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Monday, March 30, 2020

2020.03.30 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Corinthians 11:17–34

Questions from the Scripture text: Was the Corinthians’ coming together making it better or worse (1 Corinthians 11:17)? What was the first reason that coming together for church was actually hurting them instead of helping them (1 Corinthians 11:18)? What is one reason that God allows these divisions—these factions—in the church (1 Corinthians 11:19)? Whose Supper, then, were they not eating (1 Corinthians 11:20)? Because whose supper were each of them taking (1 Corinthians 11:21)? From whom did Paul receive these instructions about the Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23)? What did Jesus take on the night He was betrayed (verse 23)? When He gave thanks, what did He do with it (1 Corinthians 11:24)? What did He say? When did He take up the cup (1 Corinthians 11:25)? What did He say about it? What do eating the bread and drinking the cup proclaim (show forth) (1 Corinthians 11:26)? And for how long? If someone eats or drinks in the wrong way (“an unworthy manner”) of what are they guilty (1 Corinthians 11:27)? What is someone to do about the way he takes the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:28)? What happens to us if we are wrong about that (1 Corinthians 11:29)? What was happening to them because they were taking wrong (1 Corinthians 11:30-32)? What should we do at the Lord’s Supper, when we come together to eat (1 Corinthians 11:33)? If we are hungry for food, what are we to do (1 Corinthians 11:34)? 
In the sermon yesterday, we heard that Jesus is the primary Actor in the Lord’s Supper. He commanded it. He tells us the manner in which to take it. He gives Himself to us in it. He binds Himself to us in it. He binds us to Himself in it. It is a corporate meal that is all about Him, as He feeds His covenant body, the church.

By each taking on their own, the Corinthians exposed that they were ignorant of both what the meal is and also of whom the meal is for. The meal is not bread and wine, but Christ and His covenant. Of the bread, Jesus says “this is My body.” Of the cup, Jesus says “this cup is the New Covenant in My blood.”

And for whom did Jesus give Himself? Not merely for individuals separately so much as for His bride, who is now His corporate body—bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh (cf. Ephesians 5:25–32). And with whom has Jesus made the New Covenant—or, better put, with whom has God made the New Covenant in Christ? Not merely with individuals separately so much as with His covenant people.

If we come to the table and focus upon ourselves, this passage says that we despise His church, shame those whom we are not careful to have partake with us, and even that we are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord!

It is a horrendous thing to focus on ourselves at the table. And so, the culminating procedural command in 1 Corinthians 11:33 addresses the procedural symptom from 1 Corinthians 11:21 that showed that the church in Corinth wasn’t getting this.

But we, too, can do this if when we come we are so focused on a personal, mystical experience that we are not eagerly expecting and enjoying the rest of the body’s feeding upon Christ. We, too, can do this if when we come we are more impressed by how needy we are than by how sufficient Christ is for that need.

So, when we come to the Table, let us do so, rejoicing over what Christ is doing there, and rejoicing that He is doing it for His corporate, covenant people. Let us not each take our own meal, but rather take together, waiting for one another—eagerly expecting and enjoying our brothers’ and sisters’ taking, too!
What do you plan to focus on, to become more biblical in how you take the Lord’s Supper?
Suggested Songs: ARP191 “I Love the Lord” or TPH201 “Twas on That Night, When Doomed to Know”

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