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The Lord’s Table

17 Now, on this next matter, I wish I could commend you, but I cannot, because when you meet together as a church family it is doing more harm than good! 18 I’ve been told many times that when you meet as a congregation, divisions and cliques emerge—and to some extent, this doesn’t surprise me. 19 Differences of opinion are unavoidable, yet they will reveal which ones among you truly have God’s approval.[a]

20 When all of your house churches[b] gather as one church family, you are not really properly celebrating the Lord’s Supper.[c] 21 For when it comes time to eat, some gobble down their food before anything is given to others—one is left hungry while others become drunk![d] 22 Don’t you all have homes where you can eat and drink? Don’t you realize that you’re showing a superior attitude by humiliating those who have nothing? Are you trying to show contempt for God’s beloved church? How should I address this appropriately? If you’re looking for my approval, you won’t find it!

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 11:19 Differences of opinion between believers expose our hearts. Mature ones will overlook offenses and faults in order to maintain the precious unity of the body of Christ. Immature ones will cause splits, divisions, and cliques around their respective opinions. The ones whom God approves are those whose hearts remain pure in spite of petty differences.
  2. 1 Corinthians 11:20 Implied both in the text and by the cultural context of the day.
  3. 1 Corinthians 11:20 Paul is implying that it is the Lord’s Supper, not merely a meal for favored ones. Jesus is hosting the meal for the benefit of all every time we gather for communion.
  4. 1 Corinthians 11:21 Apparently, the church of Corinth was divided between the “haves” and the “have nots.” Those who were wealthy would feast and become drunk, while those who had very little went hungry. The precious unity of the church was spoiled by this behavior. These shared meals were called “love feasts” (Jude 12).

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