This Do in Remembrance of Me 3.16.08

This Do in Remembrance of Me 1 Cor. 11:17-34 (ESV)     

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.  [18] For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,  [19] for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.  [20] When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat.  [21] For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.  [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.     [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,  [24] and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  [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.”  [26] For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.     [27] Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.  [28] Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  [29] For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.  [30] That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.  [31] But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.  [32] But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.     [33] So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— [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.

1. The Lord’s Supper As It Was Practiced

As we begin to look to the text under consideration it’s important that we see the bigger picture of what Paul is teaching. Here is a bit of background: There were several problems going on in the church and two of them had to do with the Lord’s Supper. Both of these problems had to do with the fact that the Lord’s Supper is an act of worship and those in the Corinthian Church were treating it as something else. The two sins that Paul writes about in this passage are the sins of

A. Coming Together as a Church with Divisions (1 Cor. 11:18-19)

[18] For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,  [19] for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

The Apostle literally writes that there were cliques within the church. Those called out of the world to form God’s holy people were not being obedient to their calling. Rather than forming a unified people for God they were making the church a place where some were more important that others. Some groups were viewed as being more vital to the church than others. The Jews were divided from the Gentiles. Those with certain gifts were divided from those with other gifts. Those converted under Paul’s preaching were divided from those of Apollos’.

B. Treating Something Holy as Something Ordinary (1 Cor. 11:20-22)

[20] When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat.  [21] For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.  [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.

When they gathered, Paul declares, it was not to partake of the Lord’s Supper although that’s what the professed. The practice was to get the food and the wine before anyone else did. It was as if the deacon with the key to the church would open it up early and let his rich friends in so they could party. They would eat all the bread and drink all the wine. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.  What was intended for a holy celebration remembering Jesus had turned into a sinful drunken party.  Not only were they disgracing the name of Christ but they were discriminating against there poorer brethren. Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? Paul cannot praise them for their practices when it comes to the Lord’s Supper. Their practices were totally inconsistent with the original institution of the Lord’s Supper.

2. The Lord’s Supper As It Was Meant To Be ( 1 Cor. 11:23-26)    

[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,  [24] and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  [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.”  [26] For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

The Apostle wants to show the church the proper authoritative way to observe the Lord’s Supper. He does this by showing that the institution of the Lord’s Supper came to him by the Lord Himself, therefore it came with authority. Paul. As an apostle, delivers the same message to the church with authority as well. I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you. This was not Paul’s idea. He didn’t come up with it. It is Christ’s idea. He goes on… on the night when he was betrayed took bread,  [24] and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  What Paul is getting at by highlighting the timing of the institution of the Lord’s Supper is that Jesus could have done this with His disciples on other occasions. However, He waited until the night in which He was betrayed. Why do you think Jesus waited?

            A. He waited to Show His Love-

While the Lord’s Supper was being established, Jesus was being betrayed. The very soldiers who were scheming to take the Lord’s life would be given life by Him. The blood money had already been given and plans made that would kill Jesus. The Lord knew all about the plans and He went along willingly.

Luke 19:10 (ESV)  “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

That was the mission of Jesus and in order to carry out His mission He had to die.

             B. He Waited So His Disciples Would Understand

Another part of His mission was to establish a new covenant. Jesus used the elements of the Passover Meal, namely, bread and wine to picture His body and blood. These would be the symbols of the new covenant.Jeremiah 31:31-34 (ESV)      “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,  [32] not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.  [33] But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  [34] And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Jesus wanted His disciples to see that the shedding of His blood and the breaking of His body would usher in the New Covenant. This covenant would implant God’s Law within His people and write in on their hearts by the Holy Spirit. From the least to the greatest all of God’s people would know Him in a saving relationship. Jesus wanted His people to understand clearly. When they saw Jesus hanging on the cross, He wanted them to know what was taking place. It wasn’t some criminal being punished for a crime but it was the sinless Savior making all things new. [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.”

We partake of the Lord’s Supper as a memorial. We worship Jesus Christ and remember His sacrifice on the cross for the sin of His people.  

             C. We Wait In Worship Until He Comes Again

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

We worship Jesus as we wait for His return. The Lord’s Supper is symbolic, but it is much more than that. While we are not to eat it like the Corinthian Church to fill our bellies, we are to eat it to fill our Spirit. As we partake in a worthy manner Our Soul is being strengthened by Grace.We are remembering the cross, our sinful condition, the blood given for our sin. We look in anticipation to the second coming of Christ. We look back…We look ahead…We look within.

3. The Lord’s Supper As A Means Of Grace (1 Cor. 11:27-32)   

[27] Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.  [28] Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  [29] For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.  [30] That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.  [31] But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.  [32] But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

It’s vital that we partake in a worthy manner.

             A. Everyone Should Be a Believer

Unless a person is converted he or she cannot truly understand the significance of the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross.[29] For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.  One cannot understand the symbolic meaning of the Lord’s Supper without first being a Christian.1 Cor. 1:18 (ESV) 

    For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 

             B. Everyone Should Be a Repenter

[28] Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup…[31] But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.Jesus loves repenters. He loves it when folks see their sin clearly and then through the work of the Spirit repent of it. Repentance is a mark of a converted person. The truth is we are all sinners. We must never be comfortable in our sin. We must be examining ourselves with God’s Word and repent of every known sin that we have. This is the kind of worship Jesus wants. He wants us to worship in spirit and in truth. What would ascribe more worth to our Lord than to see clearly that He is our only hope. His work alone saves sinners. His work alone causes us to be made more and more into the image of Christ. His work alone causes the sinner to be reconciled to God. This is what the Lord’s Supper is all about. It is a congregational acknowledgement of the worth of our Savior.May the Lord Jesus Christ be honored as we partake together of the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.

%d bloggers like this: