Unity thru Holy Communion

1 Corinthians 11:17-24

17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of Godby humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together.34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

And when I come I will give further directions.

Unity at the table is a result of unity in the table (Jesus Christ). We celebrate communion each week at Redeemer Fellowship because we need that much help and remembrance.

Verses 18-19 discuss how the church at Corinth liked the divisions that were created based on class, communion location, and communion time. They liked the divisions, just like us, because it allows the self-righteous to be recognized.

Verses 20-22 highlight the class divisions between all the members.

When you are divided in faith, you miss the entire point of how God brings everyone together. You can eat the supper but you cannot celebrate it because you do not understand the meal.

Galatians 3:26-19 discusses Jesus coming to reconcile people to God in order to create a family. Revelation 19:6-9 discussed this family being fully redeemed with one voice declaring God as Lord and celebrating in an eternal wedding party. Anything you pursue for unity will only divide you unless you are pursuing Jesus. This is also portrayed in verse 26.

At Redeemer we have tribal divisions (instead of obvious class divisions) that include social justice, age, sex, gender, marital status, children status, a holiness people (based on James 1:27), anti-commitment people (those who leave right after communion and show up late for service), people who hold out forgiveness towards others.

Verses 33-34 discuss Paul’s instructions for how to unify people at the table and make the meal about Jesus. Wait for one another, eat at home, remove the class issues.

Please visit Redeemer Fellowship online to listen to the whole sermon. It’s a good one. Pretty specific to our congregation but with wide applications.

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