Drinking the Cup unworthy

By Ministry of Hope
Using Gill's Commentary
December 28 2006

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Drinking the Cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy

Sickness and death because of sin 1C 11:27-32

1 Cor 11:27 So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord.

Ver. 27. Wherefore, Since this is the plain institution of the Lord’s supper, the form and manner of administering of it and since the bread and wine in it are representations of the body and blood of Christ, and the design of the whole is to remember Christ, and show forth his death

It follows, that 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 bread and cup are called the bread and cup of the Lord, because ate and drank in remembrance of him, being symbols of his body and of his blood, though not they themselves; these may be eaten and drank, unworthily, when they are eaten and drank by unworthy persons, in an unworthy manner, and to unworthy ends and purposes.

The Lord's supper may be taken unworthily, when it is partook of by unworthy persons.

Now such are unregenerate persons, because they have no spiritual life in them, and therefore cannot eat and drink in a spiritual sense, they have no spiritual light, and therefore cannot discern the Lord's body, they have no spiritual taste, no spiritual hunger and thirst, neither any spiritual appetite, and can receive no spiritual nourishment, or have any spiritual communion with Christ.

So are all such persons, who, though they may profess to be penitent (sorrowful) ones, and believers in Christ, and say to have knowledge of Him, and love to Him.

Yet they have not true repentance, neither do they bring forth any fruits, and so as they are improper subjects of baptism, they are unworthy of the Lord's table, nor have they faith in Christ, at least only an historical one, and so cannot by faith eat the flesh, and drink the blood of the Son of God, nor perform the ordinance in a way well pleasing to God; nor have they any spiritual knowledge of Christ, only what is speculative and notional, and so cannot discern the Lord's body, nor any real love to him,

Therefore they are very improper persons to feed on a feast of love, and they cannot affectionately remember Christ, or do what they do from a principle of love to Him.

They are unworthy receivers, as are all those, who profess to be christians and whose lives and conversations do not correspond to the Gospel of Christ.

Such crucify Christ afresh, and put him to open shame, and are therefore unfit to show forth his crucifixion and death, they bring a reproach on the Gospel and ordinances of Christ, and cause His name, and ways, and truths to be blasphemed, and grieve the members of the churches of Christ, and therefore ought not to be admitted to the table of the Lord.

However, no man is in himself worthy of such an ordinance, none but those whom Christ has made so by the implantation of his grace, and the imputation of his righteousness and whom He, though unworthy in themselves, invites and encourages to come to His table, and to eat and drink abundantly.

Moreover, this ordinance may be attended upon in an unworthy manner, as when it is partook of ignorantly, persons not knowing the nature, use, and design of the lord's supper.

Also those that partake irreverently, as it was by many of the Corinthians, it is to be feared by many others, who have not that reverence of the majesty of Christ, and do not know Him as their Lord and Saviour, in whose presence they are, and who is both the author and subject of the Lord's supper.

Also sitting at the table without faith, and the exercise of it on Christ, knowing Him as the bread of life, and water of life.

And being unthankfull, when there is no grateful sense of the love of God in the gift of his Son, nor of the love of Christ, in giving himself an offering and sacrifice for sin.

Also when this feast is kept with the leaven of malice and wickedness being impure of heart and holding grudges, having an ill will to, or an hatred of any of the members of the church, not walking in love towards them.

Further for all other purposes that could be added, that this bread and cup are ate and drank unworthily, when they are eating and drinking for the wrong reasons, to gain any worldly advantage, or to be seen of men, and to be thought to be devotional and religious persons, or anything else for peronal gain and all reasons and purposes other than to commemorate Christ.

This could also be to procure eternal life and happiness thereby, thinking that the participation of the Lord's supper gives a right to glory, for of these it may said to be unworthy partakers.

1 Cor 11:28 Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

Ver. 28. But let a man examine himself,

Whether he has a true sense of sin, sorrow and repentance for it; otherwise he will see no need of a Saviour, nor will he look to Christ for salvation, or be thankful to him for redemption by him; all which are necessary in a due observance of this ordinance; also, whether he is in the faith, whether he is a partaker of the true grace of faith, which is attended with good works, and shows itself by love to Christ, and to the saints; whereby a man goes out of himself to Christ for spiritual food and strength, peace and comfort, righteousness, life, and salvation; and by which he receives all from Christ, and gives him all the glory:

This is absolutely necessary to his right and comfortable partaking of the Lord’s supper, since without faith he cannot discern the Lord’s body, nor, in a spiritual sense, eat his flesh, and drink his blood, nor attend on the ordinance in a manner acceptable unto God. Let him also examine and try whether he is sound in the doctrine of faith;

Or let him prove himself to be so, or show that he is one that is approved thereby; to whom the word of faith has come with power, and who has received it in the love of it, and firmly believes it; since an heretic is to be rejected from the communion of the church, and to be debarred the ordinances of it:

Let him examine himself, whether Christ is in him, whether he is revealed to him, and in him, as God’s way of salvation, and the hope of glory; whether he is formed in his soul, his Spirit put, and his grace implanted there; since if Christ is not within, it will be of no avail to partake of the outward symbols of his body and blood. But if a man, upon reflection, under the influence and testimony of the Spirit, can come to a satisfaction in these things, however mean and unworthy he may seem in his own sight, let him come to the table of the Lord, and welcome.

And so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup; none should discourage or hinder him; nor should he deprive himself of such a privilege, to which he has an undoubted right. There seems to be an allusion in these words to what the master of the family used at the passover, when he said {z},

"everyone that is hungry, lwkyw yty, "let him come and eat", and everyone that hath need or ought, let him keep the passover."

1 Cor 11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discriminating {and} recognizing with due appreciation that [it is Christ's] body, eats and drinks a sentence (a verdict of judgment) upon himself.

Ver. 29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily,

As before explained, # 1Co 11:27 "eateth and drinketh damnation to himself"; or guilt, or judgment, or condemnation; for by either may the word be rendered; nor is eternal damnation here meant; but with respect to the Lord’s own people, who may through unbelief, the weakness of grace, and strength of corruption, behave unworthily at this supper.

Temporal chastisement, which is distinguished from condemnation with the world, and is inflicted in order to prevent it, 1Co 11:32

Also with respect to others it intends temporal punishment, as afflictions and diseases of body, or corporeal death, as it is explained in # 1Co 11:30.

This they may be said as they eat and drink the Lord's supper, because their unworthy eating and drinking are the cause and means of these afflictions.

Just as Adam and Eve might be said to eat condemnation to themselves and posterity, because their eating of the forbidden fruit was the cause of it.

So the phrase, "does not eat condemnation", is used in the Persic version of # Joh 3:18 for "is not condemned". And let it be observed, that such an one is said to eat and drink this judgment or condemnation to himself, and not another; he is injurious to nobody but himself:

This may serve to make the minds of such easy, who are not so entirely satisfied with some persons who sit down with them at the Lord’s table, when they consider that it is to their own injury, and not to the hurt of others they eat and drink:

Not discerning the Lord’s body.
This is an instance of their eating and drinking unworthily, and a reason why they eat and drink condemnation to themselves, or contract guilt, or expose themselves either to chastisement or punishment; because they distinguish not the Lord’s supper from an ordinary and common meal, but confound them together, as did many of the Corinthians, who also did not distinguish the body of Christ in it from the body of the paschal lamb; or discern not the body of Christ, and distinguish it from the bread, the sign or symbol of it, or discern not the dignity, excellency, and usefulness of Christ’s body, as broken and offered for us, in which he bore our sins on the tree, and made satisfaction for our sins

1 Cor 11:30 That [careless and unworthy participation] is the reason many of you are weak and sickly, and quite enough of you have fallen into the sleep of death.

Ver. 30. For this cause many are weak and sickly,

Because of their unworthy participation of the Lord’s supper, many in the Corinthian church were attended with bodily infirmities and diseases, either by way of fatherly chastisement and correction and they were truly the Lord’s people, though they had behaved unworthily, or by way of punishment to such who were not the lord's people, and had sinned very grossly.

And many sleep; that is, die a corporeal death, which is often in Scripture signified by sleep, and frequently used of the saints, and their death, and may intend and include some of them here; for though the Lord might resent so far their unworthy conduct and behaviour at his table, as to remove them out of this world by death, yet their souls may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Cor 11:31 For if we searchingly examined ourselves [detecting our shortcomings and recognizing our own condition], we should not be judged {and} penalty decreed [by the divine judgment].

Ver. 31. For if we would judge ourselves,

Examine, try, and prove ourselves as above directed, before we eat and drink, or condemn ourselves, by confessing, acknowledging, and mourning over sin, and by repentance for it, or separate ourselves from the company of profane sinners, come out from among them, and touch not their unclean things, and not to join with them in their unfruitful works of darkness
Then we should not be judged, by the Lord, he would not inflict these diseases, sicknesses, and death.

1 Cor 11:32 But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined {and} chastened, so that we may not [finally] be condemned [to eternal punishment along] with the world.

Ver. 32. But when we are judged,
This is said by way of consolation to the saints, that when the hand of the Lord is upon them, and he is afflicting them, they should consider these things, not as the effects of his vindictive wrath and justice, as proper punishments for their sins, but as fatherly chastisements for their good:

We are chastened of the Lord, as children by a father, in love and kindness, in order to bring to a sense of sin, repentance for it, and acknowledgment of it, and behave the better for the future.

So that we should not be condemned with the world, the world of ungodly men, the men of the world, carnal, worldly, and Christless sinners.

There is a world, a multitude of them that will be condemned. So far has Christ been from dying for the redemption and salvation of every individual person in the world, that there is a world of men that will be righteously condemned at the last day.

Now the present afflictions and chastisements of the saints are laid upon them, and blessed to them for their spiritual good, that they may not be condemned to the second death, to everlasting fire, to endless damnation, or be punished with everlasting destruction along with them.

Here we have seen why some people do not receive healing or die prematurily, it is good to understand that eventhough much emphasis is put on miracles and healing today, and in such God is the Healer, that from God's point of view salvation will supercide bodily healing.
And so even if we do not understand it at the time, it may well be an act of God's Fatherly care for to save the soul in this manner, and/or bring the person to repentance in order to be healed, in spirit soul and body.

See also; God punish/chastise unto sicknessarrow.gif (4694 bytes)Chastised by the lord


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