The Lord's Supper
1 Corinthians 11:20
When you come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

The abuses and disorders which prevailed in the Corinthian Church served as an occasion for an apostolic exhibition and inculcation of a more excellent way. Incidentally, we are indebted to them for the account given by the apostle of the original institution, and for instructions as to the proper observance of the ordinance. The designation here applied to the distinctive observance of the Christian Church is one of beautiful simplicity, and suggests an exposition of the acknowledged nature and benefit of the ordinance.


1. It is an ordinance of Christ, and its observance is consequently an act of obedience on the part of his people. It is not a service of man's device; the Lord himself has said, "Do this."

2. It is a tradition of apostolic times. Paul professed to have "received from the Lord that which he delivered." The sacrament was accordingly celebrated within a generation of Christ's own lifetime, and has been celebrated in unbroken continuity from that time to our own.

3. It was in the first century a regular observance of the Christian societies. This is apparent from the way in which it is mentioned in this Epistle; it is treated as something actually existing, although in some cases misunderstood and abused. And as Paul writes, "As oft as ye," etc., it is presumed that the observance took place regularly and frequently.


1. It is a memorial of Christ, and especially of his death. He himself appointed that it should be observed "in remembrance of" himself and of his sufferings whose body was broken and whose blood was shed for his people.

2. It is a Eucharist, or service of thanksgiving. The Institutor of the ordinance "gave thanks," or "blessed," probably upon the suggestion of the cup of which the Jews partook during the Paschal meal. The sacrament is a reminder of all the benefits which we have received from God, and especially of the "unspeakable gift."

3. It is a symbol and means of spiritual nourishment. Spiritually, the communicants eat the body and drink the blood of their Saviour, partaking and feeding upon Christ by faith. The real presence of the Redeemer is experienced in the heart of the faithful recipient.

4. It is a bond of fellowship and brotherhood. Hence called a communion, or the communion, as the appointed means and manifestation of a true spiritual unity. The brethren of the family are seated at one table, they join in one meal or sacred feast, they eat of one loaf and drink of one cup.


1. It is a divinely appointed means of increased and more vivid fellowship with the unseen Redeemer, who in this service draws near to those who draw near to him.

2. It is a profession of faith, attachment, and loyalty, the admitted and enjoined method of declaring aport which side we stand in the moral conflict which rages, under whose banner we have enlisted, and whom we purpose loyally to serve.

3. It is a testimony to the unbelieving world around. The death of Christ is proclaimed, not only to those within, but to those without. More effectively than by words, men are reminded that the grace of God and the salvation of Christ have come very nigh unto them. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

WEB: When therefore you assemble yourselves together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat.

Words of Evil Omen
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