Come Together (part 1)

 
In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you..  When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat. 1 Co 11:18,20

The purpose of believers gathering together is to devote themselves to God’s teaching, to encourage one another toward love and good deeds Heb 10:24,25, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and to pray Ac 2:42.

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians addressed the abuse at the Lord’s Supper.  The purpose of the Lord’s Supper was for believers to come together, as a body, united in their  gratitude towards Jesus for his victory over sin and death for them 1 Co 11:24.   They would share a meal with two key elements, the first was bread, which sustains physical life representing the truth that Jesus gives and sustains spiritual life.  Jesus is the Bread of Life Jn 6:35 who conquered death 1 Pe 3:18.  The bread was broken, a picture of Jesus’ death and symbolizing our need to die to self so that we can experience true life in Christ Gal 2:20.  The bread contains another truth.  We are one body in Christ like a whole loaf of bread but many individuals making up the loaf 1 Co 12:12.   Like the bread which Jesus broke into many pieces Mt 14:20, the body of Christ keeps multiplying getting larger and larger.

The second element, the wine, symbolizes Jesus’ blood which was shed.  This represented the New covenant, in which the Father would no longer hold sins against any individual  Heb 10:16,17,18; 2 Co 5:19.  The only sin that God will not forgive is the sin of unbelief Mk 3:28,29.  In this passage, the Pharisees witnessed the miracles of Jesus but because they did not want to lose their religious position Jn 11:48 claimed that the miracles Jesus accomplished was by the power of Satan, thus blaspheming the Holy Spirit by making him the Unclean Spirit Mk 3:22.

 

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 Therefore, 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 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.
29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.
30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.
31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.
32 When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.
33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other.
34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.

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