The Lord's Supper - Discerning the body of Christ.
"The Lord Jesus on 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; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” - 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
In the book of 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, Paul addresses a matter that is still of high relevance for the church today. That is – the issue concerning, correcting an abuse of the Lord’s supper for this group of believers whom he declared were partaking of the communion in an unworthy manner.
The King James study Bible, describes the Lord’s supper as a distinctive symbol of Christian worship instituted by the Lord on the eve of his death as can be found in the accounts of Mathew, Mark and Luke. It goes on to describe it as a spiritual partaking of the elements presented as a thankful expression of Christ’s sacrifice taken in fellowship with Him and with one another. The two symbols of this ordinance as we have all come to learn in our Christian walk are the bread, which represents the broken body of Christ and the cup which represents his shed blood.
In my observation, partaking the Lord’s supper is a form of worship for new testament believers with four main attributes namely celebration, thankfulness, remembrance and proclamation. I believe that like all celebrations the Lord’s supper should be conducted above all else with a high degree of intentionality and reverence. By this I mean, when desiring to partake of the Lord’s supper, believers should come together with the clear understanding and in specific intention of sharing in this worship namely the Lord’s supper. I believe this should be done with all believers in perfect unison, of one accord in mind and in thought. Positionally, I believe, the Lord’s supper should be eaten together, with all members waiting on one another, with joyful hearts and most importantly with hearts completely adjusted to looking on Jesus and his finished sacrifice at the cross.
In this chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul’s writing to these believers at Corinth is one that is mostly of a rebuke in its tone, it would appear that he is delivering it with the rod of discipline that he speaks of in 1 Corinthians 4:21, in fact he starts off by saying “Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not…” another version reads “I have no praise for you…”
Listen to more of Paul's rebuke in this audio study of 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. His exposition of the positional and attitude matters remain relevant for us believers today for our understanding and rightly discerning of the body of Christ.