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Seeking the Family of God

  1. Am I In Christ?
    7 Digging Deeper
  2. What is the Kingdom of God?
    3 Digging Deeper
  3. What is the Church?
    5 Digging Deeper
  4. Why Are There So Many Different Christian Religions?
    6 Digging Deeper
  5. How Can I Know the Will of God?
    4 Digging Deeper
  6. How Do I Pray?
    5 Digging Deeper
  7. What is Worship?
    6 Digging Deeper
  8. What is the Significance of the Lord’s Supper?
    5 Digging Deeper
  9. How Do I Become Like Christ?
    6 Digging Deeper
  10. What if there is no New Testament Church Near Me?
    5 Digging Deeper

In the communion, we participate with one another “in the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). This “body” is the church (10:17). The communion is not an individual act of “just Jesus and me.” It is a shared meal of the church together celebrating love and unity in Jesus.

The specially designated bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus was eaten as the common meal the church shared together during the Sunday assembly. In the next chapter (11:17-34), Paul writes that the Corinthians’ meal had ceased to be “the Lord’s supper” (11:20). Instead, it was their own selfish supper. There were divisions at the table. Their coming together was not for the better, but for the worse. Their “coming together” did more harm than good. Their inhospitable, greedy behavior did not honor the Lord. Some members were hungry and others were totally satisfied. Some were eating their own meal and not sharing with others. This sinful behavior despised the unity of the church and humiliated those who had nothing to eat (11:21-23). This was totally contrary to the purpose of coming together which was to remember Jesus and his death for all of them (11:26).

When they acted this way, they “ate the bread and drank the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner” (11:27). Their sinful behavior made them “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” Paul urged them to “examine themselves” to be sure that they “ate of the bread and drank of the cup” in obedience to Jesus and love for one another. He wrote, “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself” (11:29).

To distinguish the special observance of the Lord’s Supper from a simple common meal, Paul advised, “…if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment.” (11:34) Their unloving, divisive behaviors had serious consequences: “That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.  But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.  But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” (11:30-32) The church honors Jesus when we honor one another. When we neglect and abuse one another, we are neglecting and abusing the Lord, too (Matthew 25:40, 45).