...Christians today should concentrate instead on a relationship
with God based on the righteousness of Jesus
Christ and on loving and caring for others (see 'Compassion').
Christ made us free from all do's
and don'ts, free to love out of a heart filled with compassion according
to our individual heartfelt level of concern. It's love that fulfills the
law – God's love in us -John 17:26;
Anything less is simply a form of
"getting and keeping ourselves 'right' with God, apart from trusting
in the righteousness of Christ, which righteousness He completed -John
3:15. If not that, then we are, in effect, saying to God: "look at
my actions; I'm doing what You commanded", instead of "I'm thankful I've
been made holy, righteous and perfect because of what Christ has already
want from my heart to go out and do works of love moving
away from the works that hold one to a religion".
We ought to be showing others good
works, thereby adorning the doctrine of God instead of selfishly clinging
to practices which define our particular clique as exclusive
The word 'communion'
means 'fellowship', and other things.
We already have communion with the Holy Spirit -2Corinthians
10:16,17 Paul is talking about whatever the Christians (his brethren
-verse 1) may eat; not to worry
if the food had first been dedicated to a
idol, knowing full well that such idols are nothing and pure idiocy (verse
26), however if a new Christian babe-thought
the idol to indeed still be something (not having yet grown in understanding
to the extent of others) then one should refrain from doing anything that
may offend him -verses 23,28,29,32,33.
example. And another.
Paul says that our communion or fellowship
with others at a meal is with Christ, in all present, making us one body
or one fellowship, one communion.
11:23-30 Paul again talks of this, as the Corinthian Christians were
babes (1Corinthians 3:1) and,
not having yet matured, had many problems as well as questions about how
various concerns should be handled.
When they got together in fellowship
(communion with one another) to celebrate the Lord's supper (a noble reason
to get together with others) they were getting drunk and didn't care if
others in the body of Christ (1Corinthians
10:16,17 and 1Corinthians
12:25-27) had anything to eat -1Corinthians
Some were cliquish (1Corinthians
11:18) and by their actions, rejected others who were also part of
the family of God.
11:19, Paul sarcastically
says "you have to have divisions among you to show who is the greatest
among you and the better group". Then in verse 20 Paul says "when you people
get together it doesn't look to me like you came to celebrate anything
regarding the Lord". And why? -verse 21.
In 1Corinthians 11:22 Paul
says that if you want this, then do it in your own home. In 1Corinthians
11:23-26 he reminds them of the original Lord's supper as an example for
comparison. And in 1Corinthians
11:27-30 tells them that they are having this meal in an unworthy manner
(their manner being unworthy of the reason for which they agreed to come
together in the first place).
In 1Corinthians 11:30 he tells them
that this hypocritical approach
to it all, is a cause of double mindedness (James
1:8; 4:8) through which the healing
and cleansing power of the Holy Spirit is
hindered -Ephesians 4:30) serious
enough to make some of them, whose faith may become weakened, sick to death.
11:31,32 Paul tells them to think about what they are doing and if
they can regulate themselves then God won't have to take a hand in circumstances
to get them on track.
1Corinthians 11:33 finishes off with
Paul saying that they should tarry (original is 'accept, receive') one
another, again, as some were being left out (1Corinthians
11:21,22) and this was not portraying the spirit or attitude which
existed among the original disciples around Jesus at His last supper -Matthew
26:17-30. Paul wanted them back on track by reminding them of the true
purpose of such fellowship.
Jesus rose from supper and showed an example of service
and humility by washing the disciples' feet (John
13:5,12-15), an act that only low ranking servants would have done
when someone came to visit, in order to remove grains of sand from the
feet because of the open sandals commonly worn in hot countries then. This
expressed a depth of desire to serve others in humility (with no selfish
motives attached) and to be at one with the person.
here that actions are important in expressing love. What good is feeling
it and not showing it? We should have the same attitude one toward another.
Some denominations and small groups do this today as a reminder of the
higher meaning involved. I can see where it would be a humbling experience,
as well as a reminder of the attitude of service Jesus here exemplified.