1 Corinthians 11:29
For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
I. THE NECESSITY OF COMMUNICATING SUITABLY, AND IN A RIGHT MANNER.
1. God. commands it (ver. 28). The matter and manner of all duties are linked together in the command of God. What God hath joined, let no man put asunder.
2. No duty is pleasing to God, unless it be done in a right manner.
3. Nothing is a work theologically good. but what is done in a right manner (Hebrews 11:6). There was a vast difference betwixt Cain and Abel's offering (Genesis 4:4, 5; cf. Hebrews 11:4). Cloth may be good, and yet the coat base, if it be marred in the making.
4. Though the work be in itself good, yet if it be done not in a right manner, it provokes God to inflict heavy strokes on the doer (ver. 31).
5. Only the duty done in a right manner prospers and gets the blessing. Our meat can do us no good, and our clothes cannot warm us, if we do not use them in the right manner.
6. If we communicate not in a right manner, we do no more than hypocrites actually do, and pagans may do.
7. God gets no glory otherwise from us in our duty (Matthew 5:16).
II. WHY IT IS, THAT THOUGH THE RIGHT MANNER OF COMMUNICATING BE THE MAIN THING, YET MANY CONTENT THEMSELVES WITH THE BARE DOING OF IT, NEGLECTING THE DOING OF IT SUITABLY, AND IN A RIGHT MANNER.
1. Because to communicate is easy, but to communicate in a right manner is very difficult.
2. Because they obtain their end by the bare performance of the duty. As —
(1) Peace of mind. Many consciences are not so far awakened as to give men no rest without doing duty in a right manner, yet they will not hold their peace should a man neglect duties altogether.
(2) Credit in the world. It is no small matter to have a name, and to seem good.
3. Men may get duties done, and their lust kept too; they may go to a communion table, and to the table of devils too; but to do duties in the right manner is inconsistent with peace with our lusts (Psalm 66:18).
4. Because men mostly have low and mean thoughts of God and His service (Malachi 1:6-8; cf. Hebrews 12:28, 29).
5. Because men mostly are acquainted with fellowship with God to be had in duties; they know not the necessity of it, nor the excellency of it. Hence they are not at pains about it.
(T. Boston, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.