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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians

 

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.  

 

11:29

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.

11:30

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 weakness of mind. This word may imply depression. Evidently, there is a spiritual cause to 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 a number of times for this sin.

PRINCIPLE:

The Lord’s Supper is a solemn and serious affair.

APPLICATION:

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!).

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