Summary: To show the proper way of observing the Lord’s Supper
Title: The Lord’s Supper – Examined
Theme: To show the proper way of observing the Lord’s Supper
Text: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
1 Cor 11:23 NKJV For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’’ 25. In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’’ 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.
In this chapter Paul deals with a problem that has been going on in the church at Corinth. There have been some abuses of the Lord’s Supper or Communion as we call it. He takes these verses to correct them. This morning I want us to examine the Lord’s Supper and see what we can glean from these scriptures as we observe this Sacrament.
Paul Brings up the Lord’s Supper
1Co 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, (in other words in this next section that he is about to write about he is not going to praise them) (there has been something going wrong in the church and he wanted to bring it into light, it is time for some correction) (Message 17 Regarding this next item, I’m not at all pleased) that you come together not for the better, but for the worse. (Instead of coming together for good for good, This is the reason we come together, that is to edify one another, to build each other up in the holy faith, yet here it has actually been worse)
Abuses of the Lord’s Supper verses 18-22
Why have they made things worse when they come together? How could that be? Well Paul lists four abuses that have been happening in the church.
A. There were divisions and cliques within the church which corrupted the Lord’s Supper
(18) For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
The first problem was that there were divisions and cliques in the church which infected and corrupted the Lord’s supper. There was no unity.
(19) For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
In this verse Paul says that these people who cause these factions serve a purpose. They show who are the true followers of Christ. The bring forth the true followers.
1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1Co 3:3 For you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men?
B. There was self-deception (false security) which corrupted the Lord’s Supper (vs. 20)
(20) When you come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
The second abuse is that the people are deceiving themselves. They are using something God has given them as an excuse to get together and have a party.
They say it is because of the Lord’s Supper but it is not.
C. There was selfishness and neglect of others which corrupted the Lord’s Supper (vs. 21)
(21) For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken
The third problem is that there are some people who are getting full while the others are going hungry. We get the picture of people who are bringing their meals and drink and not sharing it with the poor. Some were not eating at all.
This feast was designed to show everyone equal not separate people.
D. There was the abuse of the sanctity of the church and the shamming of the poor which corrupted the Lord’s Supper (vs 22)
(22) What? have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise you the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.