1 Corinthians 11:17-27

Scripture

1 Corinthians 11:17-27

Observation 

  • Paul is upset over their actions in this next item he has to write about
  • Their gathering together in this case is causing more harm than doing good
  • He has heard that there is a deep divide between different parts of the church when they gather
  • Though they are gathering under the pretense that they are celebrating the Lord’s supper that really isn’t happening
  • Instead, there is a meal provided that some get to eat at and others get nothing
  • Also, some are drinking so much that they are actually getting drunk
  • If they are to act so shameful, couldn’t they at least do it at their own home, but instead they dishonor God’s church by doing it at the gathering
  • There is no way that Paul can find anything redeeming about their actions
  • He was clear about the instructions on Lord’s Supper, especially because his instructions came directly from Jesus Himself.
  • On the night Jesus was betrayed He took the Passover bread, gave thanks to God for it, and then he broke it.
  • He gave it to His disciples and told them to eat and remember Him and that His body was broken for them.
  • He then took the cup after the Passover meal and gave it to His disciples
  • He then said that when they drink the cup they were to remember His blood shed for them which established the new agreement of grace between them and God.
  • He explained that every time they celebrate the Lord’s Supper they are declaring the significance of the Lord’s death until He actually returns.
  • Paul then concludes that if you take the Lord’s Supper (communion) with such a callous heart you are guilty of showing contempt for the Lord’s costly sacrifice.

Application

This is an example of how we can get so familiar with doing church that we turn it into something that serves our own desires rather than truly honoring Jesus who sacrificed Himself on our account. The Corinthians were still celebrating the Lord’s Supper but they had turned it into a social event that highlighted their own desires rather than honoring Christ by honoring one another. We need to be careful that we don’t miss the target of why we gather and what it means to worship and glorify the Lord. Fellowship is an important part of gathering together, but its intent is to build one another up rather than be purely about getting our social needs fulfilled. Grace covers our sins, but it is not an excuse to treat Jesus or His church with contempt.

Prayer

Jesus, forgive me for taking Your sacrifice for granted. I am sorry that I often diminish the price You paid for me, by taking for granted the cost of my freedom. Show me how to rightly balance the freedom of grace and the importance of honoring You by pursing holiness. Please reveal to me areas in my life that I have gotten so familiar with church that I am not giving You or Your people the proper respect that is due. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

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