29For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
Eating the Lord’s Supper unworthily brings divine discipline by “not discerning the Lord’s body.” People who do not know the meaning of the elements of the body and blood do not “discern” its meaning.
For this reason
The reason for divine discipline is partaking of the Lord’s Table in an unworthy manner.
many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
The divine discipline that the Lord brought upon the Corinthian church was physical illness and early physical death. Pain gets our attention. The Corinthians had already buried some of their own.
Paul lists three types of discipline:
1. “Weak” carries the idea of feebleness, powerlessness, incapability of withstanding strain, lack of energy, want of strength. God inflicts some with a discipline of a puny constitution. They have an inability to produce results; this is a weakness of mind. This word may imply depression. Evidently, there is a spiritual cause of depression.
2. “Sick” carries the idea of chronic physical diseases, constitutional diseases.
3. “Sleep” is physical death. This is the sin unto death (Acts 5; 1 John 5:16), which is neither the unpardonable sin nor one kind of sin. The “sin unto death” is any kind of sin where the believer refuses to confess or check his sins. Usually, the believer has already been disciplined many times for this sin.
The Lord’s Supper is a solemn and serious affair.
We do nothing more solemn or serious in church function than partaking in the Lord’s Supper. Immediate confession keeps us in fellowship. If we go numb and dull to our sins, then we open ourselves to divine discipline. We become first-class candidates for God dealing with us. We cannot allow anything between our soul and the Savior. We cannot afford it. It is much easier to come to the Lord regularly and deal with our sins. There are two reasons why Christians die: our work is finished (2 Ti 4:7), and divine discipline. The Lord’s Supper should produce brokenness and confession and bring people together. It should result in repentance and burial of the hatchet (and not in someone’s back!).
if the judgment they won't by being chastised by the Lord is sickness etc.. it doesnt make sense… because they receiving sickness as chastisement??
Dale, your question/statement is confusing to me. Would you clarify?
Hi Dr. Grant,
Couldn't we view "the Lord's body" as the body of Christ (as many versions already do)? If so, could we not read the previous behavior of these believers (eating their food alone, and eating and drinking to the point of drunkenness while people around them go hungry) as denying Christ's compassion to the church–the Bride he loves? In this reading, the failure to "discern" the Lord's body means that they fail to see the needs within the fellowship ( discerning does involve an active movement to understand and consider) and therefore in placing their own needs above the fellowship of believers, these folks are eating and drinking judgment. We also need to consider that the early communion usually came at the end of the agape feasts, and therefore what we have is the picture of a person who takes care of themselves during the agape feast, but then takes the bread and the wine as if he was in communion with the Lord and the saints, but in actuality (and by his actions), he is not. I'm interested in your comments!
CAUSES OF SICKNESS / DEATH
1. Fall of man – Gen.2:17; Rom. 3:23; 6:23
2. Chastening – Ex. 4:11;Deut. 28:20-22: Ps. 119:67; Heb. 12:6
3. Testing – Job 1
4. Sowing & reaping – Gal. 6:7
5. Sin – Rom. 14:23; James 5:15
6. Unbelief – Matt. 13:58
7. Satan – Lk. 13:11/ II Cor. 12:7
8. Glory of God – Jhn. 9:2-3; 11:4
9. Martyrdom – Acts 7:58-60; 11:2
TYPES OF SICKNESS
1. Sickness unto healing: James 5:14-16; Matt. 10:1; Mk. 3:15; Lk. 5:17; 9:2;10:9; I Cor. 12:9, 28; 30
2. Sickness unto bearing: II Cor. 12:7-10; I Tim. 5:23; II Tim. 4:20
3. Sickness unto dying:I Cor. 11:30; Heb. 9:27;Rom. 8:16-23
TYPES OF HEALING
1. Physical:Acts 4:9-10
2. Mental:Acts 10:38;
3. Emotional:Acts 10:38
4. Spiritual:Acts 5:16;8:7
5. Immediate:Acts 3:6-8
6. Progressive:Mk.8:23-25; Lk. 17:14
7. Medicinal:I Tim.5:23
8. Death:I Cor.5:1-9; Phil.1:21,23-24
9. Resurrection:Rom.8:23; Rom.15:42-44,49,52,54; I John 3:2
I'm confused about the statement that there are 2 reasons why we die: our work is finished and divine discipline. My brother in law had just accepted The Lord at age 39 and was baptized. It was so beautiful because he wanted nothing to do with The Lord his entire life. He died a year later of a sudden heart attack at age 40. His funeral was filled with many sailors (he was in the Navy) who were not believers and he brought much glory to The Lord through it. His funeral was on his 40th birthday. This commentary has me wondering …was it his work was finished and the finale of his work was to reach all those sailors through his death or was it divine discipline because of something he did or The Lord knew he would fall away. Any comments?
Marcy, since we do not know the details of his life, my guess it was to expose sailors to the gospel and eternal life issues among other things. Usually God reserves divine discipline for believers who will not confess their sin for a protracted time. He does not give tit for tat but is longsuffering toward us.
Every month during communion, we are reminded to first “search our hearts and confess our sins” – meaning, that if you have sin in your life, you are unworthy and cannot partake of the Holy Communion, lest you become weak and sick, and even die!
I have been confused with this, and searched by referring to different translations. In NLT, MSG & AMP versions the words seem to mean a bit differently, as it appears to focus on the meaning of the symbolism, i.e. that it’s the body of Christ (I think it’s about Christ’s body broken and His blood shed FOR US, that believers need to be reminded that the act of sacrifice has completely finished the works needed for salvation)
… instead of focusing on ourselves, i.e. that we need to come to him righteous and worthy, otherwise we’d be punished with sickness etc. (I find this line of interpretation confusing as the Bible indicates that no man is righteous … and we are Righteous in Christ – not through our self-effort, but as a gift given through His acts on the cross. Further, it’s not logical that the Holy Communion that should bring blessing & health could be a reason for curse if we have not confessed ALL sins).
I’m persuaded that the former appears more like Christ’s teachings, but I’m not a Biblically trained (as such my thoughts is not taken to heart).
I’d be grateful if you could clarify this, with reference to the original Greek text. Many thanks!
Lee, the point of my commentary is not that we are worthy in any sense by personal righteousness to partake in communion. In fact, we come totally unworthy to partake of it. The adverb “unworthily” (previous verses) refers to treating communion in an arbitrary fashion.
I Love Jesus and I thank him for his word. However truth be told are any of us really worthy to receive the body and blood including the one who is administering. Please elaborate…thanks
Jay, evidently you did not read the previous study. Just click on the verse to the left and it will take you to that study.