Let's take a look at a word about the body of Christ before we take communion together the first of March. Let’s begin by looking at the words of Jesus:
I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world. /// John 6:48-51
Here you see Jesus giving a teaching about the power of His death, burial, and resurrection. What saves us is faith in the finished work of Christ. The eating of bread does not save us anymore than it could save the rebellious fathers of Israel who ate the manna in the wilderness. Notice Jesus’ commentary as the hearers of this teaching stumbled upon His words by saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. /// John 6:63
What saves us is faith in Jesus, evidenced in the death of our old life, the burial and putting away of all that was associated with it, and the resurrection to new life by the Spirit and a new life lived in the Spirit. On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus shared the Passover meal with His disciples and instituted what we know as Communion or the Lord’s Supper:
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” /// Luke 22:19-20
Do this in remembrance of Me:
There is great power in the blood and body of Jesus. God wants us to receive all the blessing it possesses. There are instances in which the power of the Lord’s Supper or Communion can actually bring discipline instead of blessing. Let’s close all doors to anything but blessing. The apostle Paul shared two things that can be done by believers to release discipline by God or even provoke enemy attack upon themselves. One is found in:
Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you. /// 1 Corinthians 10:1-11
Taking the Lord’s Supper/Communion while in blatant rebellion against God can cause an attack by the enemy as seen in these scriptures. You may want to read through verse 22 of chapter 10 to see the full extent of this teaching. Do you want to close the door to attacks of the enemy due to rebellion? The second teaching Paul shared about the Lord’s body and blood is found in:
Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. /// 1 Corinthians 11:20-22, 27-32
If the first act that opens the door to enemy attack is rebellion, then the second could be described as sinning against the church of God. Sinning against the church of God is best described as selfishness in interacting with the body of Christ. A lack of preference, an indifference about ministry to the body – these things can bring discipline by God. What form of discipline? Sickness, depletion, a lack of necessary resources and even premature death are some forms listed. This does not mean that the offender will go to hell, it means that they will bring discipline upon themselves by not discerning the importance and sanctity of the Lord’s body. These are sins that are against one another.
For those who properly understand what the Lord’s Supper indicates will find themselves flowing in the power released through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ!
- John 6:48-51, 63
- Luke 22:19-20
- 1 Corinthians 10:1-11
- 1 Corinthians 11:20-22, 27-32
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