“For if you eat the bread or drink the cup unworthily, not discerning the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. But if we examine ourselves, we will not be examined by God and judged in this way. But when we are judged and disciplined by the Lord, we will not be condemned with the world” (1Cor 11:29-31)
Today we had a wonderful Holy Communion service. We do it once a month. Many people attend our church just because they were touched by God during the Holy Communion services. This is always power released by the Holy Spirit as a sign that Jesus is alive and that Jesus is Lord! The evil spirit of religion has corrupted many churches. Their Holy Communion services make no impact at all. It is just a routine regular gathering. There is no supernatural power, no miracles, no healing and no deliverance. The truth is that there is power in the name of Jesus, especially when we come at His table! “Oh, the Blood of Jesus…”
Apostle Paul gives instructions concerning the protocol at the Lord’s Table. The first Christians obeyed the Lord’s command and took the Holy Communion in remembrance of Him. But there was need for correction. The greatest mistake they did was to come to the Lord’s Table with a carnal mind and a careless attitude. It was their practice to gather and eat together just for fellowship. From time to time, they had a meal, a love feast, to celebrate their salvation and to bless the poor. The general atmosphere was joyful, friendly and relaxed. But when they came to the Lord’s Table their attitude had to change. There was need for a sober, spiritual and discerning mind that will ignite a grateful heart. There was danger of taking the Holy Communion in an ‘unworthy’ manner. Ignoring this warning produced serious effects: weakness, sickness and even untimely death.
What are the lessons we should learn as we come to the Lord’s Table today?
The first one is that the Holy Communion is not an ordinary meal. It should not be taken just as food for the belly, just to satisfy the natural hunger. It has a deep spiritual meaning and it is our duty to discover it. The Holy Communion is more like taking the medicines prescribed by the doctor; it is not ‘a take away’ from the restaurant. You see that your attitude should be different.
Secondly, there is this warning about taking the Communion in ‘an unworthy manner’. This warning is connected with the capacity to discern the Body of Christ. Simply said, if we properly discern the Body of Christ, we should take the Holy Communion and we shall be blessed, healed and delivered. If we are unable to discern the Body of Christ, we should not take the Holy Communion, for fear of grieving the Holy Spirit and the negative effects that follow.
What then does it mean to ‘discern the Body of Christ’?
To ‘discern’ it means to see behind the surface of things; to see with spiritual eyes what lies behind the visible; to understand the mind of God about things. It means to have the mind of Christ. It also means to be totally free from deception and lies. It means to have prophetic eyes to see what God sees and to judge things by the Holy Spirit. In Greek the word ‘discern’ means to examine, discriminate and judge correctly; to separate the parts, place them in the proper position so that there is no confusion. For example, the Word of God penetrates the natural mind; it is a discerner of the thoughts and attitudes of men (Heb 4:12). This is another example: The spiritual man understands the things of the Spirit. But the natural man does not understand them, for these are spiritual discerned. There is a gift of the Holy Spirit called ‘the discerning of spirits’. That gift enables the believer to see in the Spirit realm and to clearly identify the evil spirits behind the visible realm (1Cor 2:14; 12:10).
So this is the danger: taking the Holy Communion without spiritually discerning the Body of Christ. The warning is against the religious unbelievers primarily. The Holy Communion is like a lie detector that can never fail.
What do we know about the Body of Christ? What can we discern about it?
In Greek the word ‘body’ means something completely whole, no parts missing. This word is similar with the word ‘sozo’ which means salvation, healing, deliverance and protection. The lesson is that person who is a member of the Body of Christ is saved. The believer can also be healed, delivered, protected from enemies and made whole. No unbeliever has these privileges. Do you see that? Do you understand that? Do you discern that?
When we take the Holy Communion, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we remember and discern the things that happen to our Lord’s Body at Calvary. Before Jesus died, they insulted and mocked Him. But immediately He died, God did not allow anybody to harm or wound His Body. With the eyes of the Spirit we see His body hanging on the Cross. Death has done its worst. We then see how gently they took His body down. The believers at the foot of the Cross lovingly wrapped His body in a cloth. they carried the body to the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. He asked Pilate to give him the body of Christ for a proper burial in his own newly built tomb. We discern and feel how our Lord’s Body was left in that tomb. After three days, Jesus rose form the death with a new spiritual Body that none can ever destroy. With this spiritual Body He is able to pass thru the walls and to comfort His people. We also understand and discern the power of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by which the believers in Christ become a part of His Body. Our Lord is the Head of the Body and His life flows to all the members. The parts are many. The gifts are many. But the Body is one! We discern, we understand that wonderful miracle and privilege!
We gratitude in our hearts, humbled by these revelations, bowing in worship, we come to the Lord’s Table and remember Him.
We are healed and delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit! Thank You Lord Jesus!
May the anointing released in today service touch you too wherever you are!
“There is power, power wonder-working power
In the Blood of the Lamb…”