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 1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Part Two

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PostSubject: 1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Part Two   Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:54 am

1 Corinthians 11:18-19

The church was divided at a celebration which was meant to express unity (cf. 1Co_10:17). If these divisions (schismata; 1Co_1:10; 1Co_12:25) were related to those noted earlier (1:10-4:21), then one factor contributing to those divisions is evident here, namely, economic differences in the church (1Co_11:21).
Paul did not want to believe the report about their divisions (1Co_11:18), but he knew that sin was inevitable (cf. Luk_17:1) and would not pass unnoticed by God. This church was torn by dissension.
This is nothing exclusive to just that day. Even today nearly every church is divided. You remember on the day of Pentecost that they were of one accord. Little things are what separate a church. Whoever had written to Paul had written of the division. They were probably trying to get Paul to side in with them. Paul is saying, I believe it must even be true.
God’s approval (dokimoi) resumed a point Paul had discussed earlier (1 Cor. 9:27-10:10), where he used in 1Co_9:27 the contrasting word “disqualified” (adokimos). “Approved … manifest”: Factions revealed who passed the test of spiritual genuineness and purity. This is speaking of different groups in the church separating themselves off from the others, because of some little minor difference.
1Thes. 2:4 "But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts."
“Heresies” is defined as: Doctrine rejected as false by religious authorities. In Christianity, the orthodox theology of the church is thought to be based on divine revelation, and heretics are viewed as perversely rejecting the guidance of the church.
In the whole nation of Israel, freed from bondage in Egypt and bound for the Promised Land of Canaan, only two of that vast company gained God’s approval and entered the land (cf. 1Co_10:5). Many in the Corinthian assembly did not have this approval, which His discipline on them demonstrated (cf. 1Co_11:30-32). If the Corinthians thought the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and baptism somehow communicated magical protection to the participants (cf. 1Co_10:12; 1Co_15:24), Paul’s excoriation must have been doubly painful since their behavior at this rite was directly linked to their chastisement (1Co_11:30-32) — the very thing they sought to avoid.

1 Corinthians 11:20-21

The Lord’s Supper should have been the remembrance of a preeminently selfless act, Christ’s death on behalf of others. One of the worst problems was that they had been taking communion daily, and it had become such a routine thing, that much of the meaning had been lost in the practice. The Lord's Supper was being eaten every time they came together in homes, or wherever they met. It had become habit, and not a true remembrance of what the Lord had done for them. Paul is saying that the reason to come together in one place is not just to take communion.
The love feast and communion celebration had become so perverted that it was a sinful, selfish mockery. They could not legitimately say it was devoted to the Lord, since it was not honoring to Him.
Instead the Corinthians had turned the memorial of selflessness into an experience of selfishness and had made a rite of unity a riotous disunity. While one brother went hungry because he lacked the means to eat well, another brother drank to excess. The abuse seems to be that they had come together to eat and not really to take of the communion supper. Possibly, at this time they were using fermented wine, since it speaks of being drunk.

1 Corinthians 11:22

If the Corinthians wanted private parties they could have them in their homes. The meeting of the church was no place for a sectarian spirit of any sort, especially since the Lord’s Supper was intended to commemorate just the opposite spirit. To act in a spirit of selfish disregard for the needs of a brother was to despise the church of God, composed not of lifeless stones but of living people who could be grievously hurt. They were gathering together for the wrong reasons. All of this had nothing to do with worshipping God. They had forgotten that the real reason to come to church is to fellowship with God and learn of His ways. They had made a party out of going to church. It sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it? We hear that we must have all kinds of parties and recreation at the church or no one wants to come.
If they intended to selfishly indulge themselves, they might as well have stayed at home.
Did the Corinthian somehow think their libertarian acts were a matter for praise? (cf. 1Co_5:1-2) Just the opposite!

1 Corinthians 11:23-24

Paul proceeded to remind the Corinthians of what they knew but had denied by their actions. Whether this teaching came to Paul directly (by a vision; cf. Gal_1:12) or indirectly (by men; 1Co_15:1), it came with the Lord’s authority. Now, Paul is giving them what the true communion is all about. Since Paul was not there at the last supper, this had to be a revelation from God. It could, however, been related to him by the apostles that were present at the Last Supper.
While the information was not new to the Corinthians, because Paul had previously “delivered” it, it is an important reminder. This description of Christ’s final supper with His disciples is one of the most beautiful in all of Scripture, yet it was given in the midst of a strong rebuke of carnal selfishness. If this letter was written before any of the gospels as most conservative scholars believe, then Paul’s instruction was the first biblical record of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, given directly from the Lord and not through his reading of any other apostles.
The bread represented the incarnate body of Christ unselfishly assumed (Php_2:6-7) and unselfishly given on the cross for the benefit of others (2Co_8:9; Php_2:Cool, that kept needing to be remembered (cf. 1Co_4:8-13). Since they had been taking the communion table so lightly, Paul is reminding them that the bread that they take in this communion symbolizes the very body of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is, also, saying that they must remember His great sacrifice for all of mankind each time that they take communion.

1 Corinthians 11:25

The wine was a poignant reminder of Christ’s blood, without the shedding of which there could be no forgiveness from sin (Heb_9:22) and through which cleansing and a new relationship (covenant) with God was made (Heb_9:14-15). The word “covenant” referred to a relationship in which one party established terms which the other party accepted or rejected. The focus of the Old Covenant was the written Word (Exo_24:1-Cool. The focus of the New Covenant is the Living Word (Joh_1:14-18). Christ intended the cup to be a representational (cf. Joh_10:9; 1Co_10:4) reminder of Him: do this… in remembrance of Me. The fruit of the vine that they took in the communion symbolized the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The life was in the blood. The fact that they were handling the communion cup in a manner displeasing unto God was what had really upset Paul. He is reminding them of the seriousness associated with the communion cup.
The Old Covenant was practiced repeatedly by the blood of animals offered by men; but the New Covenant has been ratified once and for all by the death of Christ. “In remembrance of Me”: Jesus transformed the third cup of the Passover into the cup of remembrance of His offering.

1 Corinthians 11:26

The Lord’s Supper was a visible sermon that proclaimed “the message of the Cross” (1Co_1:18, 1Co_1:23; 1Co_2:2, 1Co_2:Cool, that is, the reality of the Lord’s death, and also the certainty of His return (until He comes) (cf. Joh_14:1-4). My own personal belief is, that the Lord should be remembered several times a year, or even more often, if you are doing exactly what this says, remembering Him in the communion. We find that to become repetitious about the communion, can cause us to overlook the true meaning of communion. We start doing this systematically, as these people did here, and forget why we are doing this. When we do this from obligation, we have lost the total meaning of it. Communion should be very special. The Bread symbolizes the very body of the Lord which He gave for the salvation of mankind. The cup of the vine symbolizes the very blood of the Lord which was shed to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.
The gospel is presented through the service of communion as the elements are explained. They point to His physical incarnation, sacrificial death, resurrection and coming kingdom.
Though there apparently was no prescribed schedule for the observance of the Lord’s Supper (cf. Ignatius Letter to the Ephesians 13:1), whenever it was celebrated its message of humiliation and subsequent exaltation (Php_2:6-11) went forth. This was a needed reminder to all saints, especially those in Corinth (cf. 1Co_4:8-13).

1 Corinthians 11:27-29

The Corinthians’ despicable behavior at the communal meal was not without result, which Paul proceeded to point out. Nowadays when this passage is read before participation in the Lord’s Supper, it is usually intended to produce soul-searching introspection and silent confession to Christ so that no one will sin against the spiritual presence of the Lord by irreverent observance. Paul’s application was probably more concrete. No doubt his experience on the Damascus Road (Act_9:4-5) contributed to this, for the body of Christ is the church, which consists of individual believers (cf. 1Co_12:12, 1Co_12:27). His body, the church, is also pictured by the bread of Communion (1Co_5:7; 1Co_10:16-17). Thus to sin against another believer is to sin against Christ (1Co_8:12). Those guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord were those who despised a poorer member by utter disregard for his need (1Co_11:21-22). This shows the seriousness of the taking of communion. Without true recognition of what the elements are, means that a person does not believe that they are, in fact, representing the body and blood of Christ. That person would be classifying them as just food for his body. You can see why this would be so dangerous. The Lord Jesus is the Savior of those who believe, not those who doubt.
To come to the Lord’s Table clinging to one’s sin does not only dishonor the ceremony, but it also dishonors His body and blood, treating lightly the gracious sacrifice of Christ for us. It is necessary to set all sin before the Lord (v.28), then partake so as not to mock the sacrifice for sin, by holding on to it.
These came to the remembrance of Christ’s work of unity and reconciliation (cf. Eph_2:15-16) with a trail of deeds that had produced disunity and alienation! If these would examine (dokimazetob;, “test to approve,” 1Co_11:28) themselves, they would see that they lacked God’s approval (dokimoi, 1Co_11:19) in this behavior. When you examine yourself, then you do not need to be judged of the Lord for this. If we try our own motives, then we will not take the communion so lightly.
The unworthiness here, is speaking of someone taking communion not really believing. It would be as if you were mocking the communion.
“Not discerning the Lord’s body”: When believers do not properly judge the holiness of the celebration of Communion, they treat with indifference the Lord Himself; His life, suffering and death.
They should seek out the wronged brother and ask his forgiveness. Only then could a true spirit of worship flourish (cf. Mat_5:23-24 and Didache 14. 1-3). Coming to the Lord’s Supper without that sin confessed brought judgment on the guilty participants. Only by recognizing (diakrinob, “properly judging”) the unity of the body of the Lord — and acting accordingly — could they avoid bringing “judgment” (krima) on themselves.

1 Corinthians 11:30-32

What that judgment entailed was then explained by Paul. In brief, it was sickness and death (cf. 1Co_10:1-11). “Sleep” here means physical death. The offense was so serious that God put the worst offenders to death, an extreme but effective form of church purification.
Here are other examples of those who would not or didn’t repent.
Luke 13:1-5 "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices." "And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?" "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." "Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?" "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
Acts 5:1 "But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife", as is told in verses 1-11.
1 John 5:16 "If any man see his brother sin a sin [which is] not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it."
The solution was self-examination (diekrinomen, 1Co_11:31; cf. 1Co_11:28-29; 1Co_5:1-5; 1Co_10:12), self-discipline (1Co_9:27), and promoting of unity. He is just saying, consider what you are doing, before you sin against God. If we judge our self, then we will do the correct thing and not need to be judged of others. The alternative was God’s judging (krinomenoi, 1Co_11:32), which was a discipline that they were then experiencing. Paul is speaking, here, to those who have made commitments to God. He says, even the judgment of God is for your own good to straighten you out before judgment falls on you from the world. Paul is saying, straighten this out in the church, before you are judged by an evil world.
Believers are kept from being consigned to hell, not only by divine decree, but by divine intervention. The Lord chastens to drive His people back to righteous behavior and even sends death to some in the church, v.30, to remove them before they could fall away.
This was not a loss of salvation, but of life (cf. 1Co_5:5).

1 Corinthians 11:33-34

If the believers were self-disciplined, they should wait in the Agape; meal till all arrived. Christians should not be like the world which is trying to push to the head of the line. Christians have a meek spirit which is patient and allows others to go first, if they wish to. It seems that Paul is having to teach basic Christian principles to these who should already be aware of all this. Why do they have to bring this up to Paul? Why could they not have determined these things themselves? They do not need someone from the outside to determine something that their own consciences should have taken care of. This also may have implied sharing the meal with others (cf. 1Co_11:22). If the demands of hunger were too great for some, they should satisfy those pangs at home before coming to the assembly. The Lord’s Supper was a time not for self-indulgence but for mutual edification (1Co_11:26). If you are coming just to eat, don't do it. Eat at home before you come, so that your greediness will not be apparent to all the people. It seems that the communion had been mixed in with the eating of meals which would have been really bad. We do know that they had started taking communion every time they met.
To mix communion with a regular meal would be to discredit the communion. They had even begun to use bread that was leavened at this point which discredits the sinless nature of the body of Christ.
There is no point in gathering together to sin and be chastened.
If the former prevailed, God would continue to discipline severely. Other matters — apparently less serious aberrations related to the Lord’s Supper — Paul would attend to when he returned to Corinth (1Co_16:5-9).
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1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Part Two
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