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. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.
Thoughts for Today:Imagine being hungry and going out to dinner, but the cook comes to your table and says, "Better go put on some more weight before I'll feed you." Or getting sick and visiting your doctor, only to have him say, "Get well first, then come back and see me." The Lord's Table is the very place for us to be when we are suffering from temptation, struggling with sin, and caught up in worldly ways. Yet, many people read our passage today and are left with a completely different question, "Do I need to clean myself up before I can participate in communion?" The answer is, "Of course not!"
As Christians, we do not eat the bread or drink from the cup "in an unworthy manner" even if we have sin in our lives. The most likely condition that makes a person unworthy is if they have not been born again. There are many unbelievers, attending church every Sunday, who "unworthily" participate in communion. These are the people who Paul speaks against in our passage today. Paul is saying that those who are unsaved yet still share in communion are living a lie. Jesus said in John 9:41: "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains." Judgment is easier on those who are ignorant (blind), but those who take communion cannot claim ignorance. It is a very dangerous offense for an unbeliever to participate in the Lord's Supper.
Questions to Ponder:When we worship the Lord in communion, we do so in faith, knowing our born again spirit is perfect even if our flesh is not. What does communion mean to you? Is your understanding consistent with what the Bible teaches? What does God's Word say?