The purpose of the Church is not to partake in the Lord’s Supper, but rather for sinners to be saved and saved sinners to get right with their Saviour. The heresy was not in the repetition, but in the practice. They were treating it as if it was a meal, and others, who were drunk, were taking part. This is an ordinance of the church that Christ instituted to regularly call us back to remembrance of His tremendous sacrifice for our justification.
Qualifications of partaking in the Lord’s Supper:
1. Sharing, not taking all that would fill a person before the others could partake.
2. Remembering the reason you are eating and drinking, not greedily consuming the bread and wine!
3. Focus on what is symbolized by this ordinance. “Shew the Lord’s death”
- Our actions declare its impact and relevance
4. Don’t take part “Unworthily”
- If you are not a child of God
- If you are drunken
- If you are just going through the motions, and not remembering
- If you are living in sin
5. Examine yourself to ensure that these measures are proper within you
God takes this Church ordinance very serious. Apparently God’s hand of judgment was upon this church and people were sick and dying as a result of their sinful, heretical disregard for the Lord’s Supper. Paul reminds them to look at their fleshly deeds in a harsh manner, comparing them to the holiness of Christ, and to make the necessary changes and to repent before partaking.
I Corinthians 11:20-34:
20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
22 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.
23 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:
24 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.
25 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.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
27 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.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.