March 7, 1999
Gathering at the Lord’s Table requires a sharp mental focus whereby we recollect, participate, proclaim, and examine ourselves. Alistair Begg remarks that without these four actions, we will not benefit—yet, despite our sin, we are assured of His eternal love for us when we take, eat, and drink. In this way, communion becomes something much more than mere bread and wine: it is a nonverbal proclamation of the Gospel itself.
17But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,4 19for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. 21For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.
23For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for5 you. Do this in remembrance of me.”6 25In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
27Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.7 31But if we judged8 ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined9 so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
33So then, my brothers,10 when you come together to eat, wait for11 one another— 34if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.
Copyright © 2020, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.