Summary: This message deals with the thought that Communio is all about God and not about us. Additionally, the Corinthians church was acting in such a way that communion was divisive and thus did more harm than good for the local church.
SEATED AT CHRIST’S TABLE
1 CORINTHIANS 11:17-34
INTRODUCTION: Last week we looked at the beginning of this chapter as an introduction to this section of 1 Corinthians, from chapter 11 through chapter 14. The major thought is that of public worship, and our propriety or activity in that worship. Last week we focused on a central thought – Worship is all about God and not about me. Paul, we observed, took time to develop this thought, looking first at men and rebellion, and the women and worldliness. Our conclusion is that we are to be careful that we do not allow things to come into the church that will affect our ability to focus our worship on God and the opportunity of another to focus their attention of God. Today, we look a bit more intently at worship as it applies to the Lord’s Table – the Communion Meal!
I WAITING TO BE SEATED – 11:17
A Doing More Harm Than Good
1 What a terrible thing to be said
2 Similar to not wanting you to be here.
1 Not following previous charge
2 Not coming – EVEN to the Communion Meal with the right attitude
3 Communion is WORSHIP and worship is all about God!
C Paul’s main objective is to get a change before coming to Communion
1 Thought processes are wrong – not thinking communion is all about God
2 Resulting actions are wrong – we ultimately behave based on our beliefs
II ABUSES BEFORE THE TABLE – 18-22
A Divisions – the Corinthian church was coming divided.
1 It is important for the church to come together unified in order to focus its entire attention of God
2 Early church would have a “love feast” before communion.
3 Each would bring food.
a Some more
b Some less.
c All brought – so there was enough for everyone
4 Corinthians were bringing food for their group – not the whole group.
a So, the first steps in the church were divisive steps.
b The meal set the pace for the rest of the service -- division
B Self-Deception – The Corinthian church was deceiving itself
1 Deceptive regarding its very purpose
a Not remembering Christ – Christ would have never put up with what they were doing
b Not honoring Christ – God demands our unity in worship
1) Did not focus on Christ and His selflessness
C Selfishness – The Corinthian church selfish
1 Part of the love feast was heal aside for the communion meal
2 Those who could bring little needed all they could bring in order to celebrate communion
3 So the rich would pull off into their group and eat, drink, etc.
4 The poor would be left in their group and not eat in order to have enough for communion
a Everyone would share as a group
b Now everyone shared in groups, not as a group
D Church Exploitation – the Corinthian church was using the church for the wrong purpose
1 Made church a place where value was placed on people
2 Made church a place where value was placed on other things
3 Destroyed the issue of unity
The love feast – which should have been the precursor to the Lord ’s Supper, was serving the opposite purpose. So Paul declares, if all you are coming to do then is eat and drink (the defacto result of division) – do that in your homes. Do not bring something into the church that divides the church and takes the focus off Jesus!