Lord’s Supper and Self-Examination
Many of us learned our table manners around the family dinner table when we were growing up. Our families taught us rules of conduct for meal times--show up for the meal on time, wash your hands before eating, don't talk with your mouth full, no dessert until you eat all your vegetables, and so on.
The Lord's Supper has its own set of table manners, as well. There are two very important rules of conduct for communion. Firstly, we have to recognize the body and blood of the Lord Jesus; in other words, we have to celebrate this sacrement in a manner that respects both God and our fellow believers. Secondly, we have to examine ourselves before we partake, and repent of any sin in our lives.
Some of the members of the church in Corinth did not follow these rules of conduct. In that church at that time, the Lord's Supper was celebrated around a communal meal, with the bread broken at the beginning and the wine poured out at the end. In between, however, was when the trouble started. Many of the wealthier members of the church were abusing and belittling their impoverished brothers and sisters at the meal--elbowing them out of the way to get the best seats in the house and the choicest cuts of meat--and drinking to the point of intoxication. Their conduct at the sacrement was sinful in and of itself; they ended up paying a price for their evildoing, and some paid with their very lives. If we partake of the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner, we too will end up eating and drinking judgement upon ourselves.
To see this sermon in the context of the larger entire worship service, please open this bulletin.