As for the Lord’s Supper, Paul wrote to the saints who were at Corinth: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew [proclaim] the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation [judgment] to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:23-32)
Now, since whenever we partake of the Lord’s Supper we proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes, that is to say, we proclaim His atoning sacrifice, I need to speak to you, first of all, about the benefits we received from the offering of the body and blood of Jesus.
What Christ did for us through the offering of the flesh of His body
● Jesus offered His flesh as a sacrifice to God to make us alive (for we all were dead in our transgressions), for Jesus said: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51); and also to sanctify us, as it is written that “by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10 – NKJV). Therefore, if we are spiritually alive and sanctified before God it is because Jesus gave His body for us.
● Jesus offered His body as a sacrifice for our sins in order to put away sin in our life, for Paul says to the Romans that Jesus “condemned sin in the flesh that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4). Therefore, through the offering of His body we died to sin, for sin, which had dominion over us, was condemned in His flesh. Paul explains this concept to the Romans in this way: “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Romans 7:1-4). Let me comment on these words briefly. We know that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives, because after he dies the law no longer has dominion over him. How can the law have dominion over a man who has breathed his last? Surely it can’t. Likewise we also had to die to the law, that we might be delivered from the bondage of the law, and that’s what happened when we believed in the death of Jesus. Therefore, the crucifixion of the body of Jesus Christ is of great importance for us because by faith in Him we were crucified with Him; that’s why the law no longer has dominion over us, for we died with Christ, as it is written: “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another – to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God” (Romans 7:4 – NKJV). Therefore, thanks be to God who, through the body of Christ, caused us to die to the law (that is, to what we were held by). Yes, we died with Christ to sin which had dominion over us through the law (which is the strength of sin) that we might belong to Christ and we should live for Him.
● Jesus, through the offering of His body, reconciled us to God, as Paul wrote to the saints in Colosse: “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death ….” (Colossians 1:21-22 – NKJV). Therefore, brothers, we, who once were enemies of God because we were lovers of the pleasures of sin and we loved to think evil thoughts and to do evil things, now have been reconciled to God through the body of Jesus Christ, who was sent by God into this world to die on the cross for us, in His great love that He demonstrated toward us while we were still sinners. Therefore, having been reconciled to God through the body of Jesus, we have peace in our heart for the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, as Isaiah said: “The punishment that brought us peace was upon him” (Isaiah 53:5 – NIV). Beloved, consider this: we should have been punished for all our iniquities, we should have received the due penalty for our transgressions, for we were wicked, but Jesus did nothing wrong, as it is written that Jesus “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38 – NKJV) – thus He was not deserving of death – yet He was crucified on the cross as an evildoer, they rewarded Him evil for good, and hatred for His love. But all this happened so that it might be fulfilled what God’s purpose had determined before to be done that we might be reconciled to Him and become His friends. To Him be the glory now and forever. Amen.
What Jesus did for us by the shedding of His own blood
● Jesus forgave us our sins by His blood. For on the night He was betrayed, He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to His disciples, saying: “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:27-28 – NKJV). As you can see, the blood of Jesus is the blood of the New Covenant through which we have received the remission of our sins.
The principle according to which it is the blood that makes atonement for sins is expressed by the law in this way: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. …. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof… ” (Leviticus 17:11,14). Therefore, according to the law, it was the blood that made atonement for the sins of the people (that’s why God forbade the Israelites to eat blood). Here is what God commanded the Israelites to do when the whole congregation of Israel sinned unintentionally: “And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty; When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation. And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the LORD: and the bullock shall be killed before the LORD. And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock’s blood to the tabernacle of the congregation: And the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD, even before the vail. And he shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before the LORD, that is in the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he shall take all his fat from him, and burn it upon the altar. And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it is a sin offering for the congregation” (Leviticus 4:13-21). However, the blood of those animals, which were offered for the sins of the people, could not cleanse the conscience of those who offered those atoning sacrifices because “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4 – NKJV). For the blood of those animals foreshadowed the blood that Jesus Christ would shed in the fullness of the time to make atonement for our sins, which – unlike the blood of bulls and goats – would blot out all sins from the conscience of those who would accept by faith His atoning sacrifice. Therefore, since we are of those who have believed that He died to atone for our sins, we believe and proclaim that our conscience was cleansed from dead works through the life (that is, the blood) of the body of Christ. It was necessary for Jesus, therefore, to shed His own blood because without the shedding of His blood we couldn’t have obtained the remission of sins. So now since the blood of sprinkling has been shed by Jesus, all those who believe in Him are cleansed from all their sins through His blood.
● Jesus Christ, with His blood, has redeemed us from our aimless conduct, as it is written: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ ….” (1 Peter 1:18-19 – NIV). The redemption worked by Jesus Christ is of great importance because through it our life has ceased to be a life without a purpose and above all without a reward after death, that is, a vain and empty life. For we have been delivered from vanity, which had dominion over us for a long time, and we now live for the cause of the Gospel, which is the best cause for which a human being can live because when we appear before God on that day every thing which we have done in the name of Christ to honor the Gospel will be rewarded by God.
In the law we have several examples of redemption which foreshadowed the redemption of Christ. One of these examples is the following one: “Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger’s family, after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself” (Leviticus 25:47-49 – NKJV).
We had been sold to our aimless conduct received by tradition from our fathers, and we have been redeemed from it, but not with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, so it was fulfilled what the prophet Isaiah said: “You shall be redeemed without money” (Is. 52:3 – NKJV). Therefore, the blood that Jesus shed on the cross is the ransom He had to pay to set us free; therefore, it was necessary for the Son of God to come in the likeness of men, partaking of flesh and blood.
● With His blood Jesus purchased us for God, for John says that he saw the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fall down before the Lamb and they sang this song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10 – NIV). Paul also confirms that Christ purchased us with His blood, as he says: “You were bought at a price … ” (1 Corinthians 6:20 – NKJV).
Brothers, the adversary had all of us in his hands, the enemy held us in his hand (and he manipulated us so that we might hurt both ourselves and our neighbour), but Jesus Christ, our great God, redeemed us from the hand of the enemy, for it is written in the Psalms: “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy” (Psalm 107:1-2).
Jesus Christ, in the days of His flesh, knew that He would redeem by His own blood the elect from the hand of the enemy, for He told the following parable to show that He came to redeem those who were under Satan’s dominion: “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils” (Luke 11:21-22). Therefore, in order to deliver us from the power of Satan, Jesus had to fight against the prince of this world, and as we know He triumphed over the enemy. Jesus Christ defeated the wicked one by dying on the cross for our sins and by shedding His own blood for us, as Paul says: “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15 – NIV). The Son of God, through His death, destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and delivered us from the fear of death. Thanks be to God, through Christ Jesus, because we no longer are afraid of death: we now desire to depart from the body and be with Christ, death no longer scares us for Christ destroyed it. The devil, through death, makes those who are under his power live in fear, while Jesus makes those whom He redeemed from the power of Satan live in peace and safety because He destroyed both death and the devil. Jesus Christ overcame the devil by giving His life for us, and thus we also, who are in Christ Jesus, have overcome the devil. We have not overcome the devil by our strength or by some personal merits, but by the blood of the Lamb; our victory over the devil is the direct result of Christ’s suffering and not the reward for some good works we have done.
The meaning of the Lord’s Supper
Now I want to speak about the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. First of all I need to say something about the feast of Passover because the Holy Supper was established by Jesus on the night He ate the Passover with His disciples and He was betrayed, and because the Holy Supper draws its meaning from the Feast of Passover.
The Feast of Passover was established by God when the Israelites were still in Egypt; let us look at the circumstances on which it was established and its meaning. The Israelites dwelt in the land of Egypt as God had said to Abraham, and the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor; the Israelites groaned because of the bondage and they cried out, and God heard their groaning, and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. So He sent Moses to be a ruler and a deliverer. God brought terrible plagues upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians, who had oppressed the Israelites; the plague which forced Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go out of Egypt was that of the killing of all the firstborn in the land of Egypt. And when God foretold Moses this last plague He established the Passover. Here is what the Scripture says: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people. And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’s passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians. And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual. Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations” (Exodus 11:1-10; 12:1-42). The feast of Passover is still observed by the Jews, it is a memorial to them, they observe it every year, and through it they remember their coming out of Egypt and the fact that when God struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt He passed over the houses of the children of Israel.
Therefore, if Jesus established the Holy Supper when He ate the Passover with His disciples, this means that by the Holy Supper He wanted His disciples to remember His atoning sacrifice, through which He has obtained for us a salvation which is more important than that accomplished by God for the Israelites, for through His atoning sacrifice Jesus saved us from sin, who were slaves of it. Therefore, while the Jews, through the feast of Passover, remembered and still remember their exodus from the land of Egypt, we, through the Holy Supper, remember the death of Jesus, by which we have come out of this present evil age to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and our Lord Jesus Christ. And now we, as priests of God and of Christ, are secure: just as the Israelites felt secure in their houses for they had taken some of the blood of the Passover lamb and put it on the top and on both sides of the doorframe, so we also feel secure because we have been sprinkled by the blood of the Lamb who was slain and thus when God pours out His fiery wrath upon the world of the ungodly we will be delivered from His wrath (for He will see the blood of Jesus), as it is written: “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:9 – NKJV). This is why Paul said to the Corinthians: “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7 – NKJV); for Christ is the Passover Lamb who was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was sacrificed in these last times for our sins so that by His blood we might be saved from sin and from the wrath to come. To Him be the glory now and forever. Amen.
The Lord Jesus on the same night He was betrayed, as He was eating the Passover with His disciples, took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, saying: “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19 – NKJV); then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying: “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood …. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (Matthew 26:28; 1 Corinthians 11:25 – NKJV). According to the above mentioned words of Jesus and the words Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the Lord’s Supper, it is clear that whenever we eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord, we proclaim the death of Christ till He comes, that is to say, we remember the death of Jesus Christ which took place many centuries ago. To us the day on which we eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord is a memorial day which we are glad to observe to the glory of God. Not a day on which the sacrifice of Christ is repeated, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches falsely, because Jesus offered Himself once for all (Hebrews 10:10) and His sacrifice can by no means repeated but a day on which Christ’s atoning sacrifice is remembered, and in remembering this tragic event, which is the death of Christ, we have communion with the body and blood of Jesus, which are represented by the bread and the wine, as Paul says: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). Why do we have communion with His body and His blood? Because we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ and we have been sprinkled by the blood of Jesus, and thus we are one spirit with Him, as it is written: “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17 – NKJV). Therefore, it is clear that those who are not joined to the Lord, not being members of the body of Christ, cannot have communion with the body of Christ, which is symbolized by the bread we break; nor with His blood, which is symbolized by the wine which is in the cup of the Lord.
No foreigner shall eat it
Those who are not born of God cannot partake of the Lord’s table because they are foreigners and uncircumcised in heart. In order to show you that they have not the right to eat this bread and to drink this cup of the Lord I remind you of what God said to Moses and Aaron about the Passover: “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it …. And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover of the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it” (Exodus 12:43,48 – NKJV). Notice these words ‘no uncircumcised person shall eat it.’ In that case it was the circumcision of the flesh that was required to eat the Passover. Therefore, just as under the law the uncircumcised in the flesh did not have the right to eat the Passover, so under grace those who are uncircumcised in heart do not have the right to partake of the Lord’s Supper. As a stranger who wanted to eat the Passover had to be circumcised in the flesh; so now those who are uncircumcised in heart must be circumcised in the heart (that is to say, they must repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ) and be baptized (1) in order to have the right to partake of the Lord’s Supper.
Let us examine ourselves
Paul says that “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” (1 Corinthians 11:27 – NKJV), and thus he “eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (1 Corinthians 11:29 – NKJV). That means that he who partakes of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner will be judged by the Lord. Let me expound briefly on this point.
We, as sons of God washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, have the right to eat the bread and to drink the cup of the Lord by the grace of God, not by our own merits, but only by the grace of the Lord Jesus, we recognize this and we proclaim it. However, if a son of God does not conduct himself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ and eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord, he eats and drinks in an unworthy manner and he will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord, and surely the judgment of God will come upon him.
In the Church of Corinth there were some believers who, as they ate, despised the Church of God and humiliated those who had nothing, for Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “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” (1 Corinthians 11:20-21 – NKJV). The believers of that Church came together not for the better but for the worse; first of all, because when they came together as a church there were divisions among them, and secondly because as they ate, each one of them went ahead without waiting for anybody else, and one remained hungry while another got drunk. The wrong that the Corinthians did was that they got drunk and in that state they partook of the Lord’s Supper, so they were guilty of sinning against the body and the blood of the Lord because they were not able to recognize the body of the Lord. And God judged those who did not discern the body of the Lord, for in the Church of Corinth many were sick and many had fallen asleep (that is, they had died) because they had partaken of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner. The Lord has not changed, and He still judges those who partake of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner. Therefore, brothers, knowing that “the Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:9 – NKJV), let us take heed to ourselves lest we be judged by the Lord.
Under the law, with regard to the Passover, there was a rule which shows us that in order to eat the Passover men had to be pure. God gave this rule after certain men were defiled by a human corpse, so that they could not keep the Passover at its appointed time. God said that those men were allowed to eat the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month, that is, one month later (Numbers 9:1-11), after they had purified themselves. For according to the law, he who touched the dead body of anyone was unclean seven days, and he had to purify himself with the water of purification on the third day and on the seventh day, then he would be clean (the water of purification sanctified for the purifying of the flesh). Therefore, we who are under grace, before we eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord, ought to examine ourselves and confess our sins to God so that we may be cleansed from all unrighteousness by the blood of Jesus. Therefore brothers, before partaking of the Lord’s Supper, “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit” (2 Corinthians 7:1 – NKJV), lest we be judged by God.
(1) Keep in mind that – according to the Scripture – a person must be baptized immediately after repenting and believing in Jesus