16The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?
The words “cup of blessing” was a common Jewish expression for the last cup of wine drunk at a festive meal. It was a toast to God for His goodness. Christians give thanks because of the symbol – we share in the benefits of the blood of Christ. The communion table is a symbol of our fellowship with the Lord. He is the fountainhead of unity among believers. We share the essence of Christianity – our salvation.
The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
The “bread” represents the slain body of Christ for our sins. We participate in the “communion” of the body of Christ. “Communion” is fellowship with the Lord. The reality must precede the symbol. A believer must be in fellowship with the Lord before partaking. The only person who can prepare you for communion is yourself.
For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
All Christians share their common salvation (“one”) at the Lord’s table. We use symbols to represent that salvation. A picture represents someone we love, but it is not the person; it only represents the reality. When we partake of the bread and cup, we remember the reality. The sacrificed body and shed blood represent the penalty Christ paid for our sin.
Paul is in the process of contrasting the Lord’s communion table with the devil’s communion table. The Lord’s communion table is a symbol of the essence of Christianity. We cannot have it both ways. We must choose one or the other, for the Lord does not tolerate spiritual adultery.
Idolatry is to put anything in the place of God.
Idolatry is to put anything in the place of God. Anything more important to us than God is an idol. We cannot mix service to the Lord with serving money. They are mutually exclusive. Are we willing to let go of anything as soon as God says so?
Matthew 6:24, No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Once we divide our loyalty, we diminish the Lord’s greatness. We imply that the Lord lacks something. If we do not have a proper view of God, everything else becomes distorted. Idolatry is putting anything in the place of God: any habit, any person, any occupation, any philosophy. God is jealous of His glory, and He will not allow any retreating from it.
Isaiah 48:11, For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;
For how should My name be profaned?
And I will not give My glory to another.