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The Lord’s Table

September 25, 2006

You can’t do that!

Yes, I can.

No. You can’t.

You just watch me!

Have you ever had this conversation? You insist that someone “can’t” do something, and they insist that they can. Yours is a spiritual point of view, theirs, physical. You are saying, “You can’t be happy or successful as a Christian and continue that practice.” They are saying, “I am a Christian and you just watch me!” The same thing is happening in 1 Corinthians 10.

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. – 1 Corinthians 10:21

While the Corinthians could partake in a pagan ceremony during the week and in the Lord’s supper on Sunday, he states plainly here that they could not partake of both tables.

When Paul uses the title “Lord’s Table” to describe the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, he introduces an idea that Christians must remember as they partake. He contrasts the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils – the Lord’s Table and the table of devils. To be noticed here is that there are only two cups and tables. Also recognize that we are drinking from one of those cups and eating at one of those tables. There is no such thing as not drinking or partaking. Everyone drinks and partakes of one or the other. In a parallel idea, we cannot serve God and mammon, God and Baal; and in communion, we cannot drink of the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils. We are loyal to one or the other. Christ is not in concord with Belial; there is no agreement between the Temple of the Lord and the temple of idols; there is no fellowship between light and darkness; and there is no partaking of the Lord’s Table and the table of devils.

There is a youth chorus that states, “I want to be more than a Sunday-go-to-meetin’ Christian.” When we approach the Lord’s Table, we are reminded that we demonstrate our loyalty to the Lord at His Table. We cannot serve Satan all week and eat at the Lord’s Table on Sunday. Sure, we can put the elements in our mouth, but God is not fooled – and neither is he mocked. When we partake unworthily, we ask for the judgment of God on our lives – a judgment that was laid on the Corinthian church members physically. We cannot compartmentalize our lives. All of our life is present with us at the Lord’s Table.

The Lord’s Supper is not an island of worship experience that is isolated from the rest of life. It is a sort of “call to arms,” and there is no side called neutral. You are either at His Table or at the Devil’s. If you are not loyal to Him all week, don’t try to eat at His Table on Sunday.

The Lord’s Table is His supper celebrated with thanksgiving in communion with other believers because of our fellowship in Christ. We show loyalty to the Lord as we remember His broken body and shed blood, which washes away our sin.

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Categories: Lord's Supper, Voegtlin
  1. September 25, 2006 at 8:18 pm

    Wow! That would probably reduce the number that participates in communion by 50%. Great points.

  2. September 25, 2006 at 9:06 pm

    I would say that lack of loyalty calls first for repentance and then participation. But the point still stands–our participation is a statement of our loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ.

  3. September 25, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    Not to be be redundant, but I also think this is a good point.

  4. September 28, 2006 at 12:28 pm

    Maybe I am just dumb to all this, but wouldn’t it just be plain prideful not to want to confess/repent so you could participate in remembering our Lord?

  5. September 28, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    Maybe I am just dumb to all this, but wouldn’t it just be plain prideful not to want to confess/repent so you could participate in remembering our Lord?

    It may or may not involve pride – but it certainly involves deliberately choosing to hold on to sin (ie. if someone doesn’t want to deal with their sin and get right with God so they can partake of the Lord’s Supper).

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