What does it mean to discern the Lord's body?
Updated: Sep 2, 2020
A lie remains a lie no matter how long it has existed...whenever a scripture is misapplied or misunderstood, a major truth in Christianity is eroded or lost...and you can never get a truth out of a lie.
So in theology we don't read our opinions into the Scriptures, we let the scriptures interpret themselves...that is, we travel into the mind of the scriptures to be able to understand what the scriptures was trying to communicate...because the Bible will never mean today what it never meant when it was first written.
In Bible teaching we do exegesis that is letting the Bible speak to us from outside, letting the scriptures interpret itself…but what many people do today is eisegesis, which is reading their own opinion into the scriptures and looking for scattered verses of scriptures and using them out of their original context to back their opinion.
In Bible Study the scriptures must be allowed to interpret itself...that is what Jesus did in Luke 24:25. Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love which is good works...not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is...The love is expressed in not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together.
DISCERNING THE LORD’S BODY 1 Cor. 11: 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
There is difference between the Passover feast celebration and the Lord’s supper. The Passover was a Jewish feast or festival instituted by Moses and participated in by Jesus and his disciples. Jesus explained that the Passover was a typology of his death for our salvation.
Apostle Paul also made a reference to the Passover to teach unity and our oneness as believers. There is no instruction that believers should continue the celebration of the Passover. This is because it has been fulfilled in Christ.
The Lord’s supper which was called breaking of bread in the book of Acts and feast of charity in Jude was the coming together of believers to share food or eat together. The intention was to take care of the poor among them and to build unity and oneness among them.
This practice is being done by some churches. We call it get-together where everybody brings food and we eat together. The church in Corinth were abusing the Lord’s supper because of the level of division among them.
Apostle Paul told them that when they come together, what they do is not the Lord’s supper because each person goes ahead to eat without waiting for one another. Some become so full and others don’t get anything to eat. They don’t care for the poor and needy among them.
1 Cor 11:20 "When you are come together into one place this is not to eat the Lord's Supper"...underline the word "come together"... 1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. Underline the word again…"Come together".
Apostle Paul then told them that anybody who Participate (eats and drink) the Lord’s super selfishly (unworthily) without knowing that we are one body (discerning the Lord’s body) brings consequences (damnation) in the body.
As believers, we must acknowledge one another as of the same body and treat everyone with love without discrimination or selfishness. We are one bread, one body, one Lord, one baptism and one Spirit. FOR THIS CAUSE ARE SICK AND DEAD
1 Cor. 11: 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
The Lord’s supper which was supposed to enhance unity among the brethren in the Church of Corinth was being abused due to the level of selfishness and divisions among them. Apostle Paul told them “So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers.
As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!”
He then told them that, “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep”. I have explained that eating and drinking unworthily is about their conduct towards each other during the Lord’s supper.
Their lack of care and selfishness is the unworthy way of eating and drinking. Paul went further to say that when we don’t care for each other, it brings damnation or consequences on the body of Christ. It is for this cause of not caring for each other that is why some are weak, sickly and dead.
It is for this cause of division, selfishness and discrimination that is why some of their brethren are dead, weak and sick. When the poor among them, when the needy or challenged person among them are not cared for, it will have major consequences on them.
As believers, we must know that whatever affects our brother affects us. We are one body and for that matter we must discern the Lord’s body by caring for one another. Love for your brother is an indication that you understand our oneness in Christ. In 1 Cor 11:17-20 Paul was teaching about walking in love...showing love to the brethren sacrificially just as Christ has done for us.
We demonstrate Christ' sacrifice for us when we share and care for one another...when we go out of our way to take care of each other's needs, we participate the Lord's death...that is, when we show brethren love and care, we discern the Lord's Body...we discern the Lord's sacrifice.
# Disseminating the truth
# Bringing freedom
# Perfecting the saints