How To Celebrate Communion | 1 Coritnhians 11:17-34
Paul says that there were factions in the church that were contending for predominance. Some of these people were involved in sexual immorality, some of them were drunkards. While this church in Corinth should have had some sort of influence on the pagan culture that surrounded them, the reality was the culture had infiltrated and influenced the church.
The early church did not have buildings, and Sunday was not a day that they took off. What they would do is come together on Sunday nights in the homes o their wealthier members to celebrate communion. Preceding the worship time, they would have kind of like a pot-luck supper called the Agape, or the Love Feast (Jude 12). However, Corinth had a problem because the wealthy would get there first with all of their good sumptuous food, and they would gorge themselves. Then when the slaves and the other poor people would arrive, there was no food left. What was even worse, a few of the wealthy members would fill their wine glass very frequently to the point of being drunk. As a result, they completely missed the meaning of communion. Paul says that some of the members were suffering severe discipline from the Lord because of their irreverence toward God.
So that is the background of this text that we are about to read, so with that, I would ask that if you are willing and able, would you please stand out of respect for God’s Word as we read 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.
So this sermon in a sentence is this. Communion is to be practiced often and is a commitment to the Lord, to one another, and yes, even to ourselves.
Now communion along with baptism is one of the two ordinances of the church, or some call them sacraments of the church that Jesus commanded the church to observe. It is probably also called the breaking of bread. We get the word communion from the Greek in 1 Corinthians 10:16, where the Greek word koinonia is used, which means fellowship or communion. It is also called the table of the Lord and the Eucharist, which comes from the Greek word for “thanksgiving.”
The original Lord’s Supper was a Passover meal, this is where Jesus adapted and applied the meaning of the Jewish Passover feast to Himself. The imagery was that just like Israel was delivered from the death of their firstborn and from slaver to Pharaoh through the blood of the Passover lamb, so you are spared from the judgment of God and slavery to sin by the death of the Lamb of God. I believe that Paul lays out for us 4 ways in this text that we should come to communion that will be beneficial for us to consider.