If the church in Corinth didn’t have so many problems, our understanding of an array of spiritual truths would be lacking.
Paul’s teaching about the Lord’s Supper does not appear in his other letters. The misuse of the Lord’s Supper by the Corinthians church gave us the gift of profound instruction.
Yesterday, I wrote at length about how divisions based on status and wealth gave rise to Paul’s instructions about the observance of this sacred meal.
Before moving to the next theme in chapters 12-14, Paul gave the church a serious warning about the observance of the Lord’s Supper.
— 1 Corinthians 11.27-31 – Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.
Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves.
For this reason, many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
But if we judged ourselves, 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.
In today’s YouTube video, Rudy Ross the way he prepares to observe the Lord’s Supper. We all do well to not take this meal seriously.
I recommend that you join Rudy with a plan for observing this special meeting with the Lord.
Not Discerning the Body
The problem in Corinth was that they treated the Lord’s Supper in a similar manner as just another meal among friends.
The patrons of the meal treated their friends to the best food and comforts of the home, but the slaves and low-status people were “put in their place” outside of the home.
Paul warned against not “discerning the body.” The wealthy church members treated fellow members of the body of Christ-like they were unimportant and unworthy.
As we examine our attitudes and actions in the church, we need to “discern the body.” In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul goes to great lengths to show that every member of the church is valuable and useful.
He chides the wealthy members to have the same care for slaves and non-status persons as they would extend to their peers.
The next time you go to church try this out. Look around and see the different kinds of people God has brought to church.
Each person is valuable in their own right. Like you, they are charged by God to build up the church.
What can you do to make them feel welcome and a greater part of the church?
The next verses conclude this section and prepare readers for the next.
— 1 Corinthians 11.33-34 – So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
If you are hungry, eat at home, so that when you come together, it will not be for your condemnation. About the other things I will give instructions when I come.
Wealthy and important church members are to “discern the body” while they are at church. They are to build the body of Christ up through service and self-giving love.
There is plenty of time to socialize with friends over a meal at other times.
While at church, they have a greater responsibility. They are to represent Jesus to the vulnerable members of the congregation.
Paul’s further instructions are contained in chapters 12-14 and how spiritual gifts are intended to build up the members of the church.
Please take ten minutes to listen to Rudy Ross and me talk about this passage. Rudy has insights that will want to hear. The video is on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
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