Paul had previously addressed the issue of the Lord’s supper in a letter to the  Corinthians (1 Cor 5). This letter reveals to us other important instructions regarding the Lord’s supper.  These instructions are extremely critical and reveal the importance of holiness in the  Lord’s house. Here are the words of rebuke that he spoke in 1 Cor 5:7,8

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

THE DANGEROUS SITUATION OF THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH

The Corinthian  church was in a terrible situation in which a man had an incestous relationship with his mother.  Furthermore, Paul reproved the church for failing to mourn about the situation. This tells us that we should mourn when a member of the body falls into error. Paul also reproved the church for glorying in the sin of the brother.

The church was also guilty of extending to the brother the  privileges of fellowship rather than disfellowshipping him.  The problem was that this brother, compared to leaven, was capable of infecting the entire body with his sin.  Paul called him a “wicked person” (v 13) and asked the church to do the following:

  • purge him out of the body OR TO  “remove this wicked person from among you so that you can stay pure. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us” (New Living Translation – v 7)
  • Do not fellowship any member who practices sin e.g  fornication, covetousness, idolatry, extortion, reviling, drunkenness, etc. 

DO NOT INCLUDE MEMBERS WHO SIN IN THE LORD’S SUPPER

The brother whose incestous lifestyle was known  was still participating in the Lord’s supper!  Paul called him the leaven of malice and wickedness (v 8) and asked the brethren not to include him in the Lord’s supper. 

In order to emphasize the seriousness of keeping the Lord’s supper in sincerity of truth, Paul reiterated his teaching in 1 Cor 5: 11:

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”

Since the church has been given divine authority to judge the brethren who sin, the Corinthians were entreated to put away the wicked brother. Why was he called wicked?:

  • he had returned to his vomit
  • he would be a bad influence on the body/his spirit of wickedness and malice could be transferred
  • he was disregarding the blood and body of the Lord

This sounds harsh, but 1 Cor 11 clearly shows that the one who eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks a death feast.  The supper that is supposed to bless becomes an instrument of death to the one who disregards the blood and body of the Lord. What is the point of participating in a feast which represents deliverance from sin when the participant is living a sinful lifestyle?

Since he refused to repent of his sin, the church was to deliver him to satan for the destruction of the body so that his spirit could be saved in the day of judgement (v. 5). Such an individual is better off in the hands of satan since he/she may repent (did Judas repent?). It is far worse to fall into the hands of an angry God for mocking the blood and body of the Lord.  Scriptures show the disastrous outcomes of falling into the hands of an angry God.

These instructions about the Lord’s supper remain today.  Blessings!

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