August 26th, 2019

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Discerning the Body of the Lord

“For all who eat and drink without discerning the body of the Lord, eat and drink judgment against themselves. For this reason, many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” (1 Cor 11:29-30)

What’s wrong in Corinth? What sin caused the sharing of the Lord’s Supper, intended to heal and give life, to result in such sickness, even death? Was it the sexual sin discussed in chapter 5? Or some other sin of that magnitude?

“So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another…” (1 Cor 11:33)

In the early church in Corinth, each weekly meeting began with a meal at which the bread and wine were sanctified to the name and remembrance of Yeshua. After sharing this meal, the believers continued in worship, prayer, teaching and the practice of spiritual gifts. We know from previous chapters that there were factions in the congregation. Some claimed allegiance to Paul; others preferred the teaching style of Apollos; still others claimed to have no teacher but Yeshua Himself.

Some members arrived earlier than others to the weekly meeting; with other friends in their “clique,” they would say their blessings, invoke the Name of the Lord over their bread and wine, and have their dinner. Later, others would arrive, some with food, some without.

Love Your Neighbor

Paul severely chastises these early arrivals for more than a simple discourtesy: they have failed to “discern the Body of the Lord.” This is not a failure to correctly apprehend the mystical transformation of a morsel of bread to the literal Body of Christ; from the context it is clear that he is speaking of a failure to apprehend the power, sanctity, and authority that God intends to be present in the weekly meeting of the saints.

Every believer is a living stone, and together we are being built into a holy temple for God Himself to dwell in (1 Pet 2:5; 1 Cor 3:16-17). According to the Scriptures, the primary expression of this mystical sounding Body/Temple of Messiah is simply what we call the “local” congregation—whether it meets in a house, a public building, or in the middle of a forest. There is something special, something very holy, about this weekly meeting of the whole congregation.

Pay Attention!

If we disparage this holiness by being insensitive to the presence (or absence) of others; or we find our fellowship in one “clique” without relating properly to the rest of the congregation, then we are in danger of failing to discern the “Body of the Lord.” And for this failure, especially when we celebrate Communion, there can be grave consequences. Let each man, and each fellowship, check themselves (11:28) so that we may enjoy the fullness of His healing presence among us!!

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By | 2020-04-10T09:06:04+00:00 August 26th, 2019|4 Comments


  1. Carol McIlroy August 30, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks for this clear message.

    • Tamara Morrone August 31, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      I’m afraid I used to dog the Catholics for that belief. But after reading the words of Jesus again and again, you never said this bread in this wine or just a representation. And every scripture related to this subject you said,”this is my body.”and he said,”this is my blood”. I believe now I am more than ready to believe Jesus and not pastors or congregants you choose to redefine the words of our Lord, whatever there reasoning.

  2. Sharon Weaver August 31, 2019 at 12:21 am

    ot a failure to correctly apprehend the mystical transformation of a morsel of bread to the literal Body of Christ;
    In the Catholic traditions, transubstantiation is the wine and bread become the literal blood and flesh of Christ. Are you supporting that? I’m sorry I’ m confused.

  3. Tamara August 31, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    I’m so sorry please forgive me for not proof reading my comment. I intended to say that nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say that the bread and the juice or wine is merely a representation. No instead he always said it was his body and his blood. I choose to believe what Jesus said.

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