1 Corinthians 11 vs 17-34
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Verses 17 – 18
- The coming together of the body of Christ should always be, as Paul says, “for the better.” That is, folks are built up, edified, strongholds of the flesh aren’t flexed and fortified but rather they are forsaken and forfeited. Jesus is supposed to lead in the church…nothing and no one else and when He is the shot caller in the Body of Christ…Colossians 2:19 says, “All the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.”
- But what Paul is addressing here is that the church is stunted in its growth and when they come together it’s not always for the better but for the That’s what that word literally means in the Greek. They are essentially being ripped off by their flesh of what God has for them. And it’s first of all the divisions among them. The resistance some had and were holding onto in their hearts and lives to simply serve each other and put others first.
- Tony Evans said this and I think it is powerful, “Satan knows that whatever he can divide, he can dominate.” And I’ll add, eventually destroy. And yet the opposite of division is service, grace and humility. Can’t have any of that if you are self-focused and self-focus divides. No one is emptier than the person that is full of themselves.
- (Show “Umbrella Dad”) This picture was viewed more than three million times in less than two days once it was posted on the Why? Because of the universal language of nobility and character…the whole world perceives it, appreciates it and even applauds it…why? Because it is the essence of strength and depth of integrity…and yet so few practice this even in the church of Christ. This dad is doing so much more than keeping his son dry isn’t he…? Well so are you when you take your flesh by the neck and bring it into submission to the Spirit of God…
- As we’ve covered before, division in the church, division in the home, division at work, division at school…this is the primary tattoo prevalent on the body that is not of Christ. I heard this once and I absolutely love it…if someone is willing to divide the baby then they don’t love it. Protect the child from the one who would divide…Solomon’s wise counsel rings true still today.
1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Verse 19
- The works of the flesh will always be around…that is until the return of the Lord…but one interesting thing that division does do is that it causes those that are of the Lord to shine. Those that seek peace and strive for unity…Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” You reveal that you truly are a follower of Jesus when you’re infected with peace and spread it virally in your home, community and church.
- I can train you in truth and you can train yourself in the scriptures but at some point you’ve got to truly surrender your heart to God…that’s a decision, not the result of a training. Kinda like a trash collector. They actually don’t get any training…they just pick it up as they go! HA!
1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Verses 20 – 22
- The way they would do it is that they would come together for a meal and that meal would end with the taking of communion, (which is by the way exactly as it was in the Upper Room). These meals were called Agape Feasts which for some reason we have changed to “Pot Lucks.” Everyone who had something would bring something to share.
- But some, if not all, were coming together and going off in another room or whatever and only sharing with some and the poorest, those that didn’t have anything to bring, were going hungry. Much of the early church were the slaves, the poor…and so Paul is entirely enraged by this! It is not the Lord’s supper if you serve yourself and certainly not if you’re making a kegger out of it! WHAT!? (“Gar!” in the Greek!)
1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Verses 23 – 26
- We’ve read through this so many times I’m sure in the taking of communion but check this out, this is the heart and the character of God…He shared not only His meal but His life…when? On the night that He was betrayed. He knew it! He could have run. He could have pouted, I would have! But that is not the Lord. The Lord is aware and about the better and the service to others. It’s those that truly have little in here (heart) that serve others little. Why? They have nothing to give. Jesus has and had everything. Abundance in His heart. It and everything are His…and so He was generous, supportive…even in the face of betrayal…He gave…
- And note, there are some that ascribe to The Eucharist…and they point to this scripture. Here’s the issue, when this was given by the Lord, it was not His body or His blood…couldn’t have been and therefore this is no proof text at all, but rather proof text against transubstantiation.
- Communion is not all about being somber and down and self-reflective and low…notice, it is also to think upon the hope of the future…why? Because as it says at the end of the verse, Jesus is coming back!
1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Verses 27 – 30
- I don’t believe the Bible is saying that you need to be perfect or right in everything and all to take communion. I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about at all here. Who is worthy? Who is worthy upon their own merit or life? That line of thinking doesn’t even make sense. Jesus died for all sins. So, this thought that if I am a sinner then I better stay away from the Lord…it’s just wrong.
- This is about the heart. Where is your heart? Jesus took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood.” The New Covenant…that we take of and enter into not based on my worthiness but upon His. He said to do this in remembrance of Him. If anyone needs to be reminded of Jesus its busted sinful grace eaters like me! And so we aren’t to make ourselves worthy…we should not take the cup and the bread and stare at the floor and ask for Jesus to take the cross again…your sin is forgiven…it is a time for you to open your heart to Jesus and receive His forgiveness and then go and sin no more.
1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Verses 31 – 32
- Oh my is that not the truest of truths! Two different words in the Greek used here for the word, “judge.” Essentially, if we would contend with ourselves, deal with ourselves in the ways that are just outright wrong…then we wouldn’t have to endure such hardship in our lives with others and we can even avoid perhaps the need for corrective consequence from God Himself!
1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Verses 33 – 34
- Wait for one another. If you are at dinner with a group, don’t eat as soon as your meal arrives. Wait until the last meal arrives…even if yours is the first. Simple rule but entirely important. Never order before your wife! Wait on her…you do it enough already, may as well do it there too! HA! It isn’t just good manners…it communicates love.
- Don’t come to the pot lucks after fasting for two days and then pig out! Eat at home…the pot luck is about fellowship primarily and honoring the Lord, not filling your belly. Religious obligation and motions and routines are not what God wants…God desires us to grow up into hearts like His.
- He says, “Lest you come together for judgment…” Simple selfishness welcomes judgment from God and from others…it’s just not worth it at all. And apparently that’s not the end of the story…because Paul will deal with the “rest” that’s out of order when he comes.
- The fact is…they don’t need Paul, you don’t need me…we can each deal with the rest of the things that are out of order ourselves if we will simply deal with Jesus…cast your cares upon Him, the Bible says…for He cares for you! He is yours and my Umbrella Dad!