1 Corinthians 11 Paper Essay, Research Paper
Paul the Apostle. He was initially known as Saul of tarsus. He was born a Jew in a family of Pharisees (ACTS 23.6) of the tribe of Benjamin in Tarsus of Ciicilia. He was a tent maker by profession. Paul was an oppressor of the Church. He breathed threats and murder against the disciples of the lord ….. and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities (Acts 26:10-11). He was on his way to Damascus that the spirit hit Paul and heard Jesus Christ s voice instructing him as minister and witness to the gentiles.
Paul visited Corinth during his second missionary journey Probably in AD 50. Having been in some peril in Macedonia he fled by ship to Athens (ACTS17: 5-15) He then journeyed a short distance to Corinth where he stayed with Priscilla and Aquila. He preached and upset the Jews. They hauled him before the new governor gallio hoping to silence him but the case was thrown out of court for having no merit After 18 months this was Paul s longest stay anywhere except for Ephesus. He left for Syria to continue his missionary Work.
Paul was a very important person and wrote many books of the New Testament. He also emphasized on the fact that salvation was not meant only for Jews but for gentiles as well.
Two events sparked the writing of first Corinthians some 3 or 4 years later. First he heard there was a divisive spirit in the church (1corinthians 1:11). Secondly he received a letter in which questions where asked on marriage and other matters. In addition a delegation came from Corinth and filled in his knowledge on the problem. Being unable to visit them he decided to deal with the problem through Letters.
The Lords Supper
17: He gives instructions and tells them he is not praising them.
18: Rebukes them for their opposing groups in meetings.
19: Divisions necessary for good/bad to be separated.
20:21:22: Rebukes the people for loosing the significance if the lords.
23: The teaching he gives is what he received from Christ
24: – Christ thanked God
-The bread represented his body and the wine represented his blood
25: The supper represented the new covenant with God.
26: Each time you eat the bread or drink the wine you proclaim the lord s death till he comes.
27: If anyone eats from the bread or drinks the wine in a way that dishonors him, he is guilty of sin.
28: Everyone should examine himself before eating from the cup.
29: If he does not recognize the meaning of the lord s body he brings judgement upon himself as he eats and dreams
30: That is why many are sick and ill and have died.
31: If we examine ourselves firs we will not come under God s judgement.
32: We are judged so we may not be condemned with the world.
33: Be patient at the lords supper.
34: -Eat at home before. So you will not come under Gods judgement when you meet.
-As for the other matters, I will settle them when we meet.
Key verses 26 & 27.
The bible passage can be divided into two for better understanding:
1st corinthians11: 7-22: The wrong type of feast.
The main problem in this part of Corinthians is when the people of the church have written to Paul complaining about how the holy meal of communion is being carried out in the church in Corinth. The people had a wrong perspective of the feast. It was a regular custom for the people to meet together for meals. There was in particular a feast eranos to which each participant brought his own share of the food. The early church called this feasts the Agape or Love feast. It was a way of producing and nourishing real Christian fellowship. But in the church in Corinth things had gone sadly wrong with this feast. In the church there were the rich and the poor those who could afford plenty and the slaves who could bring hardly anything at all. For some slaves it might have been the most decent meal in the whole week. The art of sharing in Corinth had gotten lost. The rich did not share their food but ate it in little exclusive groups by themselves hurrying through it in case they had to share. While the poor had next to nothing.
Paul reproached them and told them that a church is no true church if the art of sharing is forgotten. A true Christian cannot bear to have too much while others have too little; He finds his greatest privilege not in jealousy guarding his privileges but in giving them away.
1 Corinthians 11:22-34: The lords supper.
This letter gives us our warrant for the sacrament of the lord s supper. The passage also talks about eating and drinking the bread and wine unworthily. Unworthily here can refer to two things.
- Not knowing the meaning of the bread and of the wine and no knowledge of the obligation set upon him.
- It can also be referring to the divisions, which Paul mentioned earlier in the writing. Those who divide according to class or eat and drink carelessly. Men in whose hearts there is bitterness, contempt and hatred against his brother man.
Nevertheless the phrase which forbids a man to eat and drink unworthily does not shut out the man who is a sinner and knows it. If the table of Christ was only for perfect people, none might ever approach it . (Barclay)
In Corinth there was a big problem where the poor were incapable to provide for themselves. They felt ashamed and humiliated for they had nothing causing tensions.Paul tried to reassure them with the point that God accepts rthe poor so the rich ought not to make them feel unworthy.
- What does the blood/flesh represent
- What does the new covenant refer to
- What does it mean to sin against the body
- Why continue The lords supper.
When jesus said this is my body, he said of the bread. The broken bread of the sacrement does not stand for the body of christ but it does more. It is not only a means of memory but a means of contact with Jesus Christ. The blood is the life says the law ( deuteronomy 12:23) The very scarlet of the wine stands for the very blood without which a new relationship of man to God could never have been possible. These were the foundations for the new covenant to God which was not a one of lambs and other animals but one through his son (Tyndale).
Few churches today may be guilty of gluttony or drunkenness during the lord s supper or church service. However modern christians fail to recognize the body of the lord between types of chrisians examples are the unwritten dress code of certain churches excludes those who can t afford that type of dreesing. The music played in the church, discrimination between members due to their social position ,gender discrimination. A church where social and class distinction occur is no true church at all. A church is no true church if the art of sharing is forgotten. When people wish to keep things to themseves. The true christian cannot bear to have too much while others have to little , he finds his greatest priviledge in giving away
The text goes on to talk about a man eating of the body unworthily. This consists of two things:
-It may mean the man who eats and drinks unworhtily does not know the the sacred symbols mean. IT may mean he eats with no reverence and no sense of love that these symbols stand for and the obligation that is laid upon him.
- It may mean that the phrase the body of christ stands for the Church(Barclay pg105). As we see in these pesice of the corinthians, Paul has been rebuking those with their divisions. By being at variance with their brothers they are destroying the body of christ.
However we must note that unworthilly does not shut out the man who is a sinner and knows it. In fact it is for sinners . IF the table of christ were only for perfect people non might ever approach it.
Each time we take this sacrement it is to remind us of our covenant with the lord. It is to reming us of what the lord did for us when he died on the cross.
Covenant: DIATHEKE: Hebrew word meaning agreement. It does not contain idea of joint obligation. So better trans;ation to english is promise. Obligation is usually taken by one person. In this passage by Paul “The blood is the life” says the law(deuteronomy 12:23). It costs the life of jesus to make this new relationship possible(Barclay). The scarlet wine of the sacrement stands for the blood of Christ without which The new covenant will not have been possible.
The follozing references refer to covenants:
Acts 3:25 Romans 11:27 1Corinthians 11:27 Galatians 3:17
Acts 7:8 1Corinthians 3:6 Galatians 4:24
Supper:In this part of corinthians, supper is to some extent misleading. Usually to us it is not the main meal of the day. But the greek word is deipnon. For the greeks breajfast was just some bread dipped in wine. The midday meal was eaten anywhere even on the street or in the city square. The deipnon was the main meal of the day , where people sat down with no hurry and not only satisfied their hunger but lingered long in each others company. The very word shows that the meal was one where people were to “linger long” in each others company.
Mathew 26:26-30 Mark 14:22-26 Luke 22:15-20 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
Mathew 26:17 Mark 14:12 Luke 22:1 1 Corinthians 16:8
A church in which social and class distinctions exist is no church at all.In this part of corinthians, Priority of unity within the congregations;Genuine devotion toward one another as Family of God; Harmony or rapport that transcends social barriers are all being emphasiwed by paul. He explains that we all make up the body of christ and should not be separated. “Every man in whose heart there is bitterness; contempt or hatred against his brother man as he comes to the table of our lord eats and drinks unworthily”Barclay.
Christian giving expresses the principle of Grace. It is one means by which the Christian demonstrates graciousness. Having been a recipient of God’s Grace in salvation and in the Christian life, the Christian ministers grace to others. He is a conduit of Grace. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35).Poverty is no excuse for not sharing. Believers should not have to be urged to give, because Jesus gave Himself. We give in gratitude, cheerfully, willingly, and in Grace. Read 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 8:1-15.
The amount you give should be determined according to the following criteria:
-By the need, 2 Cor. 8 and 9
-By how much wealth you have, 2 Cor. 8:12-15; and by how much God prospers you, 1 Cor. 16:2, Deut. 16:17; Matt. 10:8; Acts 11:29.
-Giving is to be systematic (1 Cor. 16:2) and sacrificial (Luke 21:3,4; 2 Cor. 8:2)
With Jesus a new covenant is opened to man dependent not on law but on love. Dependent not on mans ability to keep the law but on free grace of Gods love offered to men. Each time we eat of the bread and drink of the wine, we