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  • Betty A. Burnett

Freedom comes when we forgive others.



Communion (the Last Supper) – God’s Purpose or Man’s Tradition


Yesterday, I wrote that Jesus only gave the disciples what was necessary for them at that time. However, Paul was given instructions by Jesus to go further in depth with the full meaning of the Lord’s supper. Jesus did not teach His disciples about the purpose beyond just remembering Him, but Paul placed emphasis on the motives and actions of the people.  


Conduct at the Lord’s Supper

 Now, in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. First of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.  For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.  


Therefore, when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.  What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you (1 Corinthians 11:17-22).


For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.


In the same manner He also 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. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).


Examine Yourself


Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.


For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning [understanding] the Lord’s body.  For this reason, many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep [no longer alive]. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.


Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.  But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

 

History – During those days, people came together to fellowship over a complete meal and real wine. If you recall, that was what Jesus and His disciples did. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, Take, eat; this is My body (Matthew 26:26). 


The problem with the church in Corinth was, the affluent ones ate before the others who were of a lower status were able to eat. The focus was on their belly (their god). If the focus had not been on their bellies; eating all the food and getting drunk, it was obvious that they would have waited for everybody so they could share equally.


Although churches are fellowshipping taking communion in remembering what Jesus did for us as they did during Paul’s day, the emphasis should never be on who’s who, and having respect of persons; it should be on keeping the bond of unity. A lack of unity causes division, and we are commanded to love each other.


Therefore, if someone is harboring ill feelings against another brother or sister, they are breaking the body: Jesus’ body has already been broken for us. This is why it is so serious not to take communion unless we have it right with our brothers and sisters.


When it comes to forgiveness, God will not forgive us because we break fellowship with the others, and we also break fellowship with God (not relationship). In other words, a wall is between anyone we break fellowship with. 



Under the new and better covenant, we are commanded And be kind to one another tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).

Jesus paid the price (His body was broken), so let's keep His body whole.


Coming on Thursday - Communion- Tradition of Men or is the Focus on God


Betty A. Burnett ~ burnettministries.org

 


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