The Lord’s Supper/Communion

In 1 Corinthians 11:17-30 Paul was talking about the Lord’s Supper; the unworthy manner of the Corinthians taking the Lord’s Supper. My questions are:
1. Why do almost all evangelical churches/pastors put emphasis on confession of sins before taking the Lord’s Supper? What are the biblical scriptures supporting this practice? In the passages (17-30) i cannot see the emphasis on confession. am i wrong in this interpretation?

2. What does it mean to “examine yourself”? is it our unworthiness, our sins that need to be confess before we take the communion? or it means to examine oneself in the light of approaching the memorial supper of what Jesus has done on the Cross?
For confession takes a center stage or prerequisite of taking the Lord’s Supper then we totally changes the atmosphere, the focus of the communion. More on our selves, our unfitness to be in the Lord’s table instead of focusing our whole being to remember and apply the signifance of what the Lord has done. Am i wrong on this assertion?

Thank you.

What do YOU think?

comments

Comments

  1. THE PROBLEM

    Here’s the problem in the Corinthian Church: “Therefore when you come together for this (meaning the Lord’s Supper) it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat: for each takes his own supper to eat beforehand, and indeed one is hungry and another is drunk. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not?” 1 Corinthians 11:20-22 (One New Man Bible)

    COMMENT: Apparently the people were bringing food and drink to feast on before the Lord’s Supper. However, there was not an even distribution of food and drink among the brethren. Some were going hungry and others were getting drunk. This caused Paul to ask: “What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?” This overindulgence of some and the neglect of others during the feast was taking away from the dignity of what should have been a special occasion.

    THE IMPLICATION OF UNWORTHILY

    1 Corinthians 11:27 says: “Thus whoever would eat the bread or would drink the cup of the Lord unworthily sins against the body and the blood of the Lord.” (One New Man Bible)

    COMMENT: The word “unworthily” * is an adverb that means “in an unworthy manner.” Adverbs do not describe or modify a noun, such as a person, place or thing. They describe verbs, which are action words. The word “unworthily” is describing or modifying the words “eat” and “drink”. They were eating and drinking “in an unworthy manner.” It is not insinuating that the “whoever” was unworthy to partake of the Lord’s Supper, but that the manner in which these Corinthian Christians were celebrating the Lord’s Supper was not acceptable. They were treating it lightly.

    WHAT TO EXAMINE

    1 Corinthians 11:28 says: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup

    CONCLUSION: We, as Christians, need to examine the way we approach the Lord’s Table. This is what Paul was talking about. Our attitude should be one of reverence. We need to come to the Lord’s Table with an understanding of what the body and blood are for. His body is for our healing and His blood is for the forgiveness of our sins and to confirm the new covenant made between God and man. It is a time to honor the Lord Jesus. We need to remember what it cost Him to provide for our healing and our salvation. We also need to remember His great and awesome love for us that drove Him to do it. Our minds should be focused on the occasion and not on other things. It doesn’t need to be looked upon as a ritual either, or just something we are in the habit of doing ever so often. It should be a solemn, but joyous occasion, because the Lord Jesus has given us a way to make peace with God.

    POST SCRIPT

    This thought also came to me: When Jesus took the bread in His hands, He said, “This is my body. And, when He took the cup of wine in His hand, He said, “This is my blood. In other words, the bread is the same as His body, and the wine is the same as His blood. Therefore, when we eat the bread we are taking in His body. And, when we drink the grape juice, or wine, we are taking in His blood. Remember God can call things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17, the last part of the verse.)

    *Referenced from: Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, 1963, page 975

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Lord’s Supper is a means of grace in which God attaches his forgiveness of sins to a visible element: the bread and the wine. Luther talks of living as sinners/saints simulatneously. We are forgiven but we still wrestle with our old sinful nature which causes us to stumble. Confession is the way to examine ourself and see where we have fallen short, confess it with a contrite heart, and receive God’s forgiveness at the Lord’s table. it is not meant to shift the focus onto us or what we do but to see that it is only because of what Christ did that we have hope in the promise of forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. We live under grace (Ephesians 2:8-) and we confess according to 1 John 1:8-9 as to worthily receive the gift which the Lord himself has provided. It is also a slippery slope to apply human reason and understanding to God’s gifts. Christ says this is my body, this is my blood. Receive it in faith and let it do or be whatever it is by his design not our understanding.

    • I would like to submit to you that the old sinful nature is part of a lost person’s life. It’s the part of a lost person that separates him or her from God. Once we are saved that nature is crucified with Christ and God gives us a new nature, which is His nature. What we wrestle with is submitting our will to God’s will. We still have the power of choice after we are saved.

  3. MelodyCat says:

    I had the same problem as you described.

  4. kimkrys1 says:

    Hi, I will try to answer your question the way I personally see it. When I take communion in my church, I am reminded that the bread is the body of Christ, broken and the blood is his blood that he shed for us. I realize that it is not literally his body or blood, but just in remembrance of Him.

    I personally take the examine yourself part of the scriptures to mean to look at myself on the inside, only me and God knows whats TRULY in my heart. To make sure that I am as clean as I can possibly be before I take communion because even though it is not literal, we take His blood and body into our own body. If I find that there is something there that I need to deal with, I deal with it right there as simple as “Dear Lord I am so sorry for this or I apologize for that please forgive me.”

    I hope this makes sense. I’m not a fancy person and dont use big words, but I hope you can understand why I personally examine myself and that is the thinking of the people around me also.

    Good luck on your quest to find an answer.

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