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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.

Scripture Reading: Ps 22:1-21; Isa 52:13-53:12

Text: 1 Cor 11:17-34

Introduction,

  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 it, and the inspired instruction on 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. 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)

 

 I. THE PROPER “PROCEDURE” CONCERNING THE LORD’S SUPPER (1 Cor 11:17-25)

A. (v 17)

1Co 11:17  But in giving you this charge, I praise you not, that ye come together 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 forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.

 

  1. Yet when we come together as a congregation, 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 “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 from the pulpit (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 that would shut the doors, that ye might not kindle fire on mine altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, saith Jehovah of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

 

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

 

Mat 15:9  But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.

 

B. (v 18-19)

1Co 11:18  For first of all, when ye come together in the church (as a church, NKJV; 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 divisions exist among you; and I partly believe it.

1Co 11:19  For there must be also factions among you, that they that are approved may be made manifest among you.

 

Those Christians of the house of Chloe had reported of 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 (1 John 1:7), and contend for the once and for all timed delivered Faith (Jude 3) and when this happens, dividing lines will appear.

 

    1. Those that walk according to book, chapter and verse are 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 ye 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 only standard under which His followers can be united, for which He prayed (John 17:8, 14, 20-21a).

 

Joh 17:8  for the words which thou gavest me I have given unto them; and they received them, and knew of a truth that I came forth from thee, and they believed that thou didst send me.

Joh 17:14  I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Joh 17:20  Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word;

Joh 17:21a  that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me.

 

    1. For these words 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  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in 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 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 therefore ye assemble yourselves together (come together therefore into one place; KJV), it is not possible to eat the Lord's supper:

 

Note here that the apostle Paul implies that every time 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.

 

  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).

 

a.       Therefore because of the Corinthians dividing into groups in the assembly (probably one ignoring the other) 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.

 

D. (v 21-22)

1Co 11:21  for in your eating each one taketh before other his own supper; and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

1Co 11:22  What, have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and put them to shame that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you? In this I praise you 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 as if multiple separate parties were taking place simultaneously.

 

    1. This type of chaos and sinful 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 (Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2) on the 1st day of the week 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  Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, wait one for another.

1Co 11:34  If any man is hungry, let him eat at home; that your coming together be not unto judgment. And the rest will I set in order whensoever I come.

 

E. (v 23)

1Co 11:23  For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which 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 make known to you, brethren, as touching the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not after man.

Gal 1:12  For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

1Co 14:37  If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord.

 

2Co 12:7a  And by reason of the exceeding 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).

 

  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 verified in 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.”

 

    1. 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)

 

1Co 11:20  When therefore ye assemble yourselves together, it is not possible to eat the Lord's supper:

 

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, 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. (KJV)

 

  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 cometh 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, and actually it helped the situation (Acts 27:35-36).

 

Act 27:35  And when he had said this, and had taken bread, he gave thanks to God in the presence of all; and he brake it, and began to eat.

Act 27:36  Then were they all of good cheer, and themselves also took food.

 

G. (v 24b)

1Co 11:24b  he brake 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 hath no man than this, that a man 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  The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high day), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Joh 19:32  The soldiers therefore came, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him:

Joh 19:33  but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

Joh 19:34  howbeit one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and straightway there came out blood and water.

Joh 19:35  And he that hath seen hath borne witness, and his witness is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye also may believe.

Joh 19:36  For these things came to pass, that the scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

 

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

 

Psa 34:20  He keepeth 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 evidence 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), 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 11:24c   this do 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,” 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  By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once, for all.

Heb 10:11  And every priest indeed standeth day by day ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, the which can never take away sins:

Heb 10:12  but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Heb 10:13  henceforth expecting till his enemies be made the footstool of his feet.

Heb 10:14  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 

  1. Also note the words “THIS DO;” 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, they are also demonstrating their level of love for Christ, for He Himself said (John 14:15) . . .

 

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

 

      a. Also notice that the word “do” (in “this do”) 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 like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye 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 they that have been persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11  Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

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

 

    1. The fact is the bible teaches a single cup, 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 a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Joh 14:24  He that loveth me not keepeth not my words: and the word which ye 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, 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

 

    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 must 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 apostate 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  And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.

 

    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 yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly.

Rom 5:7  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: for peradventure for the good man some one would even dare to die.

Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

  1. Again we see in v 25 the imperative “this do” denoting the command, and  “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).

 

1Jo 2:3  And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

1Jo 2:4  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

1Jo 2:5  but whoso keepeth his word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected. Hereby we know that we are in him:

 

2Co 13:5  Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobate.

 

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

 

II. THE PROPER “PROCLAMATION” CONCERNING THE LORD’S SUPPER (1 Cor 11:26-27)

A. (v 26a)

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

 

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

 

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 concerning the collection for the saints implies that Christians were assembled together every first day of the week (1 Cor 16:1-2; YLT)

 

1Co 16:1  And concerning the collection that is for the saints, as I directed to the assemblies of Galatia, so also ye--do ye;

1Co 16:2  on every first day of the week, let each one of you lay by him, treasuring up whatever he may have prospered, that when I may come then collections may not be made;

 

    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)

 

  1. Look at the phrase “ye eat this bread” (1 Cor 11:26a) there are those that assert that when a priest (while the bible teaches that all Christian’s 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” (which symbolizes or represents His body).

 

    1. Also “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) always drank from one cup, it is sad that so many are attempting to twist the word of God to fit into modern day practices.

 

    1. 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, 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 10:16),

 

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

 

    1. But if we can’t find it therein, we will be taking our chances (Col 3:17).

 

B. (v 26b)

1Co 11:26  ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come.

 

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 the facts concerning gospel of Christ by our actions (1 Cor 15:3b-4).

 

1Co 15:3b  how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1Co 15:4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

 

  1. And if we are observing it with irreverence 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, 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 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 all those that believe and obey the Lord, 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 “till He come” 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 Judgment will take place (Rev 20:12), and the final separation between the righteous and the wicked will be made (Mt 25:46).

 

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

 

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

 

    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 air (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), 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 fadeth 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  Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.

 

Therefore 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 of thinking 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  He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

Heb 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Heb 10:30  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall 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” concerning the Lord’s Supper in all reverential fear, and humility before God, and always “as it is written.”

 

III. THE PROPER “PROVING” CONCERNING THE LORD’S SUPPER (1 Cor 11:28-34).

A. (v 28)

1Co 11:28  But let a man prove (examine) himself, and so let him 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 are truly in the faith (2 Cor 13:5), if they are to the best of their ability attempting to be imitators of Christ (1 Cor 11:1), “denying themselves and taking up their cross daily” (Luke 9:23), or if they are mere “pretenders.”

 

  1. This word “prove,” “examine” 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 test 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 suffering Son of God hanging 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 he that eateth and drinketh (in an unworthy manner; NKJV), eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern not the body (of the Lord; KJV).

 

“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)

 

C. (v 30)

1Co 11:30  For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep.

 

“For” (dia) “through”  this cause, this channel, for this reason “not partaking of the Lord’s Supper in a manner commanded of God”, some were weak and sickly because God brought judgment upon them, many of their number even died in their 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 state this speaks of spiritual sickness and death, yet I believe the working of God is consistent in these matters, for Jehovah 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 (look at Lev 10:1-3) . . .

 

Lev 10:1  And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took each of them his censer, and put fire therein, and laid incense thereon, and offered strange fire before Jehovah, which he had not commanded them.

Lev 10:2  And there came forth fire from before Jehovah, and devoured them, and they died before Jehovah.

Lev 10:3  Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that Jehovah spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, 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, 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 is the word “koi-ma-ō which Paul consistently uses to refer to the state of physical death (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 discerned ourselves, we should not be judged.

 

But if the 1st century Christians would test “properly prove (examine)” 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; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

 

E. (v 32)

1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we may not be condemned 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 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  Behold then the goodness and severity of God: toward them that fell, severity; but toward thee, God's goodness, IF thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

 

  1. That (hinah me “in order”) 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 am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me may not abide in the darkness.

Joh 12:47  And if any man hear my sayings, and keep them not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

Joh 12:48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day.

 

  1. 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;

 

  1. 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 believeth on 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  Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, wait one for 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, but rather it is to be done 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 any man is hungry, let him eat at home; that your coming together be not unto judgment. And the rest will I set in order whensoever I come.

 

      And if any are physically hungry, let him satisfy his 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 will I set in order whensoever 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, 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, many others may lead to spiritual and ultimately eternal death (Pro 14:12; Jer 10:23).

 

  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 must . . .

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

 

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

One must . . .

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 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  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.

 

One must . . .

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

 

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

 

Repentance is a change in mind that results in a changed life

 

One must . . .

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 must you

 

            One must . . .

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 must . . .                                                                                                                                                            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 their God given life (1 Pet 1:15) . . .

1Pe 1:16  because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.

1Pe 1:17  And if ye call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to each man's work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear:

1Pe 1:18  knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers;

1Pe 1:19  but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ:

 

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

Joh 8:31b  If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples;

Joh 8:32  and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make 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 reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward.

 

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

 

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