I Corinthians 11: 20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
This helps us understand why we observe the Lord’s Supper and our part in it. It’s a privilege as believers to be partakers. This was written 20 years after Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. Before his death he broke the bread, passed it out and passed around the cup. He then took a basin and towel and washed the feet of his disciples. When he spoke of communion he said to do it in remembrance of me.
Corinth was a Gentile church. They had many problems; the Holy Spirit was hindered. They couldn’t even get the Lord’s Supper right. Paul heard about it and wrote to them. Some misunderstood what the Lord’s Supper meant. They thought it was a feast like one we’d have in our fellowship hall. It wasn’t about food. Paul asked them if they didn’t have homes to eat in. In most churches today you see good attendance at regular services, but it you announce a service for communion and feet washing you have low numbers in attendance. It’s one of the most blessed opportunities for worship. It’s a mistake to avoid it. Many are not able to participate in feet washing. Some can’t participate in the eating and drinking due to medical reasons, but the Lord blesses them for just being there.
Salvation is not a matter of ordinances; it’s about faith in Jesus Christ. There are two mistakes in thinking about the ordinance of communion and feet washing—making it more than it is or making it less than it is. Some think if you don’t take communion every Sunday you won’t go to heaven. That’s a mistake. It makes more out of it than should be. It’s not part of salvation. Jesus needs no help in getting us to heaven. Some religions even believe the act of communion is one of continually being saved thereby making it part of salvation. That’s a mistake. They think the broken bread is literally Jesus’ body and the cup is his blood and that each time they participate they receive Jesus. That’s a dangerous mistake and heresy. Jesus doesn’t want us to depart from the simple-ness of what he did. The broken bread represents his body given for us on the cross. The cup represents his blood that was shed. We partake for one reason—to remember Jesus Christ. Our hope is not in a ritual but in the person of Jesus.
You can make more out of than you should, but some make less of it than they should. Some claim embarrassment and let their pride keep them from partaking. Some think they don’t have to participate saying “it’s not necessary for me to do it.” It’s not necessary to go to heaven, but the Lord told us to do it. It’s a matter of obedience. We remember how we were saved and who saved us. It’s more than an optional thing to do or something not to get involved in. As children of God, we should get as involved as we can. Never feel you don’t need it. The Lord felt the need to institute it. When we partake we honor him.
It can’t be done just any way we want. It must be done God’s way. It’s about our participation. Jesus came, suffered for our sins and died for us. We can be saved when we believe on him. We acknowledge Jesus did it all when we participate in the Lord’s Supper. We show his death until he comes. It’s a pledge of hope as we continue in him that we’ll see him one day in the kingdom of heaven. It’s a mistake not to partake. When we can, we should. Not doing so is a refusal to identify with the Lord.
We’re not worthy of it. Jesus is worthy and when we partake we say “thank you, Jesus.” Through his body and his blood, we are saved. We remember what he did for us.