“26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show 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 eat and drink unworthily, eat and drink damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” 1 Corinthians 11:26-30
Most Believers are familiar with the church ordinance of communion. Communion is taken as a memorial of the Body and Blood of Jesus. Just to be sure, communion is NOT the same as what the Roman Catholics refer to as transubstantiation. Transubstantiation is the false belief that once the bread and wine (alcohol) is blessed by the priest it is literally turned in to the Body and Blood of Jesus and is then offered to the congregation as a “re-sacrifice” for sin. The Blood and Body of Jesus Christ does not need to be offered up ever again for the redemption of sin. Jesus Christ is now sitting at the Right Hand of the Throne of God and His Sacrifice was and is complete. When Jesus Christ said “It is finished”, He did not lie…it is indeed finished, there is no “re-offering” necessary to atone for sin.
For the Believer, communion is in remembrance of the atoning work of Jesus Christ for whosoever will believe. It is a time when we reflect on our contribution to the death of Jesus and recognize the penalty paid on our behalf by Christ, rather than the benefits afforded. Partaking in communion does not itself atone for sin but puts us in remembrance of the Atonement already made on our behalf.
Regrettably many are weak and sickly among us because they have not discerned the Lord’s Body. As we often stand with the congregation to partake in communion and examine ourselves, we do not recognize the two fold purpose of the Sacrifice of Jesus for us, the Believer. Jesus came to die on Calvary’s Cross to pay the penalty of sin for whosoever will believe. However, Jesus also came to die on Calvary’s Cross to give us dominion over sin.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under Grace.” Romans 6:14.
Unknowingly many are looking to other methods for dominion over sin and they are not discerning the Lord’s Body correctly. The idea here is NOT to exclude any Believer from partaking in communion. God forbid no! However, it is to encourage the Believer to examine themselves and discern from where their dominion over sin has come. What part was played for that victory and by whom? Was it our faith in Jesus’ atoning work which allows the Holy Spirit to isolate our sin nature and in turn gives us dominion over sin? Or was it our part in saying “no” to sin? Just to be clear, we cannot “just say no” to sin unless we are submitted to God. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the Believer that will free us from the law of sin and death when our faith is properly placed in the finished work of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:2).
Spiritual adultery, the marriage of the Believer to Christ for Salvation but attending to another way for Sanctification (dominion over sin), will be accounted for regardless of whether we partake in communion or not. However, prayerfully consider and ask the Lord next time you stand at the communion table with the Brethren are you discerning His Body correctly. The Word of God says many are sick and weakly among us because we are not (1 Corinthians 11:29-30). Satan’s most powerful weapon is deceit and he has deceived many by seducing them into another method for dominion over sin.
-Donna Clark Warren