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What does it mean to take communion in an unworthy manner? By Greg.





 

                 What does it mean to take communion in an unworthy manner?                        

 
This important question is derived from the text in 1 Corinthians.  Let's take a look.
1 Cor. 11:26-29, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the 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, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly."
There is much discussion about what it means to take the bread and cup "in an unworthy manner."  There are different interpretations.
1. It could be that those taking the communion elements needed to be fully aware that they represent the sacrifice of Christ by which we are redeemed from sin.  Therefore, to participate in communion while not understanding this would be to take it in an unworthy manner.
2. Another possibility is that taking the supper with willful, unconfessed sin would be in an unworthy manner.
3. The earlier context of 1 Cor. 11 seems to suggest that taking communion in an unworthy manner means to do so while you have a problem with another Christian with whom you are not reconciled.
4. Another view is that some Corinthians were using the communion supper as an opportunity for self-indulgence, which is why Paul mentioned about how some got drunk in verse 21.
5. The fifth view is that both elements (bread and wine) must be taken, not just one (bread or wine) since Christ commanded that both be taken.  This would, incidentally, invalidate the Roman Catholic practice of taking the wafer only.
6. The final view is that the person taking communion must be worthy in order to take it.  But this view, however, is dangerous because no one is worthy to take communion supper.  Our worthiness comes from Christ, not ourselves.
Let's Look at Context
The context of the verses seems to begin around verse 16 of 1 Cor. 11.  Paul mentions people who are contentious and that there were divisions among them (v. 18).  He also mentions people getting drunk in v. 21.  Paul then says in verse 22, "Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you."
It is after this that Paul speaks more directly about communion and how it represents the Body and Blood of Christ.  In verse 26 he says, "as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes."  Paul relates the communion to the sacrifice of Christ and then says to examine one's self in verse 28.  It seems most probable that Paul is telling people to examine their motives, make sure there is no dissension with other believers, to take the supper solemnly, and that they were to rightly understand that it represents the sacrifice of Christ.
Finally, many Christians do not feel worthy of taking communion because of their sin.  But the Christian should realize that communion is for sinners, for Christians who are sinners.  It is not that communion makes sinning okay.  The Christian should always war against his sin, but Christians should not withhold themselves from the table if they are trying to repent of their sins and are struggling to gain victory but have not yet attained it.  It is the struggle against sin that is an admission that we must depend upon Christ and his grace.  In our struggle, we judge sin to be sin and war against it.  It is precisely this struggle that is a vindication of our position with Christ and a manifestation of our need for communion as an act of dependence upon His work and grace.
 
 

                    Can a person receive communion if they have sinned?

 
I sure hope so, otherwise no one can receive communion, because the Bible says that 
"all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 4:23) 
The communion ceremony is a memorial of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us. The wine represents his blood that was shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. 
I Corinthians 11:25 
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. 
The broken bread represents Jesus Christ's body, which was broken so that we could receive physical healing. 
I Corinthians 11:24 
and when he had given thanks, he brake it (the bread), and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  
I Peter 2:24 
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 
The communion is to be done "in remembrance of" Jesus Christ and what God accomplished for us through him. So in essence, when you take communion, you are acknowledging that you that you have sinned, but you are thankful that Jesus Christ paid the price for your sins so you don't have to live in condemnation anymore. Communion lifts the burden of our sins from our shoulders so that we can walk upright, as sons of God, thankful for what He accomplished for us in Christ. 
So please, do take communion and remember what Jesus Christ gave for you, and then leave knowing that your sins have been forgiven and try to be the best person you can be.
                                                                                                                                                                                  God Bless, Greg.
 









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Published on: 2013-05-16 (398943 reads)

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