Let My People Think

Posts tagged ‘Lord’s body’

Communion without Condemnation – part 2

communion

(continued from part 1)

Strictly speaking, the word “condemnation” translates the Greek word “katakrima”. If this word is understood to have only a judicial meaning, then we are bound to read the divine judge into the picture (since judicial verdicts imply the active agency of a judge issuing a verdict, by definition), and ascribe the initiative to him. However, the word “condemnation” is a translation of the Greek word “kata-kri-ma”, which simply means “adverse decision effect”. It may or may not be judicial decision. For instance, if a building is condemned, it simply means that someone decided that it should be marked for destruction. It’s a practical decision, not a judicial verdict.

The world is said to be under condemnation, or “adverse decision-effect” – and that adverse decision which affected the world was made by Adam in the garden of Eden, not by God. It’s quite clear from the Scriptures. God actually warned Adam of the adverse effect of his decision (i.e. death), if anything. God’s desire, in contrast, is that the world might be saved through Christ.

Now, if you read the well-known 1 Cor 11 “communion” passage through this prism, it will read very differently from what’s still commonly taught in a lot of places. Best way to read it is in Greek interlinear with grammar parsings. I will quote from NKJV for brevity’s sake, with revelant Greek verb forms explained in the parentheses:
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Communion without Condemnation – part 1

communion

Let’s look at the primary text concerning the communion / Lord’s supper / partaking of the Lord’s body:

1 Corinthians 11
20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.
21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.
[…]
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,
24 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.”
25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
[…]
29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

First, let’s see the larger context of the passage.

If you read the preceding verses starting with v. 17, you will see that there were cliques / divisions in the Corinthian gathering. (This problem goes all the way back to chapter 1 of the epistle, vv. 10-17 – “I hear there are divisions among you”. Chapter 11 describes some of the ways these divisions play out in practice).

Let’s unpack the concepts of “guilt” and “unworthiness”.
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Partaking of the Lord’s body

communion

Let’s look at the primary text concerning the communion / Lord’s supper / partaking of the Lord’s body:

1 Corinthians 11
29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Let’s begin by establishing the cause-and-effect sequence, as laid out in the passage, which is as follows: people act in a certain way, the result of that is them being weak and sick, and after that the Lord teaches them something. Rather than the Lord acting a certain way, and they are weak and sick as the result.

Let’s look at the verses in sequence.

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