July 2014 Dear Friends, I feel like the biblical writer Jude today (Jude v. 3). I was going to write about freedom and liberty since it is July with our American celebration of the 4th; but reading my Bible I was impressed with 1 John’s account of the assurance of our salvation in Christ and [...]
Back when I lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia, at this time of year there would be an ad on the radio that went, “School bells ring and children sing, it’s back to Robert Hall [a store like Walmart] again.” Summer is moving along and I trust you are having a good summer and are able to be refreshed on a vacation. School will be starting in Montgomery County August 25.
AWANA resumes September 3 (Wednesday) at 6:30 p.m. If you know of any children kindergarten through sixth grade in your neighborhood who could benefit from this program—and they would—talk to their parents and share with them this great opportunity for their children to learn the Word of God.
Grandparent’s Day is on September 7. The sermon that day, “What God says about Himself: I Am Your Father” Hebrews 12:4-11.
Those are some announcements of future things. Now, let us consider two verses in 1 Corinthians 11 that have been on my mind since I preached through 1 Cor. 11 at the Lord’s Supper Service on July 13—v. 27, “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” and v. 29, “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”
In Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament he states, “…Most persons interpret it as if it were unworthy, and not unworthily; and seem to suppose that it refers to their personal qualifications, to their unfitness to partake of it, rather than to the manner in which it is done….the word here used is an adverb, and not an adjective, and has reference to the manner of observing the ordinance, and not their personal qualifications or fitness.”
William MacDonald in the Believer’s Bible Commentary makes the following comments, “We are all unworthy to partake of this solemn Supper…but that is not the subject here. The apostle is not speaking of our own personal unworthiness. Cleansed by the blood of Christ, we can approach God in all the worthiness of His own beloved Son. But Paul is speaking here of the disgraceful conduct which characterized the Corinthians as they gathered together for the Lord’s Supper. They were guilty of careless, irreverent behavior.”
The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck gives an interesting light by considering the entire context of the passage stating that the passage “is usually intended to produce soul-searching introspection and silent confession to Christ so that no one will sin against the presence of the Lord by irreverent observation. Paul’s application was probably more concrete…to sin against another believer is to sin against Christ (1 Cor. 8:12). Those guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord were those who despised a poorer member by utter disregard for his need (1 Cor. 11:21-22)….” (Note: For this reason I, as pastor, always ask those who can, after the Lord’s Supper, to give to the “Benevolent Fund” to help those in need).
Consider, please, one more thought from a footnote in The Ryrie Study Bible on 1 Cor. 11:29, “unworthily (i.e., with unconfessed sin—see also v. 27). This may result in judgment, even sickness or physical death (v. 30). Therefore, each one is to examine himself before partaking (vv. 28, 31).”
Fellow believers, the Lord’s Supper is a very precious time for each of us because it reminds us what it cost God the Father—“…His only begotten Son” and what it cost the Lord Jesus Christ—“…This is My body which is given for you” and “…My blood which is shed for you” so that we could be redeemed (Gal. 3:13; 1 Peter 1:18; Rev. 5:9).
Don’t be like the Corinthians who were not a blessing to those in need. Central Baptist Church and every Bible-preaching and -believing church needs members who will be a blessing to other believers (Christians—especially those in need—see 1 Cor 11:21 “one is hungry”), and to a lost world. Consider now the words of Harper G. Smith:
“Is your life a channel of blessing?
Is the love of God flowing through you?
Are you telling the lost of the Savior?
Are you ready His service to do?
Make me a channel of blessing today.
Make me a channel of blessing, I pray;
My life possessing, my service blessing,
Make me a channel of blessing today.”
May the blessings of God flow through your life to those around you.
Frederick W. Carroll