Lordís Supper



3. What does it mean to eat the bread and to drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner (1 Corinthians 11:29)?




To understand the meaning of this expression used by Paul, we need to read carefully all the things written by Paul to the Corinthians about the Lordís Supper in chapter 11. Here are his words: ďWhen ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 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. 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: 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. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 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. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation [judgment] to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation [judgment]. And the rest will I set in order when I comeĒ (1 Corinthians 11:20-34)

As you can see, Paul says very clearly that when the saints of Corinth came together in one place, it was not to eat the Lordís Supper, for many believers of Corinth ate the bread and drank the cup of the Lord as if the Lordís supper was an ordinary meal, for Paul says: ďBut if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgmentĒ (1 Corinthians 11:34 Ė NKJV). In addition to this, there were some believers who were drunk when they ate the bread and drank the cup of the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:21), therefore they were not able to discern the Lordís body. However, the Lordís Supper is not an ordinary supper, but a commemorative supper, that is, a supper through which we proclaim the Lordís death until He comes. Therefore, we cannot partake of the Lordís Supper as if it were an ordinary supper (thus the elements are not to be treated as ordinary or common food), nor can we partake of it while we are drunk or getting drunk on the wine which is in the cup of the Lord. If anyone behaves in this way, he will eat of the bread and drink of the cup unworthily and so he will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, which are represented by the bread and the fruit of the vine.

Therefore we need to examine ourselves before we eat the bread and drink the cup lest we be judged by God. Yes, because Paul says very clearly that those who eat the bread and drink the cup in an unworthy manner are punished by God with sickness and even with death.

So let us partake of the Lordís Supper, not to appease our hunger nor to get drunk, but to proclaim the Lordís death and to have communion with His body and His blood.