In I Corinthians 11:29-30 it refers to eating in an “unworthy manner”. What is a worthy manner?
When I was in college to become a teacher I was encouraged to present my student expectations in the positive instead of the negative. For instance, instead of saying don’t do this or don’t do that, I was told to say do this or do that. I think there’s merit to that concept. So for this Faith Fix, instead of looking at what it means to drink in an unworthy manner let’s look at what it means to eat and drink worthily.
This passage of scripture isn’t about food at all. It’s about communion. And it’s not about the ritual of communion as seen in churches, but about what it means to have true communion with our Lord. Let’s read the scriptures in question, 1 Corinthians 11:29-30, in context of some previous verses.
1 Corinthians 11:23-30
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.
When Jesus died for us, bloodshed and broken body, He did so in order for us to die to our sinful nature and live as born again, new creatures. He broke His body so ours could be made right. Think about that. Look at 1 Peter 2:24, “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” Jesus died that we may live to righteousness. Righteousness is the state of him who is as he ought to be, the condition acceptable to God. In 1 Corinthians 11:28 we see powerful instruction to, “proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” This is not in word alone, but in the way we live our lives. In order to live worthily of the payment Jesus paid, we must live as God intended us to live, according to His Word, doers of His Word, not hearers only. (James 1:22)
Look also at 1 John 2:5-6, “…whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” The proof that we are eating and drinking worthily is proven in how we live. Do we live like Jesus paid for us to live differently? Do we live like salvation means something to us?
Recently, the Lord revealed to me something very precious and sobering as I was into the Epistles (the books of the Bible that were letters of instruction to New Testament churches.) a reoccurring theme of instruction is revealed, that we are to be the light and bring the light to a dark world. This is how we drink worthily! Remember Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Now skip to Ephesians 5:8, “for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.”
Stay worthy of the blood and broken body of Jesus and of His salvation by living like He intended you to live. You don’t have to be perfect, but continually being perfected. I’ll leave you with great wisdom found in Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”