The Corinthian church was full of a great deal of sin, schism, and error; that is the context for Paul’s instructions and teaching on the Lord’s Supper found in 1 Corinthians 11. This text leaves us with a few implications.
First, Paul reminds them that this meal is one of obedience to the Lord. He received from the Lord, had obediently delivered it unto them, and was now reminding them. We come here because the King commands us to come. Come. Not because you find yourself worthy, but because He invites you and commands you to.
Second, we are to observe this meal in unity. Paul tells the Corinthians to let each man examine or prove himself (1 Cor. 11:28). Damnation rests on those who eat this meal unworthily, because they are, in fact, dead. Corpses can’t eat. Examining yourself isn’t an exercise at looking at yourself, but a command to look unto Christ, the only one who can give you life, whereby you might actually eat the new life of Christ found in this meal and be joined with the whole congregation of saints. The sins and errors in the Corinthian church didn’t mean that they weren’t a church or weren’t believers. It meant they needed to be reminded that the King had commanded them to look to Him alone for salvation and discern Christ in His body, the church. Examine yourself, and in finding nothing worthy in you turn in trust to Christ alone.
Finally, we must always bear in mind that what we do here is a feast and not a fast. Feasts are full of joy, full of gladness, full of fellowship, full of laughter, full of unity, and in a word, full of fullness. A feast is a meal with the food dripping off the edges of the plate, and the wine spilling over the lip of the cup. We are to remember that this feast fills us with Christ, and fills us with love for those Christ has begotten: our brethren. We leave this meal full of Him that fills all in all. We are in His presence, and in His presence is the fullness of joy. So come and welcome to Jesus Christ…