One thing that I have found that has been overlooked in applying the significance of Paul’s instructions concerning the Table is the fuller context of 1 Corinthians, especially chapters 10-13 (yes, the follow up message is on 1 Corinthians 13 the next Sunday). Paul’s concern for how those at the table were treating others that were apart of the Table fellowship is the major issue surrounding the passage on the Lord’s Supper. As we should take the whole context as a guide for understanding what’s happened at the table in Corinth, we see clues in 1 Corinthians 10:17 and vv. 23-24:
“Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (10:17).
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor” (10:23-24).
“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world” (11:29-32).
I leave you with a quote from Rae Murray . . . and you’ll just have to join us on Sunday to get the fuller picture of what God wants us to learn around the Table . . .
“It is in the local congregation that the credibility of the gospel becomes apparent, for that is the place where a real community of men and women, of young and old, of stranger and friend, are gathered into the reconciled fellowship of the body of Christ, hear the declaration that their sins are forgiven, and feast together at the table of the Lord” (Rae Murray).
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