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The Lord's Supper

Thesis: To teach the hearer the serious nature of the Lord’s Supper, and to instruct unto the proper participation thereof.


Text: 1 Cor 11:17-34


  1. In today’s lesson we will be looking at the 11th chapter of the epistle to the Corinthians, specifically verses 17 and forward, where the topic is “the Lord’s Supper,” (v 20) and some things that the church at Corinth had done to pervert/pollute it, and the inspired instructions concerning the proper observance of it.


  1. This section of scripture, in itself, if properly studied and applied, will repair most errors committed today concerning this ordinance of God, (for there are many erroneous practices being propagated concerning this matter).


  1. One thing that is not often mentioned concerning this act of worship is the serious nature of it, yet in the scriptures, the  worship of God has always been brought forth as a very serious matter (as seen in the case of Nadab and Abihu, Lev 10:1-2, wherein they offered unauthorized fire for which God killed them; and the case of Ananias and Sapphira; Acts 5:1-11, in which God struck this couple dead for lying concerning their act of prideful benevolence).


  1. Therefore, it should be no surprise that when one comes to worship before God concerning the death of His only begotten Son, that this is a most serious matter, with eternal reaching consequences if not properly dealt with, for it is written (Heb 10:28-31) . . .


Heb 10:28  Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

Heb 10:29  How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

Heb 10:30  For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people."

Heb 10:31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


  1. Thus all that partake in such, should be aware of that which is approved of God and that which is condemned in this wonderful, powerful ordinance.


  1. Therefore in today’s lesson we will take a closer look at “the Lord’s Supper” and . . .

1)      The proper “Procedure” (1 Cor 11:17-25)

2)      The proper “Proclamation” (1 Cor 11:26-27)

3)      The proper “Proving” (1 Cor 11:28-32)



A. (v 17)

1Co 11:17  But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse.


This verse teaches a very important principle; yes Christians are commanded to assemble together (Heb 10:25).


Heb 10:25  not neglecting to meet (assemble) together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


  1. Yet when we come together as a congregation, and if things are not done according to the revealed will of God, instead of being pleasing in the sight of God, and gaining His spiritual blessings, rather we may be bringing the judgment of God upon ourselves.


    1. And this in fact is taking place in many assemblies of those that profess to follow Christ, many are continually doing that which the Lord has “commanded them not” (Lev 10:1) . . .


                                                              i.      Like worshipping God with mechanical instruments which tickle our ears (but not God’s) and go beyond God’s command to sing (1 Cor 4:6; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).


                                                            ii.      Like allowing women to deliver didactic discourses or exercise some other leadership role over the men in the church (assembly) over which Christ is to be the only head (1 Tim 2:8-15; Eph 1:22-23).


                                                          iii.      Like teaching another gospel (Gal 1:6-9), and not giving the members the information that they really “need” to hear (“preaching the word” 2 Tim 4:2), but rather what they “want” to hear (I’m OK, you’re OK).


                                                          iv.      And also there is the neglecting or the perverting of the Lord’s Supper, which our section of scripture specifically deals with.


                                                            v.      This verse is similar to the instance of Malachi’s day where God would rather have them shut the temple down rather than to offer polluted the worship unto Him (Mal 1:10)


Mal 1:10  Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand.


                                                          vi.      The bottom line in this is, that to worship God falsely, to offer up worship according to our will and not God’s (will worship; Col 2:23) does us more harm than good (Mt 15:9).


Mat 15:9  in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"


B. (v 18-19)

1Co 11:18  For, in the first place, when you come together as a church (in an assembly, YLT; in congregation, ASV margin, for the 1st century church did not meet in church buildings, but rather assembled in their homes; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2), I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,

1Co 11:19  for there must be factions (Gr. heresies) among you in order that those who are genuine (approved) among you may be recognized.


Those Christians of the house of Chloe had reported to Paul about their divisions (1 Cor 1:11), which they probably had seen when they visited to worship with them on the first day of the week, thus it was probably notable in the assembly, possibly the small groups sat apart one from another and ignored one another.


  1. Yet divisions will occur for the fact that some individuals are determined to follow their own ways (usually based upon inordinate desires instead of God’s will) and when this takes place those that are approved of God will be those that stand in the standard of God’s word, instead of what they think.


    1. The NT knows nothing of allowing others to practice errors, or for oneself to practice error for the sake of unity, it teaches that Christians are to walk in the light of God’s word (1 John 1:7), and contend for the once and for all timed delivered Faith (Jude 3) and when this happens, oftentimes dividing lines will appear.


    1. Those that walk according to book, chapter and verse are one with the Lord, those that don’t are opposed to the Lord, it’s as simple as that (Col 3:17a; Eph 1:22).


Col 3:17  And whatsoever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,


Eph 1:22  and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church,


    1. For Christ has been given “all authority” on earth and in heaven (Mt 28:18), and He indeed exercises this Kingship, yet not by creeds nor catechisms nor councils of men, but only through the means of the NT, that one standard under which His followers can be united, for which He prayed (John 17:8, 14, 20-21a).


Joh 17:8  For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

Joh 17:14  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

Joh 17:20  "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,

Joh 17:21a  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us,


    1. For the words of the NT will be that standard that determines whether we will inherit eternal life of eternal punishment (John 12:48; Rom 2:16; Rev 20:12; Mt 25:46).


Joh 12:48  The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.


Rom 2:16  in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, according to my gospel, by Jesus Christ.


Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books (of the bible) were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books (of the bible), according to their works.


Mat 25:46  And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.


C. (v 20)

1Co 11:20  When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat.


Note here that the apostle Paul implies that when they assembled together (on the first day of the week; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:1-2) they should be partaking of the Lord s Supper, but they weren’t, at least not in the proper manner, therefore it was as they weren’t doing it at all.


  1. What about the groups that partake of it monthly or yearly or not at all, how does his statement fit into their practice? It doesn’t! These groups do not abide in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9), they do not obey all things that Christ taught were to be perpetual (Mt 28:20; Lk 22:19-20).


Mat 28:20  teaching them to obey everything that I've commanded you. And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age." (ISV)


Luk 22:19  And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

Luk 22:20  And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.


a.       Therefore because of the Corinthians dividing into groups in the assembly (probably one ignoring the other), the drinking of wine unto drunkenness (v 21), it was not possible for them to be of one mind and one body that is essential when the Lord’s Supper is partaken of (1 Cor 10:16-17).


D. (v 21-22)

1Co 11:21  For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own (supper) meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.

1Co 11:22  What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.


In the first century many Christians would partake of that which is called “love feasts” (similar to our “potlucks’) in the assembly (Jude 12), and this, the Corinthians were doing in a selfish manner.


  1. The former Jews would partake of something similar to the Passover; and the former pagans would partake of something similar to the revelries they practiced in idolatry, and the poorer members would be excluded from both these 2 groups for their lack of food items to contribute to these feasts.


    1. The former pagans would get drunk, the Jewish Christians would look at them with disdain (and rightly so), and the poor went hungry, and this was not in unison, but sporadic, perhaps one would start right away, and another at a later time, and another at again a differing time, it was chaotic, as if multiple separate parties were taking place simultaneously.


    1. This type of chaos and selfishness made it impossible for them to eat the Lord’s Supper in a manner approved of God.


    1. There are those that go to these passages in an attempt to imitate the 1st century church, and  turn the Lord’s Supper into nothing more that an irreverent potluck, but that is exactly what we see happening here at Corinth, and as we can read, it is severely condemned.


    1. They had their own houses in which to eat common meals, the Lord’s Supper is no common meal, therefore when they assembled in member’s houses as a church (Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2) on the 1st day of the week in which they were to partake in the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7) and to gather their monies together for the needy saints (1 Cor 16:2), they were to do that, it was not an assembly meant to satisfy physical appetites, but rather the spiritual appetite.


    1. This command for repairing this error is also given again in verses 33-34 in order that no mistake be made concerning the inspired instructions being given here by God (1 Cor 1:33-34) . . .


1Co 11:33  So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another—

1Co 11:34  if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.


E. (v 23)

1Co 11:23  For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,


This teaches us that Paul’s commands are the Lord’s commands (1 Cor 14:37), he had received the information which he is imparting by revelation, directly from Christ (Gal 1:11-12; 2 Cor 12:7a; 1 Cor 14:37) . . .


Gal 1:11  For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel.

Gal 1:12  For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.


1Co 14:37  If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.


2Co 12:7a  So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,


  1. This verse also teaches us that he had already taught them the proper procedure concerning the Lord’s Supper, he “delivered” (aorist; past tense) that which he received of the Lord, unto them previously, probably during his 18 month stay in that city (Acts 18:8-11), they knew what they were to do, but weren’t doing it.


  1. Also, the Lord’s Supper was instituted on the night of Christ’s betrayal; this ought to add a certain ambience to this ordinance.


    1. Someone who was close to Him betrayed Him, those at Corinth who were supposedly joined as one with Him in this ordinance were turning His memorial into a nothing more than a gluttonous, drunken occasion for festivities, in doing this, these were also betraying Him, those that don’t carry out God’s commands properly today concerning the Lord’s Supper, are also betraying Him.


  1. This was taught to the 12 apostles on a Thursday, yet it was not practiced on that day after the instructions were initially given by the Lord, the scriptures teach that it was observed on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).


Act 20:7  And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight.


    1. The Lord’s Supper was observed on every first day of the week, as also verified by uninspired writings (Justin Martyr; AD 150).


b. “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president (this shows us one of the first evidences of a distinction being made in the eldership [approx AD 150] “president” here is thought to be referring to the presiding elder). verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and WINE AND WATER are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration” (Justin Martyr; AD 150; Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, p 185-186).


c. Early church writers from Barnabas, Justin Martyr, Irenæus, to Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Cyprian, all with one consent, declare that the church assembled on the first day of the week. They are equally agreed that the Lord's Supper was observed weekly, on that first day of the week.


d.  Barnes writes on Acts 20:7 . . .“To break bread- Evidently to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Compare Act_2:46. So the Syriac (version; the earliest of all versions; AD 80-160) understands it, by translating it, “to break the eucharist”; that is, the eucharistic bread. It is probable that the apostles and early Christians celebrated the Lord’s Supper on every Lord’s day.”


e. Again Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 11:20 implies that every time the church at Corinth assembled they should have been observing the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:20-21)


1Co 11:20  When you (assemble) come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat.

1Co 11:21  For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own (supper) meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.


F. (v 24a)

1Co 11:24a  and when he had given thanks,


Christ gave thanks for the bread unto the Father, the word “thanks” here is “eucharisteo”, we need to remember that all we have and are, has been given to us (John 3:27; 19:11; 1 Cor 4:7; Ja 1:17), and we should always give thanks, that is the Christian’s command (Eph 5:20; 1 Thess 5:18).


Eph 5:20  giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;


1Th 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.


  1. Are we ashamed to give thanks to Him that enables our very existence, say when we are in public place, with the eyes of the world upon us? Consider the statement of Christ (Luke 9:26) . . .


Luk 9:26  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he comes in his own glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels.


    1. Paul wasn’t ashamed of the gospel (Rom 1:16), and he gave thanks openly before unbelievers even in the direst of circumstances (being on a ship in a raging storm), and actually it helped the situation (Acts 27:35-36).


Act 27:35  And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.

Act 27:36  Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.


    1. Let us imitate Paul as he imitates Christ (1 Cor 11:1)


G. (v 24b)  

1Co 11:24b  he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is (broken; KJV) for you.


Let us remember that it was Christ Who willingly gave up His body to be broken by wicked men for you and me (Isa 52:13-53:12), He himself said (John 15:13-14) . . .


Joh 15:13  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Joh 15:14  You are my friends if you do what I command you.


  1. Yet not one of His bones were broken (turn to John 19:31-36) . . .


Joh 19:31  Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.

Joh 19:32  So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him.

Joh 19:33  But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

Joh 19:34  But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water (the separating of water from the blood is a sign that death has already occurred).

Joh 19:35  He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe.

Joh 19:36  For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken."


    1. This is the fulfillment of Ps 34:20 . . .


Psa 34:20  He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.


    1. In some older Greek manuscripts the word “broken” is omitted (in 1 Cor 11:24), seeing that His bones were not broken as prophesied, it is probably the correct rendering.


    1. So what is seen here is a comparison, an antithesis, “the bread is broken but not the body of Jesus” “as it is written” in Ps 34:20


  1. The bread that was used to institute the Supper was likely “unleavened” based upon the evidences in the OT (Ex 12:8, 15; 13:3, 7; Deut 16:3), as also confirmed by Jewish tradition. Some may assert that it states “bread” (v 23) therefore we could use a slice of wonderbread in this memorial and be OK, perhaps unleavened bread is not binding (because we are not under Moses but Christ; Mt 28:18; Col 3:17; not under law but grace (Rom 6:14), yet the evidence teaches us otherwise, the bread used in the Passover meal was unleavened based upon all the evidences, and likewise ought to be ours in our attempt to imitate Jesus (1 Cor 11:1).


H. (v 24c)

1Co 11:24  Do this in remembrance of me."


Here is the method of the Lord’s Supper defined “in remembrance of me” “we are to be thinking about Christ’s death for us,” it is a “memorial” not a sacrifice, which takes place “every time” that this ordinance is observed as some wrongly teach.


  1. The bible plainly teaches that Christ’s sacrifice took place “once” for all time, never needed again (look at Heb 10:10-14) . . .


Heb 10:10  And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Heb 10:11  And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

Heb 10:12  But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,

Heb 10:13  waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.

Heb 10:14  For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.


  1. Also note the words “DO THIS” or “THIS DO” depending on your translation, does this sound like it is optional? This statement here is in the “imperative mood” in the Greek, therefore this is a command, and it is imperative that this be done, those that do not this ordinance are not only disobeying a direct command of the Lord (Mt 28:20; Lk 22:19), they are also demonstrating their level of love for Christ, for He Himself said (John 14:15) . . .


Joh 14:15  If you love me, you will keep my commandments.


  1.  Also notice that the word “do” (in “do this”) is a “present active verb” likely denoting the continuing, repetitive action of a weekly partaking as implied in v 20.


J. (v 25)

1Co 11:25  In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."


And also concerning “the cup,” people make all kinds of hypothetical, extreme arguments to justify the usage of multiple cups, and it probably is not sinful to use multiple cups, yet no where in the scriptures is the Lord’s Supper spoken of with anything different than that “one cup” by the phrases “a cup” or “the cup.”


  1. And many of those that propagate the usage of multiple cups often attack those who are simply trying to obey the Lord to the best of their God given ability.


    1. Basically what they are doing is bringing a blessing upon those who are trying to obey Christ (Mt 5:10-12).


Mat 5:10  "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11  "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Mat 5:12  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


    1. The fact is the bible teaches a single cup and bread are to be prayed over (1 Cor 10:16), and then distributed//divided (Lk 22:17).


1Co 10:16  The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?


Luk 22:17  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves.


    1. And that has been the practice for almost 2,000 years, the scriptural house church (Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2) wherein mainly small groups assemble together, promotes the single cup usage, while the unauthorized use of buildings often hinder the scriptural observance of such because of the large number of individuals often gathered therein.


    1. Multiple cups were first introduced into the worship of God in 1893 by a Presbyterian minister named John G. Thomas.


    1. They were introduced into the churches of Christ in 1913 or 14, and today there are still about 500 congregations attempting to stay true to the bible in this area, consider the words of the Lord in the using of a single cup (John 14:23-24) .



Joh 14:23  . . . "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

Joh 14:24  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.


  1. And concerning the contents of the cup, most authorities would state that it would be naturally fermented wine mixed with water (3 to 20 parts water to 1 part wine; in order that no intoxication would take place; Jews considered unmixed wine as strong drink; in the Talmud [200 BC- AD 200] it states that unmixed wine could not be blessed [prayed over], it was considered unclean), yet the bible never uses any term but “fruit of the vine” and never uses the word translated “wine,” “oinos” when referring to the Lord’s Supper, therefore some would state that the use of fermented wine is not bound, and that may be true.


    1. Yet the same group of people would state that “words” used in a context belong there, and to pull them out of their context is a mere pretext (pretended), or to translate them differently than the meaning of the words in the minds of the recipients of the inspired letters is fallacious (false), I believe that we should adhere to this rule in all circumstances, and this is no different.


    1. Just like the word “baptism” (“baptizo”) meant an immersion in the 1st century, in like manner the phrase “fruit of the vine” also had a clear and unique meaning in the 1st century, it was and in fact still is used in the observance of the Jewish Passover, in prayer to God, it refers to the drink that they used in that day and it was never grape juice, all the evidences point to a mixture of water and wine (secular practices, Jewish traditions, early Christian uninspired writings, the Catholic church, general history) all point to this being the truth, in fact I know of no evidences that state grape juice was ever used before the late 1800’s


    1. And that usage came about when a doctor named Thomas Welch (who just happened to be Methodist deacon in charge of the Lord’s Supper in his congregation) borrowed Louise Pasteur’s process and applied this to grape juice in order that his product could be used to make the Lord’s Supper “holier,” and he promoted his product in religious publications, at first he gave the product away free of charge, and with the prohibition movement gaining popularity in this country at that time ultimately most so called protestant and restoration churches began using and still use this product, and now in fact act as if they always did use grape juice and even contend to its correctness even though it is clearly a tradition of men and only 140 years old.


    1. Yet the most important part of the cup of the fruit of the vine is that which it represents, “Christ’s shed blood,” for God declares that blood has to be shed for sins to be forgiven (Heb 9:22)


Heb 9:22  Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.


    1. For the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins (Heb 10:1-4), but only the blood of God become flesh, Who lowered Himself and became a man in order that He could be killed (because God can’t die; Heb 2:14), and shed his blood for the good of His creation, the greater blessing the lesser principle (Heb 7:7), now how wonderful and immeasurable is that love (Rom 5:6-8)!!!!


Rom 5:6  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Rom 5:7  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—

Rom 5:8  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


  1. Again we see in v 25 the imperative “DO THIS” denoting the command, Christ commanded it to His disciples (here and Lk 22:19), thus it is a perpetual command as per Mt 28:20 . . .


Luk 22:19  And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."


Mat 28:20  teaching them to obey everything that I've commanded you. And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age." (ISV)


  1. Also  “as often as” which means “WHEN” you do it, not “whenever you WANT to do it,” just like “as often as” you renew your drivers license” (which would be in accordance with the laws of the land) the same would apply to the law of Christ (1 Cor 9:21; Rom 3:21; 8:2, 7; Gal 6:2; Heb 8:10 Ja 1:25; 2:12; Isa 2:3), which would be every 1st day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2), it’s God’s will, not ours that is to be done (Mt 26:42).


  1. And for emphasis the method of the ordinance is again repeated “in remembrance” this is to be a “reverent memorial” to Christ’s death, His love, God’s love shown upon that cruel cross at Calvary.


    1. So what is the “Proper Procedure” concerning the Lord’s Supper?


                                                              i.      It is to be a solemn occasion, not to be mixed with secular festivities.


                                                            ii.      It is to done with unleavened bread (leaven represents sin, Christ sinned not; Heb 4:15).


                                                          iii.      It is to be done with fruit of the vine (a weak mixture of red wine mingled with water).


                                                          iv.      And it is to be done as a reverent memorial (in remembrance), not a sacrifice.


                                                            v.      And lastly, it is to be “DONE!” Not ignored! And that on every 1st day of the week, there are many who claim to be Christians, yet do not partake of this ordinance, this is one of many tests given in the bible to determine, who is, and who is not the Lord’s (turn to 1 John 2:3-5; 2 Cor 13:5).


1Jn 2:3  And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

1Jn 2:4  Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

1Jn 2:5  but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:


2Co 13:5  Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!


                                                          vi.      This is the “Proper Procedure” concerning the Lord’s Supper.




A. (v 26a)

1Co 11:26a  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,


“For” (gar) this denotes “purpose,” “for this reason” this is why it is important that one is partaking of the Lord’s Supper, following the Lord’s commands concerning it.


Again “as often as” here is not a license for the partaker to choose when he may or may not partake of the Lord’s Supper, any more than the statement “as often as you renew your drivers license” is, this is not talking about “when” specifically the Lord’s Supper is to be observed, but rather “how” the Lord’s Supper is to be observed.


  1. In Acts 20:7 we learn the frequency of which the Lord’s Supper was observed (Acts 20:7a) . . .


Act 20:7a   And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,


    1. Just because it doesn’t say “every first day of the week” doesn’t not mean it was not to be observed on every 1st day of the week.


    1. When God commands that one partakes of something on a certain day, every time that certain day rolls around, he who is faithful unto God, will partake of it, as seen the command concerning the observance of the Sabbath (Ex 20:8) . . .


Exo 20:8  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.


    1. Note that it doesn’t say “every Sabbath day” but it was understood as such, so should Acts 20:7.


    1. Also the command to lay by in store (in the treasury) concerning the collection for needy saints implies that Christians were assembled together every first day of the week and were to do it, 1 Cor 16:2 in the ESV and YLT rightly translates it “the first day of every week.”


1Co 16:1  Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do.

1Co 16:2  On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store (treasure; treasury) it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.


    1. Early uninspired historical records also affirm the fact that every 1st day of the week (Sunday) was the frequency that which early Christians partook of the Lord’s Supper (Justin Martyr; AD 150, ect), as do the earliest bible versions (the Syriac version; the earliest of all versions; AD 80-160; Acts 20:7)


  1. Look at the phrase “you eat this bread” (1 Cor 11:26a) . . . there are those that assert that when a person from a special priestly class (while the bible teaches that all Christians are priests; 2 Pet 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6; 5:10) utters a certain formula over the bread and the fruit of the vine, that it miraculously changes into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ, and then its consumed; yet here in our inspired text, an apostle of Christ, whose information came directly from Christ (Gal 1:12) tells us that we are not eating Christ’s literal body, but rather “this bread” (i.e. which symbolizes or represents His body).


    1. Also “drink the cup” is a figure of speech that denotes the contents of “the cup”, the “fruit of the vine”, a common assertion is “since the cup is a figure of speech for the contents of the cup, therefore there is nothing in this passage or any where else that requires Christians to drink for one container, yet their predecessors, and everyone else before 1893 (when the multi-cup system was invented) drank from one cup, or at least gave thanks over the one cup and then divided it among themselves as per 1 Cor 10:16; Lk 22:17 . . .


1Co 10:16  The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?


Luk 22:17  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves.


    1. It is sad that so many are attempting to twist the word of God to fit into modern day practices. We need to go back to the bible, that has been the clarion call for many NT reformers and restorers, and it must be ours today, let us not look at the bible in order to prove what we “don’t have to do,” but rather let us look at the bible in order to see what we “can do” to please the Lord, because we love Him (Jn 14:15), and always ask the question concerning all our practices, including the use of multiple cups, “is it from heaven or men?” (Mt 21:25).


    1. If we can read it in the bible, we can’t go wrong (1 Cor 4:6),


1Co 4:6  I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.


    1. But if we can’t find it therein, we will be taking our chances (Pro 14:12).


Pro 14:12  There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.


B. (v 26b)

1Co 11:26b  you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.


Here is the reason for following the “proper procedure” concerning the Lord’s supper, when we do it, we are “proclaiming” the Lord’s death, we are preaching one of the most important facts concerning the gospel of Christ through our actions (1 Cor 15:3) . . .


1Co 15:3  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,


  1. But if we are observing it with irreverence as they were at Corinth then we are preaching the Lord’s death as being irreverent.


    1. Or if we do it properly, yet only once a month, or once every quarter, or once a year, or not at all, our actions are not proclaiming this very often, and that against the frequency taught in the bible (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2).


    1. Thus we are by our actions, basically preaching another gospel, which is condemned in Gal 1:6-9.


    1. But if we observe it “properly,” with the deepest of reverence, and upon the first day of every week, thinking about the love manifested therein, and the suffering that took place on that day, for us, it will promote our right acting of humility and love of God and to others, and this is how Christ death is to be “proclaimed.”


  1. And note that it is to be partaken of “until He comes”, this refers to His 2nd coming, at which time the general resurrection will take place (1 Thess 4:13-18), the material universe will be destroyed (2 Pet 3:10), the final Judgment will take place (Rev 20:12), and the eternal separation between the righteous and the wicked will be made (Mt 25:46).


Mat 25:46  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


    1. There are some that claim that during the Lord’s figurative coming of judgment in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 through the Roman legions, that this was His 2nd coming; Yet they is no evidence that anyone living in that time frame quit observing the Lord’s Supper, nor that any faithful Christians disappeared, were raptured at that time, in fact Paul’s entire argument in 1 Cor 15 is centered around the fact that the resurrection will be bodily, literal, not figurative as some faith over-throwers were asserting in that day, and also in this day.


    1. And also tradition teaches us that the apostle John lived some 25 years after that time (AD 70), wasn’t he faithful, why wasn’t he caught up to be with the Lord forever in the clouds, in the air (as per 1 Thess 4:17).  I believe John’s longevity is God’s foresight in dealing with this problem, he will always be there for all see and defend against this false doctrine, and also we have uninspired written records by men that claimed to be directly taught by the apostles (such as Polycarp), yet they say nothing about this ordinance ceasing, but rather we see it continuing to be practiced, thus their assertions are erroneous at best.


  1. Therefore the Lord’s Supper not only points back to the cross (in remembrance of Christ dying for us), it also points forward to the promise of His 2nd coming and the Christian’s hope of eternal glory (1 Pet 1:3-4; 1 Cor 15:23; 1 Thess 4:16-17) . . .


1Pe 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1Pe 1:4  unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you,


1Co 15:23  But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming.


1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

1Th 4:17  then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1Th 4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


C. (v 27)

1Co 11:27  Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.


The word translated “unworthy manner” (ESV; NASB; NKJV; ASV) here is the Greek word “an-ax-ee-oce”

anaxiōs;  an-ax-ee'-oce;  ἀναξίως


Strongs defines it thusly . . .

Adverb from G370; irreverently: - unworthily.


It is also translated “unworthily” (KJV), or “improper way” (GW) or “in the wrong spirit” (BBE), or “in a way that dishonors Him” (GNB)


Therefore it is an adverb, it is speaking of the “way” someone does it, not a pronoun, speaking of the inward condition of a person i.e. an “unworthy”(person) who partakes of it.


  1. It is not to be done “irreverently”, in an “improper way”, in the wrong spirit”, “in a way that dishonors Jesus” like the Corinthians did, divisively, in drunkenness, in selfishness, mixed with festivities.


    1. The person that thinks and acts like the Lord’s Supper is really not that big of a deal, that it is nothing more than a common meal, that thinks they are merely eating bread and drinking fruit of the vine, that are satisfying their physical appetites and not their spiritual appetites, are guilty through their actions of proclaiming that the body and blood of Jesus Christ are nothing more than that of a common criminal, Who got just what He deserved.


    1. It as if you yourself spat in His face, shoved that crown of thorns on His head, drove the nails in His hands, that you mocked Him and laughed at Him as He was hanging in anguish and pain grasping for every breath, as if you were saying to Him, “save yourself if you’re the Christ” wagging your head in derision, it may be that you would be better off that you had never been born (turn to Heb 10:28-31) . . .


Heb 10:28  Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

Heb 10:29  How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

Heb 10:30  For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people."

Heb 10:31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


    1. Therefore let us show forth the proper “Proclamation”, “proclaiming Jesus’ death until He comes” by our partaking of the Lord’s Supper, doing it, in all reverential fear, and humility before God, and always “as it is written” (Ja 1:22) . . .


Jas 1:22  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.




A. (v 28)

1Co 11:28  Let a person examine (prove) himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.


But the Christian instead of proclaiming the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner must rather “test” “prove” “examine” “scrutinize” one’s self to see if they partaking of the Supper in a proper manner, if they are truly in the faith (2 Cor 13:5), if they are to the best of their God given abilities attempting to be imitators of Christ (1 Cor 11:1), “denying themselves and taking up their crosses daily” (Luke 9:23), or if they are mere “pretenders.”


  1. This word “examine” or “prove” here is “dok-im-ad-zo” and is the word which was used of testing metals to see if they are genuine or not, the tests would be . . .
    1. “If”  upon your examination, your faith and your life are aligned with what the scriptures teach,
    2. “If” you are looking back at the Son of God dying for your sins upon that cruel cross of Calvary,
    3. “If” you are looking forward to the 2nd coming of Christ, eat and drink in all reverence, but . . .
    4. “If” not, I wouldn’t recommend it! Look at (v 29) . . .


B. (v 29)

1Co 11:29  For anyone who eats and drinks (in an unworthy manner; NKJV) without discerning the body (of the Lord; KJV) eats and drinks judgment on himself.


“For” (gar) “for this reason” the person that eats and drinks (in an unworthy manner), that doesn’t consider the battered body of Jesus Christ hanging on that cross and the love manifested therein as the most holy thing imaginable, is in actuality, bringing the judgment of the Almighty God upon themselves.


  1. It is as if they did all those terrible things to Christ themselves and are rejecting God’s wonderful and loving plan as commonplace and foolishness (1 Cor 1:18).


1Co 1:18  For the word of the cross is to them that are perishing foolishness; but unto us which are being saved it is the power of God. (RV)


  1. Now the word “body” here could refer to the “body of the Lord” as per the NKJV, referring to Him being crucified for us, yet the words “of the Lord” are not found in the older manuscripts.


    1. Or the word “body” here could refer to the “body of believers” collectively, that one is assembled with, partaking of the Lord’s Supper with, is it making a mockery of the Lord’s Supper, as they did in Corinth?


    1. Or it could refer to one’s own body, i.e. one’s life, is it aligned with the teaching of the Lord?


    1. I believe any and all of the above could and should apply to our examination, our test concerning the Lord’s Supper.


C. (v 30)  

1Co 11:30  (For) That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some (sleep) have died.


“For” (dia) “through” this cause, this channel, for this reason “not partaking of the Lord’s Supper in a manner worthy of God”, some were weak and sickly because God brought judgment upon them, many of their number even died in this sinful state, oh it’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God when condemnation is in view!


  1. There are some today that assert that this speaks of spiritual sickness and death, yet I believe the teaching of God is consistent in these matters, for the Lord our God changes not (Mal 3:6; Ja 1:17).


    1. When the Law of Moses was first instituted Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire God commanded not, and it cost them their lives and more than likely their souls, yet it taught God’s people a lesson (turn to Lev 10:1-3) . . .


Lev 10:1  Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them.

Lev 10:2  And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.

Lev 10:3  Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD has said: 'Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.'" And Aaron held his peace.


    1. When we come nigh (near) to God in worship and do it correctly and thereby sanctify God (setting Him apart as holy), He is glorified, but only when these acts of worship are done according to His will, and that point was stressed by His judgment upon Aaron’s sons.


    1. And concerning the account of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-10 we see basically the same thing concerning giving, they looked for the praise of men instead of God, and they lied to God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4) to attain it, and they were struck dead for their sin, and the desired result was effected (look at Acts 5:11) . . .


Act 5:11  And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all that heard these things.


    1. More than likely no one attempted to imitate these 2 who brought deceit into the worship of God.


    1. And that is probably the case here with the Corinthians, even though we have no specifics concerning these matters, perhaps they thought that is was mere circumstance that these tragedies befell them, but Paul discloses the real reasons that these things took place, in order that God would be glorified properly, according to the due order (His revealed will) in worship.


    1. Also the word “sleep” in this verse (“died” ESV) is the word “koi-ma-ō which Paul consistently uses to refer to the state of physical death in (1Cor 7:39; 15:18, 20, 51; 1 Thess 4:13, 14, 15), thus based upon the principle of “the consistency of language,” our verse more than likely here speaks of literal death.


D. (v 31)

1Co 11:31  But if we judged (discerned; examined) ourselves truly, we would not be judged.


But if the 1st century Christians would test “properly prove (examine; discern)” themselves, and act according to God’s will in this matter, these judgments could be avoided.


  1. And we can likewise today avoid God’s judgments by giving heed to His commands, it’s either we judge ourselves, or God judges us, to me the choice is easy (2 Cor 5:10).


2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.


E. (v 32)

1Co 11:32  But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.


But when “we” (the 1st century Christians, Paul includes himself in this group as he often does in the scriptures) are judged (as was Ananias, Sapphira, and the dead Corinthians) “we” (Christians that are still alive including Paul) are chastened of the Lord (by the fear instilled through these examples; Acts 5:11), that we may understand the both goodness and the severity of God and how He really means what He says (Rom 11:22). . .


Rom 11:22  Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided (IF) you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.


  1. “So that” (hinah me “in order that”) we (Christians) may not be eternally condemned with the rest of the unbelieving and disobedient world in the Last Day, as the Lord stated in John 12:46-48  . . .


Joh 12:46  I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

Joh 12:47  If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

Joh 12:48  The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.


a.       God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, it was already condemned, all are guilty before God (Rom 3:23).


Rom 3:23  for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;


b.      But He sent His Son in order that we may have life abundantly, and be saved (John 3:16; 10:10b; Rom 6:23),


Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on (into) him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Joh 3:17  For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.


Joh 10:10b   I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.


Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


            F. (v 33)

1Co 11:33  So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another—


      This is not speaking of a common meal, but rather the Lord’s Supper, it is not to be done irreverently, erratically, in a worldly fashion, as a common party, like snacking off a tray whenever one wills, but rather it is to be done collectively, reverently,  and orderly (1 Cor 14:40) . . .


1Co 14:40  But let all things be done decently and in order.


      G. (v 34)

1Co 11:34  if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.


      And if any are physically hungry, let them satisfy their physical appetites at their own home, the common assembly (which took place in Christian homes for 300 years until the time of Constantine; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2) is the place to get your spiritual appetites fed, not your fleshly ones.


  1. “And the rest (the other things) I set in order (give directions) when I come” implies there may have been some more problems that needed to be dealt with concerning the Lord’s Supper, but those things could wait till he came there in person.


    1. This teaches us that some things that are incorrect are not necessarily going to be issues of salvation, yet they need to be corrected none the less.


  1. Therefore we have seen that there is a proper “Procedure” “Proclamation” and “Proving” concerning the Lord’s Supper, one way (as it is written) is approved of God, while many others may lead to spiritual and ultimately eternal death (Pro 14:12; Jer 10:23), therefore let us be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving our own selves (Ja 1:22).


  1. And there is also a proper “Procedure” “Proclamation” and “Proving” concerning God’s plan of salvation, one way is approved of God, all others also lead to spiritual and ultimately eternal death, and that way is this . . .  


One is to . . .

1)      Hear the word of God (Acts 2:37; Rom 10:17);


Rom 10:17  So then faith comes  by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Christ).


One is to . . .

2)      Believe that Jesus is the Divine, resurrected Christ (Acts 8:37; John 8:24); and that God rewards those that earnestly seek after Him (Heb 11:6), this is the point where the process of salvation (“being saved” Lk 13:23;  Acts 2:47; 1 Cor 1:18; 15:2; 2 Cor 2:15) begins, Jesus said in Jn 5:24 . . .


Joh 5:24  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.


Yet one is not to stop there, faith only salvation is not taught in the bible (Ja 2:17; 24; 26)


One is to continue in the process of salvation and is to . . .

3)      Repent of sins (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3, 5), Jesus also stated . . .


Luk 13:3   . . .  except you repent, you shall all in like manner perish.


Repentance is a change in mind that results in a changed life, a life aligned with God’s revealed will (1 Jn 2:3-



One is to . . .

4)      Confess Christ before men (Acts 8:37; Rom 10:9) as did the eunuch, he proclaimed. . .


Act 8:37    . . . that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.


So ought you


            One is to . . .

5) Be baptized (immersed) into Christ (Gal 3:27), into the death of Christ (Rom 6:3), where His blood was shed (John 19:34), unto (for) the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).


             One is to . . .                                                                                                                                                            6) Live a faithful and holy life, set apart “from” the ways of the world and set apart “to” the Way of God in every part of our God given life (1 Pet 1:15) . . .

1Pe 1:16  since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

1Pe 1:17  And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your (sojourning) exile,

1Pe 1:18  knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,

1Pe 1:19  but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.


Being determined to continue following God’s divine instructions (John 8:31b-32),

Joh 8:31b "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,

Joh 8:32  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."


Thereby demonstrating our faith in the power of the cross of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:18) which is clearly brought forth in the Lord’s Supper, doing God’s will no matter what the cost, it will be worth all this and more (Rom 8:18; Rev 2:10b).

Rom 8:18  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.


Rev 2:10b  Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.