First Corinthians – Part 28
Last time we looked at shadow and reality in the period of the Acts of the apostles. Of course the shadow is seen throughout the Acts period and that includes the Acts epistles of Paul which amount to 7 letters. Those who would claim that right division holds little practical consequence should look very carefully at the past lesson and 1st Corinthians in general. In this lesson we will look at the problems related to the Lord’s supper.
The problems are made acute here. Paul begins with “I praise you not” whereas in 11:2 he did paraise them that they remembered him in all things and kept the traditions as he delivered them.
17 ¶ Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
TBT 1 Corinthians 11:18 πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ συνερχομένων ὑμῶν ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, ἀκούω σχίσματα ἐν ὑμῖν ὑπάρχειν, καὶ μέρος τι πιστεύω. (1Co 11:18 TBT)
He says “For first” this construction usually takes a balancing second (deuteron de) or series of elements that come with the first. Here there is the primary only — this gives the idea that he could give more but he is going to confine his attention to this main point. The problem relates to divisions (unnecessary) or schisms (σχίσματα) that Paul came to hear about that occured when the Corinthians assembled (genetive absolute construction συνερχομένων ὑμῶν) . Paul says he believed this news in part (καὶ μέρος τι πιστεύω) — there was likely a lot of parts to this news about divisions and he believed only some of them. It would be interesting to know what news he did not believe. There are stories that our news gatherers, spinners and politically elite attempt to foist on us and these should be carefully weighed and sometimes trashed — evidence is the key (follow the money! see http://www.jbs.org/).
19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
TBT 1 Corinthians 11:19 δεῖ γὰρ καὶ αἱρέσεις ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι, ἵνα οἱ δόκιμοι φανεροὶ γένωνται ἐν ὑμῖν. (1Co 11:19 TBT)
The text says literally “For it is also necessary to exist heresies among you” — the word heresies is “αἱρέσεις” and its lemma concordance is:
Acts 24:5, 14
1 Co. 11:19
2 Pet. 2:1
The verses show that the word in the singular equates to division, religous party or sect. But why must these bad divisions exist here in the assembly at Corinth? The answer is: In order that those who are approved be made manifest among you. These are real opportunities for those whom God has approved to be made visible. There may be some approved ones who without the opportunity would remain invisible. Here is something that perhaps we all need to be reminded of, namely that we should position ourselves to take advantage of the schisms, conflicts, divisions etc in professing Christianity to bring forward God’s glorious truths that stem from a good understanding of His word rightly divided. As a further application we should make known the responsibilities of freedom that were given to us and paid for by the blood and sacrifice of others. Americans must take note here and see how far the republic has moved from its roots. Note what Bejamin Franklin said in the quotation below when asked about the nature of what was offered in the constituttion:
|Benjamin Franklin (1706–90)
|“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“A Republic, if you can keep it.”
|The response is attributed to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN—at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation—in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention.
( Taken from http://www.bartleby.com/73/1593.html ) — politically we should see the demize of the influence of the Constitution as an opportunity to show forth its strengths and veracity. We should support those who are approved! They will be made manifest while in the frey.
The New Covenant (ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη)
This next section explains the big and first problem of the Corinthian assembly:
20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
TBT 1 Corinthians 11:20 συνερχομένων οὖν ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό, οὐκ ἔστι Κυριακὸν δεῖπνον φαγεῖν.
(1Co 11:20 TBT)
An assembly of general fellowship or a “love feast” is not for the memorial of the Lord’s death, burial and resurrection as instituted in the Lord’s supper.
21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
The kind of activities associated with “a good time” are foreign to the rememberance as given to Paul. Eat and drink in your own homes! He ends the sentence with “I praise you not”
23 ¶ For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Paul received this from the Lord and would be a part of the revelations given directly from the Lord to him. “this is my body” is a metaphor though some would like to make it literally (Is the Lord a door?) the case and ingest something transubstantiated by way of a priest. As we shall see — this commemoration is rooted in the Lord’s earthly ministry and is a part of the shadows given to Israel. The bread is the unleavened bread of the passover, all with typical meaning (shadow not the substance).
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament (new Covenant, ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη) in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
TBT 1 Corinthians 11:25 ὡσαύτως καὶ τὸ ποτήριον, μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι, λέγων, Τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε, ὁσάκις ἂν πίνητε, εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. (1Co 11:25 TBT)
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
TBT 1 Corinthians 11:26 ὁσάκις γὰρ ἂν ἐσθίητε τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον, καὶ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο πίνητε, τὸν θάνατον τοῦ Κυρίου καταγγέλλετε ἄχρις οὗ ἂν ἔλθῃ. (1Co 11:26 TBT)
The cups are all a part of traditions introduced into the observance of the passover and re-interpreted by the Lord and rehearsed again by Paul. This cup is the new testament in the lord’s blood. There is no prescription for how many times per year etc this should be done. The coming of the Lord was near — this practice was carried out with the view that the Lord was nigh at hand.
The new covanant has nothing whatever to do with our calling since both old and new covenants were given to Israel Jer 31:31, Heb. 8.
Because many do not rightly divide Paul’s Acts and Prison ministries they take to themselves traditions and consequently Israel’s shadows. In doing so they confuse the things that differ and miss the excellent things that God has for us through PAul’s prison ministry. They also are open to misinterpretation and misapplication of the context as well. Here is a case in point.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
The word “unworthily” is an adverb it modifies the verbs “to eat” and “to drink” — the Corinthian believers would all be unworthy in some sense (as we are also) but Paul means that it is the manner in which the lord’s communion symbols were consumed that defines the unworthiness. Those who institute the tradition today will have a plethora of doctrines about this and many harmful practices can result.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
Here the unworthy eating and drinking result in very substantial consequences. Their lack of sicernmement would lead to immediate and severe judgments. Do you think that such judgments are happenning today? I for one would say NO!
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
The action of making the right personal judgments lead to a much more healthy assembly and if bad decisions are made sickness and death may insue.
33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
You want to make a meal out of the Lord’s supper — a big mistake in the Acts. Separate eating to satisfy hunger with eating and drinking the Lord’s supper — a failure to do so could result in condemnation. Do not approach the Lord’s supper as a meal — wait till everyone is present (orderliness).