|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:23-34 The apostle describes the sacred ordinance, of which he had the knowledge by revelation from Christ. As to the visible signs, these are the bread and wine. What is eaten is called bread, though at the same time it is said to be the body of the Lord, plainly showing that the apostle did not mean that the bread was changed into flesh. St. Matthew tells us, our Lord bid them all drink of the cup, ch. Mt 26:27, as if he would, by this expression, provide against any believer being deprived of the cup. The things signified by these outward signs, are Christ's body and blood, his body broken, his blood shed, together with all the benefits which flow from his death and sacrifice. Our Saviour's actions were, taking the bread and cup, giving thanks, breaking the bread, and giving both the one and the other. The actions of the communicants were, to take the bread and eat, to take the cup and drink, and to do both in remembrance of Christ. But the outward acts are not the whole, or the principal part, of what is to be done at this holy ordinance. Those who partake of it, are to take him as their Lord and Life, yield themselves up to him, and live upon him. Here is an account of the ends of this ordinance. It is to be done in remembrance of Christ, to keep fresh in our minds his dying for us, as well as to remember Christ pleading for us, in virtue of his death, at God's right hand. It is not merely in remembrance of Christ, of what he has done and suffered; but to celebrate his grace in our redemption. We declare his death to be our life, the spring of all our comforts and hopes. And we glory in such a declaration; we show forth his death, and plead it as our accepted sacrifice and ransom. The Lord's supper is not an ordinance to be observed merely for a time, but to be continued. The apostle lays before the Corinthians the danger of receiving it with an unsuitable temper of mind; or keeping up the covenant with sin and death, while professing to renew and confirm the covenant with God. No doubt such incur great guilt, and so render themselves liable to spiritual judgements. But fearful believers should not be discouraged from attending at this holy ordinance. The Holy Spirit never caused this scripture to be written to deter serious Christians from their duty, though the devil has often made this use of it. The apostle was addressing Christians, and warning them to beware of the temporal judgements with which God chastised his offending servants. And in the midst of judgement, God remembers mercy: he many times punishes those whom he loves. It is better to bear trouble in this world, than to be miserable for ever. The apostle points our the duty of those who come to the Lord's table. Self-examination is necessary to right attendance at this holy ordinance. If we would thoroughly search ourselves, to condemn and set right what we find wrong, we should stop Divine judgements. The apostle closes all with a caution against the irregularities of which the Corinthians were guilty at the Lord's table. Let all look to it, that they do not come together to God's worship, so as to provoke him, and bring down vengeance on themselves.
Verse 34. - And if any man hunger, let him eat at home. A reminder of the sacred character of the agape as a symbol of Christian love and union. Unto condemnation; rather, judgment. In Greek, the same word (krima) is used which in ver. 29 is so unhappily rendered "damnation." But even "condemnation" is too strong; for that is equivalent to katakrima. The rest; all minor details. It is not improbable that one of these details was the practical dissociation of the agape from the Lord's Supper altogether. Certainly the custom of uniting the two seems to have disappeared by the close of the first century. When I come; rather, whenever. The Greek phrase (ὡς α}ν) implies uncertainty. The apostle's plans for visiting Corinth immediately had been materially disturbed by the unfavourable tidings as to the conditions of the Church.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And if any man hunger let him eat at home,.... Whereby the apostle shows his dislike of their ante-suppers in the place of public worship, at which they behaved in so indecent a manner, neglecting the poor, and too freely indulging themselves; and therefore if anyone was hungry, and could not wait till the Lord's supper was over, let him eat at home before he come to the place of worship, and satisfy his appetite, that he might with more ease and decency attend the table of the Lord:
that ye come not together unto condemnation or judgment; that is, that you may so behave when ye come together, that you may not bring upon you the judgment of the Lord, either by way of punishment or chastisement; that is to say, bodily diseases or death.
And the rest will I set in order when I:come: meaning, not doctrines of faith, but things respecting ecclesiastical order and polity, which were amiss among them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
34. if any … hunger—so as not to be able to "tarry for others," let him take off the edge of his hunger at home [Alford] (1Co 11:22).
the rest—"the other questions you asked me as to the due celebration of the Lord's Supper." Not other questions in general; for he does subsequently set in order other general questions in this Epistle.
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