11:17-22 The apostle rebukes the disorders in their partaking of the Lord's supper. The ordinances of Christ, if they do not make us better, will be apt to make us worse. If the use of them does not mend, it will harden. Upon coming together, they fell into divisions, schisms. Christians may separate from each other's communion, yet be charitable one towards another; they may continue in the same communion, yet be uncharitable. This last is schism, rather than the former. There is a careless and irregular eating of the Lord's supper, which adds to guilt. Many rich Corinthians seem to have acted very wrong at the Lord's table, or at the love-feasts, which took place at the same time as the supper. The rich despised the poor, and ate and drank up the provisions they brought, before the poor were allowed to partake; thus some wanted, while others had more than enough. What should have been a bond of mutual love and affection, was made an instrument of discord and disunion. We should be careful that nothing in our behaviour at the Lord's table, appears to make light of that sacred institution. The Lord's supper is not now made an occasion for gluttony or revelling, but is it not often made the support of self-righteous pride, or a cloak for hypocrisy? Let us never rest in the outward forms of worship; but look to our hearts.
17. in this—which follows.
I declare—rather, "I enjoin"; as the Greek is always so used. The oldest manuscripts read literally "This I enjoin (you) not praising (you)."
that—inasmuch as; in that you, &c. Here he qualifies his praise (1Co 11:2). "I said that I praised you for keeping the ordinances delivered to you; but I must now give injunction in the name of the Lord, on a matter in which I praise you not; namely, as to the Lord's Supper (1Co 11:23; 1Co 14:37).
not for the better—not so as to progress to what is better.
for the worse—so as to retrograde to what is worse. The result of such "coming together" must be "condemnation" (1Co 11:34).