So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honouring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world. So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other. If you are really hungry, eat at home so you won’t bring judgment upon yourselves when you meet together. I’ll give you instructions about the other matters after I arrive.1 Corinthians 11:27-34
Let’s look at this passage in two ways. Traditionally and in a new way. But we will reverse them from the order I applied with that last segment.
Traditionally this is seen as an application to Communion in terms of our response. We are warned not to approach communion in a trite, irreverent way. But we should examine ourselves before eating the bread and drinking the cup. If you eat without honouring the body of Christ you are asking for judgement. So judge yourself so that you will not be judged by God. If you are judged by God now then you will not be subject to judgement (condemned) at the end. So judge yourself now!
There are some very interesting elements in this passage. Let’s examine them.
“Eating and drinking unworthily” – what does “unworthily” mean? A look at the versions yields the following alternatives. in an unworthy manner, in the wrong spirit, in a way that dishonors him, in an improper way, irreverently. The word in question is ἀναξίως [anaxiōs] which is the state of being “not axios”. Meaning irreverent. Not treating the communion or the Lord with the reverence that is due.
Axios means 1) weighing, having weight, having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much. 2) befitting, congruous. 3) of one who has merited anything worthy
- “Sinning against the body and blood of the Lord” – What does that mean? Again let’s turn to the versions which give us the following:
- “shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.”
- “he will be responsible for the body and blood of the Lord.”
- “will be held responsible for the Lord’s body and blood.”
In treating the remembrance of the Lord at communion with irreverence or indifference is like subjecting Him again to the ridicule he suffered at the time. This of course was what some of the Corinthians were doing in allowing communion to be reduced to matters of eating and drinking.
Δοκιμάζω [dokimazō] test yourself (literally or figuratively), discern, examine, prove, try.
Look within and examine your motivations. Examine the inner part of yourself and determine whether your attitudes and inner thoughts and motivations are in accord with the remembrance of communion.
“That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.”
There is clearly a link here between the spiritual and the physical. Medical science is telling us that now. Paul is attributing sickness present among the Corinthians to their lack of discernment in the way they practiced communion. It is hard to say whether these words refer to the consequences of their own actions or to some disorder inflicted on them by God himself. The profaning of the body and blood of the Lord is harshly punished by him. (see Bible Gem 37) All the more reason to examine or judge ourselves.
“judged . . . being disciplined . . . not condemned”
Notice the progression of thought here. We judge ourselves. If we don’t, God will discipline us to bring us into line with his will. If that does not happen then ultimately we will incur His condemnation. Being judged is not the end result. Suffering His condemnation is the end point! It is that you should avoid at all costs. Judge yourself or if not God will bring discipline in some way or another.
A hearse is poor transportation for your first church visit.Anon
One day, when your life flashes before your eyes like a movie, better make sure it’s a gonna be good movie to watch.Sid Mohede
Until We Walk In Excellence, Our Fate Will Be The Consequences Of Mediocrity.Robb Thompson