We go on to 1 Cor 11:17-26
There are two unique and foundational commandments (ordinances) that G-d has given to believers in the New Covenant: Baptism and Communion (the L-rd’s Supper). These do not replace the other commandments/instructions.
v17: I do not praise you: Paul was not pleased with this congregation as far as this next issue was concerned. They were not depicting humility, nor were they behaving as a congregation that understood what this ordinance was about, and nor were they remembering (in a proper way) what Messiah had done for them and their need to receive mercy and forgiveness.
- Not for the better but for the worse: Partaking of the L-rd’s supper should benefit us spiritually – bringing about a perspective in our lives that’s pleasing to G-d when we remember what Messiah did for us.
v18: Come together: Partaking of the L-rd’s Supper was meant to be accompanied by worship and fellowship (With G-d and with each other).
- Divisions: Schisms. This congregation was not unified.
- In part I believe it: Paul took a portion of what he heard about disunity as factual.
v19: 1 John 2:19 tells us that division or issues are sometimes present in the church as they reveal or expose those who are not walking in obedience to the authority and truth of Scripture. This should cause these people to go out from among us (to leave), to not continue with us. In this congregation in Corinth this division was being tolerated. This division was not having its desired effect: To reveal or manifest those who were approved.
v20: Eat: This is not the normal word for eat but it is a word of dependence – to eat for the purpose of survival and not just for the sake of normal consumption. This meal reminds us that we are absolutely dependent upon what Messiah did for us. We need to be constantly reminded of this.
v21: This meal is not about eating for the sake of having our appetites satisfied. If people are hungry, they need to eat at home in order to satisfy their physical needs and are not to use communion for this purpose (1 Cor 11:22).
- One is hungry: Some people couldn’t provide for themselves and so when they gathered for this meal they were not being ministered to and were being excluded from this meal.
- Another is drunk: These people brought a lot to the Supper but then they ate and drank it for themselves and overindulged.
v22: When we partake of the L-rd’s Supper, we should not come to it physically hungry but spiritually hungry. This means that we come to it wanting to experience and be reminded of the faithfulness of G-d – what He has done in the past, what He is doing now what He will continue to do. Sometimes it means that we come to the table confessing and seeking forgiveness for sins we may have committed. It is a time when we need to examine ourselves spiritually in light of the authority, truth and commandments of G-d for His people.
- Despise: Think down. We should give high thought, respect and priority to the church of G-d, not treating or thinking of her in low or insignificant terms.
- Shame those who have nothing: They are not acting in love toward others.
- I do not praise you: What this group was doing was not praiseworthy, it was not pleasing to G-d. Paul is not judging these people for the sake of condemnation or punishment – only G-d can do that – but he is evaluating their behaviour and letting them know that they are falling short of the standard to which G-d has called them to. At times we need to speak against things going on amongst believers.
v23: I received…I also delivered to you: Paul is setting things straight – not by his own opinion or by what seems right in his own eyes, but according to the revelation given to him by the L-rd.
v24: Broke it: Divided it.
- This is My Body: The focus of the L-rd’s supper is on Yeshua – on His death and the redemption that His death brought about.
- Eat: The same word for eating for survival.
v25: The cup after supper: This was the cup (traditionally within the Jewish culture) associated with redemption.
- New covenant: This is a covenant of redemption. Every covenant has to be ratified (made valid) by blood. Yeshua’s blood is dealt with separately from His body. Death of a sacrificial animal alone did not suffice. The blood was necessary for sprinkling on the tablets, the priests, the people etc in order to cleanse them.
- Blood: ‘Blood’ (and ‘Body’) speaks of a sacrifice or an offering. Yeshua was our sacrifice. The body and the blood of the sacrifice were extremely important. Both had to be dealt with in a certain way in order for the sacrifice to be acceptable. Blood, particularly, had to be dealt with very carefully.
- Remembrance: In memory of. It is important to remember Yeshua’s death and blood as it remains significant for us.
v26: We look back to remember what Yeshua did for us, but it also causes us to look forward to the reason/purpose why He did what He did – He is coming back to establish His Kingdom.