1 Corinthians 11:1…
Jesus gave two commands to the Church for continuing practice. These are referred to as ‘the Ordinances of Christ.’
These ordinances, (or commands,) are to be practiced in the Church universal, and are meant by Christ to be identifying characteristics separating the Church born of the blood of Christ from all other forms of religion and from the world.
In a world skeptical of the so-called ‘rules-based’ Church life, it may be surprising to find Christ gave the Church only two commands every true Church must follow: water baptism and communion.
Both water baptism and communion are highly symbolic, and local church tradition and denominational expression have done much with each down through the centuries – and yet both remain in universal practice in some form in every church identifying itself with Christ.
Knowing man’s proclivity to add to or take away from Christ’s intent for His commands, Paul understands the need for purity of practice when it comes to each, and especially so with communion, which Paul deals with here.
The church at Corinth has evidently placed a large emphasis on the ‘supper’ part of the Lord’s Supper and has denigrated the flavor of the event in the life of the church to the extent their selfishness rather than Christ’s sacrifice is on display.
This is horrifying to Paul, as it should be to us. There is no excuse for the detestable behavior evidenced by the church at Corinth pertaining to communion. Can you imagine stuffing yourself and/or getting drunk at the communion table?
A spiritual reset is in order. This is not a fellowship pot-luck. It certainly is not a drinking party. It also is not an event meant to be so ritualized by tradition it is trivialized in impact.
All of those things are seen at Corinth, and much of the latter has also been witnessed in the Church down through the centuries.
Once the piety of the event has been restored, the tradition of regular practice can take over and do more long-term harm than even gluttony or drunkenness. At least gluttony and drunkenness are so obviously wrong no right-thinking Christian would have anything to do with it. But what takes place in the recesses of the heart according to religion and traditional practice is much more insidious. No one sees the fallacy of superficiality taking place in the heart – or so it seems. God sees. To think people would lack careful consideration for the sacrifice of the Son of God must be as inconceivable to those who love Jesus.