CommunionBro. David Chancellor
10/25/2009 6:00 PM
1 Corinthians 11:17-32
Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you, and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. 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 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 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.
Focusing on Christ is what brings us together as his church. It helps to keep us humble in our walk with him. There were some problems among these. "…that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse." This shouldn’t happen and should it happen, it shouldn’t continue. When men are focused on Christ and their responsibility to him, divisions are eliminated because people see their own need of him. Whenever we come together, we need to be considerate of each other. When people become selfish is when problems happen. Our life comes from Christ. Consider whether you are worthy to take part and testify of Christ. If we take part unworthily, it’s to our own hurt. Consider how things are with you.
We combine the ordinances of communion and feet washing. Feet washing is a form of self-examination.
Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, eh loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
After they had eaten the Passover supper, Jesus came around and washed their feet. Jesus set an example, but if he doesn’t minister to us, we don’t have a part with him. He washes away our sins. We need the ministry of Jesus or we have no part in what he provided to mankind. We need this because we want to be with him.
Feetwashing considers self and our relationships with others. Is there anyone you wouldn’t minister to? Jesus washed Judas’s feet, even though he knew that he would betray him. Even if we encounter things in others that would be a problem to us, can we still minister to that one? How is our attitude toward other people? If Jesus approached you that way, how would you fare?
This examination needs to get personal and individual. If everyone did this, it would solve some problems. Focus on Jesus and how he looks at things. We should be able to bear some things and do it gladly.
It isn’t about the form. Without the self-examination it’s of little value. It’s about the attitude. How is your attitude toward others? Can you forgive and do good for those who have done wrong to you? Jesus did.
Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask; it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Jesus gave us a recipe for solving problems between people. Doing this in this way helps to keep your attitude right toward your fellowman. If you don’t approach it this way, it won’t work. This isn’t about straightening someone else out, it is about keeping yourself clear. It’s about finding a way to fix your own attitude. It’s about repairing your relationship with others so that it can be what it ought to be. It’s about getting the hurt out of the way.
"Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask; it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." Do you want this? If you have a problem, go and get things fixed so that you can pray together and get answers. If you would see results in prayer, seek God to help you get your attitude right and problems out of the way. Don’t expect much in the way of answers to prayer if you can’t come in agreement. Get your focus on Jesus. Stay focused on him all the time. Work to put things behind you. We don’t want wrong attitudes toward others. The love of God can’t work in us if we have wrong attitudes toward people. Keep the love of Christ foremost.
Differences of opinion will happen. We need God’s grace to bear with those differences of opinion until we get on the same page. We should recognize that we’re all seeking Christ and we’re not at the same place in our walk with God. Keep a right attitude toward others that are endeavoring to serve God. Make sure that you’re worthy to take part in communion.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 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. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is the bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
What Jesus said was a hard thing for the Jews to listen to. They weren’t to eat just any flesh and they weren’t to consume blood at all. The law said that the life was in the blood and they weren’t to partake of that animal’s life. With Jesus, we are to partake of his life and of his sufferings. There is some brokenness that we need to experience. We should be able to forebear with each other. When we partake of communion, it is a testimony that we have his life within. If we haven’t partaken of his life, participating in communion is a lie. We don’t want to do that falsely.
If we’re partaking of his life, he will be with us when we come together and we will be able to help and bless each other. It will draw us together. This is what makes us one. This is how unity happens. Real unity comes when we are partakers of the body and blood of Jesus.
Consider what communion means. Keep everything out of the way that would cause a wrong attitude toward others.