put trust in Jesus experience salvation, and they will not be judged. This entire portion of scripture is aimed at the tares/goats (non-Christians) who are among the wheat/sheep (Christians). This entire scripture is not about Christians becoming sin conscious & examining their flesh. It is certainly not about God condemning & pouring wrath on His children. And it is absolutely not about Christians losing their sonship/salvation. If it meant these things it would go against the intent of Christ's sacrifice which is what The Lord's Supper reminds us of! God didn't set this up as a potential death sentence to abort His children's salvation if they have unconfessed sin in their lives & take the bread or wine. The Lord's supper wasn't given as a somber time to examine our flesh (which is not our identity in Christ) & remember sins but was given as a reminder of the fact that our sins are taken away because of the bloody, beaten, & broken body of Christ our Lord.

What? You mean the Lord's Supper serves to point solely to Christ on the cross & not me, my sin, & my works? Sounds like the love of God to me. The unworthy are the unsaved. When you are saved Christ makes you worthy forever! He doesn't see you or judge you by the actions of your flesh. He only sees your sinless spirit made in the likeness of God which is one spirit with Him! <Don't believe the last two sentences? See the scriptures below.

"Now we, along with God, recognize no one according to the flesh" (2 Corinthians 5:16).
"Once the Spirit of God dwells in you, you are not in the flesh but in the spirit" (Romans 8:9).
"Your spirit is created in the likeness of God in pure righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).
"Your spirit, which is born of God, cannot sin. You are not able to produce sin" (1 John 3:9, 5:18).
"The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him" (1 Corinthians 6:17).

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