1 Corinthians 11:26-30
1Co 11:26 Because every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he returns,
1Co 11:27 with the result that whoever eats the Lord’s bread or drinks the Lord’s the cup in an unworthy way will be required to give an account for the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28 A man should be proving himself faithful, even when eating the bread and drinking the cup.
1Co 11:29 Because the one eating and drinking, eats and drinks himself into condemnation, if he does not recognise the significance of the body.
1Co 11:30 That is the reason many among you are weak and sick, and a considerable number are asleep.
Paul is reacting to news he has been told about the Corinthians’ abuse of the communion meal. Their beast feasts are making a mockery of this solemn event. He tells them that they are not realising it, but each time they gather to participate in communion, court is in session. The way they act during the ritual matters a great deal. The reason is that the communion table is one of the ways God has given us of preaching the gospel of his grace. When we come to the table, we are announcing the Lord’s death — giving people another opportunity to respond to his grace. When we do something to distract others from that opportunity, we are showing contempt for the gift of salvation via the broken body and shed blood.
Instead of doing that, believers should be proving themselves faithful while they are eating and drinking. If we do that, we will not be offending the Lord, and risking his immediate condemnation. In Corinth, the offenders were already experiencing this condemnation in the form of increased weakness, sickness and death (falling asleep). The Lord takes this table seriously, and so should we.
LORD, thank you for your grace, demonstrated ultimately by the sacrificial death of Christ to reconcile us to yourself. Show us how to preach that gospel every time we come to your table.