Welcome back to the second part of our study on the amazing blessing in communion. Last week we saw how Jesus suffered in our place on the cross, and we ended by seeing some of what He accomplished, including the benefits for our physical body.
We’re going to look deeper into this today, because there are many people who still do not understand this. As we read last week, the scriptures make it clear that “many are weak and sick, and have fallen asleep by failing to discern the Lord’s Body”.
So it’s important for us to see what His body truly gives to us. God wants us to see know and receive what He has given to us, and that’s why it’s written in the scriptures. I shared on this about four years ago, but it’s time to share it again because we have some new viewers, and even if you’re a longtime member here, it’s good to be reminded of what Jesus has done. Let’s get started!
Discerning the Lord’s Body
So let’s return to the verses we began looking at last week: 1st Corinthians 11:23-32:
“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
And when he had given thanks, he broke 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 you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.
Why whoever 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 eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks 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.”
I specifically wanted us to read verses 23 through 25 again because I wanted us to hear the words of Jesus, and how very personal they are. This is My body, broken for you. This cup is the New Covenant in My blood.
Remember what we saw last week… what He did, He did in your place on that cross. What He suffered, He suffered in your place. His body was broken so that yours would be made whole, and complete. His blood was shed to enter you into the New Covenant. The New Covenant based not on your works or efforts, but on His completed work.
Keep these facts in-mind, because we are about to clear up a long-held confusion regarding the verses that follow regarding this.
Judgment Regarding Jesus’ Sacrifice
Verse 27 is where people start getting tripped up. This is no small issue, and many pastors have perpetuated the lie, and regurgitated this false idea that if you partake of communion with sin in your life, that you are eating and drinking unworthily and you are guilty and you will fall sick and/or die as judgment from God. And my friend, that is a total lie and not at all what the scripture is saying!
Twice we see the word “unworthily”, first in verse 27 and again in verse 29. Both times it is an adverb; an adverb modifies the verb (action) and not the one performing the action. What we can learn from this is that these verses are not speaking about the person being unworthy to partake of communion, but the unworthy manner in which they were partaking.
Think about it, Jesus had communion with people. Were they free from sin? If not, He caused them to eat and drink unworthily. If the criteria for communion was being sinless, then no human could ever partake – only Jesus alone – because He is the only on without sin.
Yet look at what is being stated in verses 31 and 32: if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. In Luke 22:19-20, Jesus said to receive communion in remembrance of Him; and that is what is being spoken of here. If we would examine ourselves in remembrance of what Jesus Christ has done for us, how He has redeemed us, washed us and bought us back from sin, then we would see as the verse continues on to say that we should not be judged.
Now notice the two uses of the words “judge” and “judged” in verse 31. Our English translations have done us a disservice here, because in the original Greek text they are two separate words. The first word “judge” is diakrinō which means “to separate, discriminate or decide as an arbitrator”, and the second word “judged” is krinō which means “to condemn or punish”.
Do you see it? One small detail can make all the difference, and this is surely a wonderful difference. So to translate this verse properly in the light of what we have learned, it would read like this:
If we were to arbitrate and separate ourselves with regards to the finished work of Christ Jesus for us, we would see that we should not be condemned.
Now verse 32 is the other area of confusion so let’s proceed to study it. It says But when we are judged (krinō again) we are chastened (trained, lifted-up) by the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. So we can see that this explanation now makes sense with the understanding that we now have. When we are feeling condemned, God trains us and lifts us up through the knowledge of Christ that we should not be condemned with the world.
Remember now that this is all in the context of Communion. But we can see how the common wrong idea about communion has been robbing people by frightening them away from communion. The very people who are feeling condemned by their sins, are being turned-away from receiving the way out – because as we just read, when we are feeling condemned, God lifts us up through the knowledge of Christ that we should not be condemned with the world… and the purpose of communion is to remember Christ.
So now let’s examine the provision that comes with communion through the body of Christ given for us. Take another look at verses 29 and 30. The real unworthy manner to eat and drink is to not discern the LORD’s body, and unfortunately, through bad teaching over the years, many are doing exactly that today – let’s see what the result of that is in verse 30: For this cause, many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
I wish the scripture didn’t say “many” here, but it does. There are many who are ignorant of this truth; they have been taught wrong all their lives, they’ve been religiously brainwashed instead of New Covenant taught. They have been conditioned to doubt the provision of health paid for by the body of Jesus Christ. And so they suffer needlessly. But friend, I encourage you today to see the complete provision which Jesus Christ made for you… His blood, for your complete spiritual redemption and securing you in the New Covenant of Grace; and also His body, broken, beaten and torn apart, so your body can be whole, healed, and restored together in health.
His Body for Yours
This is rightly discerning the body and blood of Christ for you. This is how you can rightly receive what He has accomplished for you, and now it makes sense. As we can see He suffered in His body for us, and as we see this, we will partake of His healing for us. As the scriptures mention in Matthew 15:26-28, healing is truly the children bread, given to us by Jesus Christ
Join me next week as we continue seeing the amazing blessing of communion.