“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not! 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32 When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.
1 Corinthians 11:20-34 NIV
The Corinthians were a carnal bunch. When they got saved, they really got saved! They were gentiles, heathens, and reprobates, with no fear of God. All they knew was how to serve the devil all the way. They received Jesus, but they had a lot to learn about serving God and how to conduct godly lives. Paul gave them instructions and directions concerning the Word, but in the process of the renewing of their minds, he still had to walk them through all their wrong ideas and carnality and steer them in the right direction.
Paul taught them about communion – the Lord’s Supper. Well they got carried away and turned it into everything it was not supposed to be. They came hungry and treated the bread and wine like it was just food. They did not wait for anyone else, they began eating and drinking and got drunk. Then when the others arrived there was nothing left for them. Paul rebukes them for this and tells them that if they are hungry, to eat at home before they came to church. God’s kingdom is not about selfishness, greed, excess, or division – it is about love, kindness, caring, sharing and unity.
When you partake of communion, you remember and celebrate Jesus – His death, burial and resurrection. Jesus’ body was bruised and broken for you. Jesus’ blood was poured out as an offering for you. You should remember that He is your Savior, Deliverer, Redeemer, Baptizer in the Holy Ghost and Healer. There are Christians, all over the world, who observe the Lord’s Supper and remember Jesus as their Savior, but they have no idea that He is their Healer or Deliverer or Baptizer in the Holy Ghost. Because of this, they do not walk in the fullness of all that the Lord has for them.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:4-6 NIV
Father God has provided everything you need in the sacrifice of His only begotten Son. Jesus paid the price for your salvation, healing, deliverance, provision and peace. Unless you know what He provided for you, you will never know that you can ask for it and so you will not expect it or ask for it and if you don’t ask, you will never have it!
In order to receive communion in a worthy manner you should keep a few things in mind. When you receive communion, you ought to do it with respect toward God and toward man. You need to reverence the Lord and be grateful for all that He has provided for you. When you receive communion, receive your forgiveness, healing and freedom by faith. When you receive communion, you should judge your own heart and not other people. Forgive others and release them from whatever it is that has offended you. Recognize that you are part of the Body of Christ and that it is essential to the kingdom of God that we all walk in love toward one another. Even though we may not all agree on everything, we can at least agree to disagree. We can still live together in harmony as long as we agree on Jesus – Who He is and what He has done for us.
So today, or any day, that you partake of communion, receive all that the table of the Lord provides for you – this is your covenant meal.