My Favorite Things
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Celebrating the Lord’s Supper
- Malachi gives a picture of Israel as tired of the sacrifice system and how they had lowered their standards. God is holy and man is sinful. God cannot ignore sin but provided a temporary plan with Israel. The blood of animals covered sin allowing a relationship with God and the benefits of His great love.
- Israel wanted the blessing of the sacrificial system but not the sacrifice itself. Is this true for us today? Do we take for granted the meaning of the Lord’s Supper? 1 Corinthians 10:16: 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? The permanent plan was established with Jesus being the sacrificial Lamb. Mercy and grace happened at the cross.
- 1 Corinthians 10:18-21: 18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar?19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s Table and the table of demons.
- The people were eating meat that had been offered to idols. Idols are meaningless but it was as if they were choosing to worship idols over the one true God. Satan looks for weaknesses in our lives to do his work. Our position is found in Christ and we are saved but often our daily life is not sanctified and we fall into Satan’s trap. We are to eat at the Lord’s Table, not at the table of demons.
1 Corinthians 11:17-22: Correcting an Abuse of the Lord’s Supper
17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent, I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!
There was a problem in the Corinth Church that Paul had to address. When they celebrated the Lord’s Supper, the rich had plenty but the poor had nothing. The rich did not care about the poor.
- We are to remember the purpose of the Lord’s Supper and the mercy and grace of God that we do not get what we deserve. Jesus defeated the wages of sin for us when He shed His blood on Calvary. We now have the ability to come boldly into the throne room of God.
- 27 So then, 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.28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
We need to examine ourselves when we come to partake of the Lord’s Supper. We are to celebrate and do it in remembrance of what Jesus did for us. We are no longer under sin and condemnation. Jesus paid it all. Forgiveness is forever.