Preparing For The Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:17-34)
Next Sunday, God willing, we will observe the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. I’m of the opinion that we should take more than just a few moments during the service to prepare. Thus we will examine 1 Cor 11 & on the back of your outline I have some suggestions to help you prepare to participate next Sunday. With that in mind, let’s now look at 1 Corinthians 11.
Corinth was a seriously dysfunctional church. They bickered over baptism, spiritual gifts, who was most important, & several other things. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians to address these issues. He wrote in Chapter 11 how the Corinthian church was making a mockery of the Lord’s Supper.
This was a grave sin, as you’ll see, because of what the L.S. is about. It’s about infinite mercy… grace… compassion… love… & forgiveness. The L.S. is about hope… joy… peace… reconciliation… & salvation! So to do anything that distracts from the sacrifice that brought salvation was a slap in God’s face… Jesus’ face… AND the face of the Bride for whom Jesus died! Let’s look at the text…
The Problem (11:17-22). Corinth had a problem with the lack of unity. There were divisions. Aside note (v 19), divisions are not always a bad thing. Sometimes it takes them to expose who are genuine believers! But that is another message… we need to press on.
In the early church there was a “pot luck” fellowship dinner of sorts before the actual L.S. (Agape Feast). Some arrived early & they ate all the food & drank so much they got drunk. The result was when their brothers & sisters arrived there was nothing left to eat or drink. They were left out in the cold!
Paul is appalled at this (no pun intended) because their conduct divided the church. Paul tells them by their actions they “despised the church of God” & “humiliated” others in the church. By how they acted they showed they didn’t care for… or love… the WHOLE church NOR respect properly Jesus’ death.
I don’t think they did this purposefully… but of ignorance & without thinking. It is possible to offend others accidentally! Paul shed light on what they were doing so they’d realize the effect their conduct was having on their fellow believers… & THEREFORE the church as a whole!
Application: Is it possible we have offended members of the church & don’t realize it? This is hard to consider because by definition what we don’t know… we don’t know. I’m asking a difficult question that must be answered IF we’re to be a unified fellowship! If yes, we must rectify our failures. HOW?!
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