The thread of thought in Romans 2:17-3:8 is about how the Jews had God-given good things for sake of their worship and their lives that they either sanctimoniously or hypocritically misunderstood or misused. At least in the New Testament, is there any better example of a similar problems with professing Christians than the Lord’s Supper?
First century believers didn’t have their own copies of God’s Word to get stuck at the checkbox level of Bible reading plans (or daily streak in their Bible app) or special posing for Instagram devotions like us. They didn’t have clever Christian t-shirts and bumper stickers for branding purposes, even as the driver curses out someone who cuts him off. They couldn’t make sure all six radio presets were set to the only two Christian stations to impress their mechanic. But for the Corinthians, they religiously bombed communion.
The Lord Himself on the night He was betrayed initiated this sacrament. Unlike the Jews, we only have two ordinances in the church, and generally baptism isn’t repeated. Coming to the Table, though, is to be regular, if not weekly.
The gospel writers don’t actually include much about the bread the wine or the process. Paul, though, corrected the misuse and gives additional warnings.
The Corinthians were having outward communion but not inward, not spiritual. They were remembering the Lord’s death by having the meal but they weren’t really reflecting the significance of His death in their meal. They were posturing, and at least those of means had turned it into a big party. For them, the love-feast was a self-love feast. Others weren’t good enough to eat with them.
Many of us today know that it’s a meal of remembrance, but too often we miss what’s to be remembered, that Christ died for us that we might fellowship with the God. We instead focus on remembering our sin, and treat the Table like God thinks we’re not good enough to eat with Him. And on one hand we’re not, but, we believe in Christ. We come with Him together to the Table. It is the gospel that announces the unworthy are welcome by faith.
So love the Lord, love the bread and wine, love your brother and the body of Christ. Examine yourself that it may not be about yourself.