1 CORINTHIANS 11:17-34 – UNITY AT THE TABLE
Here are some quotes about Christian Unity:
“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.” Vesta Kelly.
“There are two ways of being united — one is by being frozen together, and the other is by being melted together. What Christians need is to be united in brotherly love, and then they may expect to have power.” Moody’s Anecdotes
“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.” A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.
“I want the whole Christ for my Savior, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church for my fellowship, and the whole world for my mission field.” John Wesley.
All these quotes from Sermon Illustrations
Jesus’ intent for His Church is that Christians be unified, not necessarily in denomination, but in love and basic doctrine.
They started off well! Acts 2:46-47
It was not long however before there were problems with unity. The church is made up of redeemed sinners. Redeemed sinners are not sinless, so many in churches there is not unity.
We regularly celebrate the Lord’s Table, also called Holy Communion and the Last Supper. Sadly, one of the places that the Corinthians lacked unity is here.
Unity does not mean we agree on everything, but it does mean that we are accepting of each other. Philippians 2:1-4
As we prepare our hearts for the Lord’s Table, let’s look at 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
- The intent of Jesus is that His Church be unified. John 17:20-21
- The church in Jerusalem practiced unity. Acts 2:46-47
- There was a need for unity in the Church in Corinth. 1 Corinthians 1:10
- Unity does not mean agreement on all things, but loving consideration of others. Philippians 2:1-4
A REBUKE – 1 Corinthians 11:17-22
Vs. 18 – There were divisions at the Lord’s Table. Animosity existed between the “haves” and the “have nots”.
Instead of the Lord’s Table being a true “love feast”, it a source of division among the brothers and sisters.
Although, this specific problem does not exist in our church today, we do need ask, “What attitudes, actions, or conversations have I participated in that cause division?”
A REVIEW – 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The Lord’s Table is a memorial commemorating our Lord’s death for our sins. We proclaim our faith in the sacrificed body and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A REQUIREMENT – 1 Corinthians 11:27-32
A guest at a meal should never show disrespect for the host or hostess. Christ is the host at the Lord’s Table. We must be careful to show no disrespect.
A REMINDER – 1 Corinthians 11:33-34
Our behavior at the Lord’s Table should always be considerate towards other guests.