1 Corinthians 11 gives the clearest teaching in Scripture on how the Lord’s Supper is to be observed. There, Paul tunes up the Corinthian church, as their partaking of the Supper had gotten quite off-key. Given that humans do human things wherever they go, his warnings to the church at Corinth are a warning also to saints in Northern Idaho in A.D. 2022.
What at first glance might look like Paul being too worked up about how the Corinthian potluck line was run, is, after closer inspection, a deadly spiritual error. Apparently, some Corinthian Christians were gorging & guzzling all the food & wine long before everyone else had been served (1 Cor. 11:20-22). This disregard for others revealed a clear misunderstanding of what Christ had instituted with His words “This is my body (1 Cor. 11:23-26).”
Believers’ eating and drinking at this table is a declarative act which shows the Lord’s death (1 Cor. 11:26). Meaning, our eating & drinking says something, and so our manner in which we eat & drink should comport with Christ’s death. The Corinthians’ eating & drinking unworthily had turned this into a meal of damnation (1 Cor. 11:29). They were afflicted with sickness & death, tokens of living under God’s curse rather than His covenant blessings (1 Cor. 11:30).
Paul’s command to “examine ourselves (1 Col. 11:28)” should be taken in coordination with his concluding command. He sums up his teaching on the Supper by instructing them to “tarry one for another (1 Cor. 11:33).” Don’t rush forward to gobble it all up, with no regard for the body; instead, tarry. Paul’s point here is this, our eating is declarative, thus what we declare should be reflected in our manner of declaring. We eat together as one body, because Christ knit us together by making us His body.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ…