Examine Yourself and Eat

Jun 23, 2013 By: Pastor Joseph LoSardo Series: The Church in Sin City Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
The early church had a custom of joining the memorial elements of the Lord’s Supper (bread and wine) with a “love feast” or common meal shared as part of their Lord’s Day assembly. Each person would bring provisions for the meal according to their ability; the rich brought much, while the poor brought little, and all were provided for. At some point during the meal, the participants observed in a simple manner, the Supper which Christ introduced for us to do in the memory of His body and blood given for us. The meal was to be a beautiful picture of the unity of Christ’s body. The Corinthians, however, prone to a factious spirit, introduced divisions into these feasts which was a desecration of the sacred meal and worked against the unifying intent of the Supper. In response to the reports Paul received of these divisions, he issued a sharp rebuke in order to correct these serious abuses. He instructs them that the selfishness and divisions that they brought into the church made it impossible to truly observe what is in reality the Lord’s Supper. While rebuking the serious sin of disunity at the Table, at the same time he gives the most complete discussion of the origin, nature and significance of the Lord’s Supper in all of Scripture (verses 23-26). His words are framed with such exquisite beauty. He further declares that abuses in connection with the sacrament had been punished by incidents of sickness and even death among the members of the church at Corinth (verse 30). So he calls on every participant to “examine himself, and so let him eat the bread and drink the cup” (verse 28). All men would do well to heed this double imperative at the Lord’s Table.