Holy Communion

No doubt that Holy Communion was of utmost importance to the early Church:

Acts 2:42:  And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

John 6:53-58:  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day

Acts 20:7:  On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them…

Acts 20:11: And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.

1 Corinthians 11:25: Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me…

It was so even to the early heroes of faith even in the past century:

following is what Bro Kenneth Copeland has written about Smith Wigglesworth, a Pentecostal pioneer:

“…The real change in Smith Wigglesworth did not come until he started getting up every day …to take Communion. Like clockwork, every day he would begin the day remembering his covenant with Almighty God by taking the bread and the cup. Every day, he lived under the influence of that covenant. And every day, he became more and more bold – until, finally, he became one of the boldest men of God in history…” (Quoted from: LINK  & LINK)

From the above understanding, I have seen a great departure in the last 100 years, where some of the present day Pentecostals view the holy communion as a monthly affair- a solemn affair than a table of Joy & celebration and often seeing the table as a table of condemnation and judgement- whereby they often stay away from it, rather than drawing nearer to Him. The result– they lose out on the benefits of partaking, due to lack of knowledge!

Below excerpts, are taken from a wonderful book on the same topic, written by Joseph Prince- Health And Wholeness Through The Holy Communion…9789810551841

Buy this full book at: Amazon LINK

Introduction

As a young Christian growing up in a traditional church, what struck me most about the Holy Communion was God’s judgment. I believed that unless I confessed all my sins before partaking, I would bring damnation upon myself.

At first, I tried to confess every single sin to get right with God before partaking, but after some time, I decided that it was easier to just not have Communion.

I believe that many Christians still have that same fear. And the average believer would have many unanswered questions and all kinds of worries about bringing judgment on himself. These stem from a misinterpretation of key verses on the subject.

Some Christians wonder if they can partake when they are not water baptised, while others are unsure if they need to attend classes before they can take the bread and wine.

When I became a pastor and had to minister the Holy Communion, my search for those answers led me to see the loving heart of God expressed in the Lord’s Supper. I discovered that God ordained the Holy Communion not as a ritual to be observed, but as a blessing to be received — the blessing of health and wholeness.

When you hold the bread in your hand, you are coming in touch with the greatest expression of His love. This love made Him endure the cruel stripes on His back and caused Him to subject His body to be beaten, bruised and broken so that yours can be whole. And when you partake, you celebrate and release your faith to receive His health and wholeness in exchange for your sicknesses and diseases.

When you drink the wine, you are reminded that the blood of the sinless Son of God did not just bring you forgiveness — it made you forever righteous, holy and blameless. So today, you have perfect standing before the Father and His ears are attentive to your softest sigh.

My prayer is that this book will help remove all your fears every time you approach His Table, and stir up your faith to receive the blessings of health and wholeness through His body and blood.

chapter 1 The Holy Communion — God’s Channel Of Divine Health

Next to being saved from hell or eternal destruction, divine health is the greatest blessing we can have.

Some people might say, “No, Pastor Prince. It would be great if I had lots of money. Then, I can do so many things.” Well, I know of people who have lots of money. They have fleets of cars, but are not able to drive a single one of them because they are flat on their backs, sick.

Jesus did not walk on water all the time, He did not calm storms all the time, but He healed all the time.

If someone is on his deathbed, I do not think he would say, “I wish I had made one more million.” I believe he would be thinking, “If only I could have my health back. There are so many things to do, so many people to say ‘I love you’ to.”

You can also have a great family with wonderful children, but if you are sick, and cannot run around and play with your kids, that would be sheer misery.

That is why I believe that health is the greatest blessing we can have while we are still here on earth. Without it, there is no way we can enjoy the blessings of God.

God’s Nature Is To Heal

You will find that when Jesus walked on earth, most of His miracles were in the area of healing. That is because His nature is to heal.

The Bible says that Jesus “… went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38) He did not walk on water all the time, He did not calm storms all the time, but He healed all the time.

When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to bring them into the Promised Land, He made sure that none of them were sick.

Psalm 105:37

37He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes.

In Cecil De Mille’s production of The Ten Commandments, a blind old man shuffled out of Egypt with a walking stick. That is how Hollywood dramatises the Holy Word. But it is incorrect.

God’s Word says that there were none feeble, so that old man could not have been blind or bent over. Bible scholars estimate that there were about 2.5 million Israelites who left Egypt healed, healthy and whole. That was and still is God’s will for His people today — all healed, healthy and whole.

Partaking Of The Lord’s Body Brings Healing

If it is God’s nature to heal, have you wondered why many Christians are sick? I am not referring to minor ailments like a cough or cold, I am referring to serious, life-threatening illnesses.

Now, if the people of the world are sick, it should not surprise us. They do not have Jesus Christ as their protection, so it is no wonder that they are sick.

But when believers are sick, I want to know why. And I do not want to draw my conclusions from human experience. I want an answer from God’s Word.

You might be surprised to know that the Bible gives one and only one reason Christians are weak and sick, and die prematurely.

The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:29–30, said, “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” Sleep here means death, not bodily rest.

Paul said, “For this reason…” He did not say, “for these reasons”. He was pointing us to one singular reason Christians become weak and sick, and die before their time.

And what is “this reason” that Paul was highlighting to us? He said, “… not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason…” So the reason the Corinthians became weak and sick was their failure to discern the Lord’s body.

If we discern the Lord’s body, we will walk in His health and wholeness.

It means that they did not know why they were partaking of the body when they came to the Table. They had no idea why they were eating the bread. And this was the reason they were not receiving the divine life of their Saviour, causing them to be weak and sick, and to die prematurely.

Since truth is parallel, it means that if we do discern the Lord’s body, we will walk in His health and wholeness.

This is only logical. Even my daughter will tell you that. When she was four years old, she came home from school one day and said, “Daddy, the opposite of tall is short. What is the opposite of small?” I said, “Big.” “Good!” she said.

So it follows that if Paul said, “… not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep”, then it must be that when we do discern the Lord’s body, we will be strong and healthy, and live long.

You would have thought that Christians would study this passage so that they can walk in divine health. After all, Paul had singled out this one reason as the cause of sickness and, ultimately, premature death for many Christians.

Yet, it seems that most people in the body of Christ choose to focus on food and exercise as the key to living a healthy life. In fact, one of the best-selling themes in Christian bookstores today is food. There are all kinds of books on what to eat and what not to eat.

I am not knocking these books. What I am saying is that God does not want us to focus on food or exercise as the key to divine health. He does not want us to put our trust in natural means to stay healthy. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal…”

Some people think that they will walk in divine health if they are on a Mediterranean diet since that was Jesus’ diet. But let me remind you that the majority of the people whom Jesus healed were on a Mediterranean diet. They never had pork or prawns or any of that high-cholesterol stuff. Yet, they were still sick because natural solutions can only go so far.

By all means eat well and exercise. I watch what I eat and I hate oily stuff. I also exercise. But my trust is not in my own feeble human efforts. My trust is in God to keep me healthy. And God has ordained the Holy Communion as a key channel of health and wholeness for His people.

The early church believed this. That is why “… they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42) They majored on the majors. They made a big deal of those things that God made a big deal of.

They took God at His Word. It is no wonder that they experienced God’s power. In Acts 2:43, 46, we read that they broke bread from house to house, and many signs and wonders were done through the apostles.

Although the body of Christ today understands the importance of doctrine, fellowship and prayer, few in the church truly understand the significance of the breaking of bread (or the Holy Communion). That is why many are weak and sick, and die before their time.

Down through history, powerful doctrines like “justification by faith” have come under severe attack by the devil. This is what has happened to the Holy Communion. The devil has pushed the church to two erroneous and extreme interpretations of this truth. On one side are the believers of transubstantiation* and, on the other, are people who have reduced the Holy Communion to a mere ritual.

*Transubstantiation is the alleged process whereby the bread and wine offered up at Communion are changed to that of the real body and blood of Jesus Christ.

Discern The Lord’s Body Before Partaking

I believe that God wants to restore the true meaning and power of the Holy Communion to the church so that His people will rightly discern His body when they come to the Table. This will cause them to become strong and healthy, and to live long.

The Holy Communion will add years to our lives and life to our years.

The Lord has made special provision for our health and this is all found in the death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, when we come to partake at His Table.

It is one of my great passions in life to see the body of Christ receive every single thing that our Saviour suffered and died to give us. And I know that when God’s people are correctly taught about how healing is dispensed at the Lord’s Table, health and wholeness will follow. It will add years to our lives and life to our years.

After I released my message tape, Health And Wholeness Through The Holy Communion, I received many testimonies of healing through the Lord’s Supper.

When we recognise that the Holy Communion is God’s channel of health and wholeness for His people, and we teach the church to rightly discern the Lord’s body when they come to His Table, God’s people will be healthy and strong, and will live long.

chapter 2 –How To Discern The Lord’s Body

Having established that the Holy Communion is God’s channel of health and wholeness for His people, it is time to find out how to experience that divine life that comes through discerning the Lord’s body.

Notice that Paul said that it was not a failure to discern the blood, but a failure to discern the body that caused the people to be weak and sick, and to die before their time.

1 Corinthians 11:29–30

29For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
30For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

Yet, when I was growing up as a Christian, I was taught that the two elements of the Communion should be lumped together. So I used to believe that the body and blood were both for the forgiveness of my sins.

God has since shown me that the body and blood should not be treated as one. There are two elements because there is a two-fold application in the Communion. The wine, which is His blood, is for our forgiveness. And the bread, which is His body, is for our healing.

The Blood Is For Forgiveness

The Corinthians, like most Christians today, had no problems discerning the blood. Paul’s epistles make it very clear that the blood of Jesus brings forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:14

14in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Ephesians 1:7

7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…

Because the Son of God paid the penalty for your sins with His spotless blood, you can go scot-free when you put your trust in His blood to save you. When you partake of the wine, know that you are forgiven and have been made righteous. The blood of Jesus has given you right standing before God, so that you can come boldly into His presence. And when you pray, you can be sure He hears you.

The Bread Is For Healing

That is how you discern the blood and most Christians understand that. But not many know how to discern the Lord’s body.

When He spoke to the Syro-Phoenician woman regarding her daughter’s healing, He called healing “the children’s bread”.

To do that, we must first know what the bread represents. Jesus established that the bread, which is His body, is for our healing. How do we know that? When He spoke to the Syro-Phoenician woman regarding her daughter’s healing, He called healing “the children’s bread”.

Mark 7:26–28

26The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.27But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 28And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”

Notice that when she asked Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter, He said that it was not good to give the “children’s bread” to the “little dogs”.What does “bread” refer to? It refers to the healing that she was asking for. And what do “dogs” refer to? They refer to non-Jews or Gentiles like herself.

So Jesus was actually saying that healing was only for God’s covenant people and not for Gentiles who were not included in the covenant then.

Having explained what Jesus meant, I should also go on to explain why I refer to bread as healing and not deliverance. Well, that is because the Bible treats disease and demon possession as the same thing since they both originate from the devil.

Acts 10:38 says that Jesus went about doing good and “… healing all who were oppressed by the devil”. Notice that disease is due to the devil’s oppression. Thus, disease and demon possession are both the results of oppression by the devil and we need God’s healing for these problems.

From this incident, it becomes clear that Jesus sees healing as the children’s bread. The woman put her faith in that little crumb, and that act released power to drive the devil out of her daughter.

So the bread, even a small crumb, which is His body, is for our healing since we are now God’s children and fully entitled to the healing bread.

What It Means To Discern The Body

In fact, I believe that when Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is My body” (Matthew 26:26), the disciples did not need any explanation like the one I just gave.

They knew that He wanted to impart to them His life, health and wholeness. These men were with Him every day and not once did they see Him sick. Not once did they see Him come down with a flu, fever or stomachache. He never had to say to them, “Can one of you preach the Sermon on the Mount for me? I don’t feel up to it today.” The Lord was never sick.

More than that, He was vibrant, full of life and full of health. When those who were without hands and feet were brought to Him, they were made perfectly whole. The body parts they needed were imparted to them from the heavenly store when they touched Him.

Jesus’ body was so filled with life that even His clothes were soaked with His health.

And His body was so filled with life that even His clothes were soaked with His health. The Bible says that a woman with an issue of blood for 12 years came to Him knowing that He was her only hope. (Mark 5:25–34)

She had spent all her money and suffered many things from many physicians. And what was the result? She was no better, but instead, became worse! Yet, with just one touch of the hem of His garment, she was immediately healed of the affliction.

If the hem of His garment could be soaked with His health, can you imagine His body?

No wonder Luke said, “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.” (Luke 6:19) When a doctor, and Luke was a doctor, says this, you know that it is for real.

There was no need to tell the disciples that when He said, “Take, eat; this is My body”, He was imparting His life, health and wholeness to their bodies. They knew better than anyone else that taking the bread meant ingesting His health into their mortal bodies.

The Matzah Is An Object Lesson Of What Jesus’ Body Symbolises

The matzah (a flat bread eaten during the Passover) is a good object lesson of what Jesus’ body symbolises. The Mishnah or Jewish oral laws gave instructions on the preparation of this bread. These instructions should be of great interest to us.

According to these laws, the bread was to be unleavened, baked, pierced with holes and striped. Till today, the Jewish rabbis do not know why the bread has to be prepared this way. But blessed are your eyes for they see the grace of God.

No leaven was used because leaven in the Bible represents sin, and Jesus is the perfect, sinless Son of God. That is why He is able to take our sins upon Himself.

His body was burnt because the full fury of God’s wrath against our sins fell on Him. This fire was supposed to fall on us and our families, but it fell on Jesus instead.

His side was pierced and He bore those merciless stripes on His back so that our bodies might be made whole.

As you partake of His broken body, know that His body was broken so that yours can be whole.

So when you come to the Lord’s Table, make sure that you discern His body. When you partake, believe that Jesus took bread and broke it because His body was going to be broken.

And as you partake of His broken body, know that His body was broken so that yours can be whole. When you partake in this spirit of faith, something happens to your body. You become strong, healthy and you will live long.

The Lord’s Supper Brings The Double Cure

By now, it should be clear that the blood and the body have two different applications. This is consistent throughout the Bible.

The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…” (Isaiah 53:4, NKJV) The Young’s Literal Translation or YLT Bible provides a more accurate translation for the words “griefs” and “sorrows”, stating that “Surely our sicknesses He hath borne, and our pains —He hath carried them…”

Similarly, in the Gospel of Matthew, this verse was interpreted as “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses”. (Matthew 8:17)

In the Greek, “infirmities” or astheneia means bodily weaknesses. So we can see very clearly that Isaiah was saying that the Messiah would take upon His own body, our bodily weaknesses, sicknesses and pains. In other words, Jesus bore not just our sins, but also our bodily weaknesses, sicknesses and pains. This is what some hymn writers of old called the “double cure”.

This double cure is evident in the Passover. The Lord’s Supper was first celebrated on the same day as the Passover because it is the true Passover.

Luke 22:15–20

15Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

The Old Testament is the shadow, the New Testament is the real substance. Jesus is the true, perfect, unblemished, holy Lamb of God. So the Passover is a type of the Lord’s Supper.

During the first Passover, they killed the lamb and put the blood on the doorposts. This caused the destroyer to pass over their families because God said,“And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you…” (Exodus 12:13)

The blood was for the people’s forgiveness. The blood covered the people’s sins and appeased the righteous requirements of God.

But what did they do inside the house?

Exodus 12:8

8Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

If the body of a “shadow lamb” could bring such supernatural results, how much more the body of the true “substance lamb”, our Lord Jesus Christ!

They ate the roasted lamb and the unleavened bread. This was to give them strength for the journey. It was not natural strength that they received. It was supernatural.

That is why there were “… none feeble”. (Psalm 105:37) It takes a supernatural work of God for 2.5 million people to all be healthy.

We know that this lamb was a mere shadow of the real substance. So if the body of a “shadow lamb” could bring such supernatural results, how much more the body of the true “substance lamb”, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Here, again, the double cure was at work — the blood was for forgiveness, and the body and bread were for divine strength. No wonder when they left Egypt, there were none feeble.

David described the double cure this way, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases”. (Psalm 103:2–3) Notice that His benefits include the forgiveness of our sins as well as the healing of our diseases.

Healing, like forgiveness, is not a promise. It is the blood-bought right of Christians!

When Jesus took our punishment on the cross, it did not just bring us forgiveness, it also brought us healing.

Most people, when asked whether they are sure of their forgiveness, say they are. They know that God has already forgiven them because of the cross. But when asked if they are sure of their healing, they say they are not.

I want you to know that at the cross, Jesus bore our sins and our sicknesses. And so healing, like forgiveness, is not a promise. It is the blood-bought right of Christians!

Because of what He did at the cross, we do not just have forgiveness, we also have healing. Forgiveness and healing go hand in hand. The faith that you have for forgiveness is the same faith that will bring your healing.

When you believe and when you rightly discern the Lord’s body, you will experience miraculous healings and wholeness when you partake of the Holy Communion.

Healing Through The Holy Communion Can Also Be Gradual

Although some experience spectacular miracles, healing through the Holy Communion can also be a gradual process. As you partake, you will get better over time. The more you partake, the better you get.

I personally experienced this. Years ago, I had a skin condition that troubled me. I went to the doctor and he said that it could be cured, but the medicine would have side effects. I said, “Thank you very much,” and left.

God’s healing is so much better. There are no side effects. So I partook of the Lord’s Supper and claimed by faith the full benefits of His broken body for me in this area. Yet, nothing seemed to happen at first.

After some time, I stopped bringing this matter before God, but I continued partaking in faith. Then one day, I realised that I was totally healed. I cannot tell when exactly that condition left, but I know that as I continued to partake, I simply got better. The drama was not there. It was not spectacular. But it was still supernatural!

The Power Of Proclaiming The Lord’s Death

One other lesser known aspect of the Holy Communion is the power of proclaiming the Lord’s death. Paul said, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26)

You might ask, “Pastor Prince, what about the Lord’s death are we proclaiming and to whom are we proclaiming it?” Paul said in another place, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)

So when we remember Jesus’ death, we are also proclaiming to the principalities and powers that they have been disarmed because He has triumphed over them.

You Don’t Need A Pastor To Partake

Jesus told us to have Communion often. So there must be something powerful about it. Do you think that He would make us do something often without having our blessing in mind?

Those who believe in the power of that one perfect sacrifice on the cross know that His blessings of health, wholeness and preservation abound at His Table.

Once you are a believer, you are a priest. (1 Peter 2:9) So you can partake of the Lord’s Supper and even minister it to others. You do not need a pastor to do it.

Have the Holy Communion as often as you need to.

In the church, we pastors do it because we are the spiritual authority over the people, and there must be order in how we conduct things.

But outside the church, you, as a royal priest, are qualified to partake on your own. Do as Jesus said — have it often. “How often?” you might ask. As often as you need to. It depends on how much you want His health and wholeness.

I am not saying that you must partake every day. But if you are sick, I would recommend that you have Communion daily.

I know of people who are so radical that they take it like medicine — three times a day. And you know what? They get radical results.

Some people say, “Pastor Prince, don’t be extreme.” Those of us who trust in God and in His Son’s perfect work at Calvary are extreme — extremely blessed. So partake because the Holy Communion is God’s channel of health and wholeness for you.

chapter 3- Don’t Be Afraid To Partake

God has made it truly easy for His people to walk in divine health. We just need to come to His Table, put our faith in His broken body for our healing and partake. It is so simple, yet so powerful.

That is why the devil has tried to steal this truth from the church by making Christians believe that they should not partake. And he does this by making them believe that they are unworthy to come to the Lord’s Table. This erroneous thinking is largely due to a misinterpretation of the following verses.

1 Corinthians 11:29–30

29For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

When I was a young Christian, I was told, “Don’t come to the Lord’s Table if you have sin in your life. If you are unworthy and partake, you are guilty of the body and blood, and will drink judgment to yourself.”

I was not sure what all that meant, but it was enough to scare me. And I was always told, “Be sure to examine yourself to see if you have sin in your life. And make sure you confess all your sins before you come.”

I never dared to partake because I always wondered, “Is there some sin that I have not confessed?” It is not that I was living in sin, but I did not want to take the risk.

What if I forget to confess one sin? Judgment would fall on me, right? And my mama sure didn’t raise no fool. So I chose not to partake, just to be safe. Every time the elements of the Communion were passed to me, I just passed them on.

I thought that I was better off not partaking. But ironically, by not coming to the Lord’s Table, I was robbing myself of God’s source of health, healing and blessing for me. Legalistic and erroneous teaching is very damaging because it keeps us from receiving what God has for us.

What It Means To Partake Unworthily

So let us read for ourselves what Paul said so that we can partake in a worthy manner.

1 Corinthians 11:27–29, KJV

27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Firstly, in verse 29, he says that if you eat and drink unworthily, you bring damnation to yourself. Let us get one thing straight. The word “unworthily” is an adverb, which means it modifies the verb.

In this case, “unworthily” describes the action of eating and drinking. It is not describing the person who is eating or drinking. So Paul was not saying that if you are an unworthy person, do not partake.

Yet, the church has somehow misconstrued that teaching and now, Christians are saying, “If you are unworthy, don’t partake.” They say, “If you have sin in your life, don’t come to the Lord’s Table lest you become weak and sick, and die prematurely.” They have turned something that is meant to be a blessing into a curse.

In any case, all of us who come to the Lord’s Table are unworthy and made worthy only by His blood. It is only Jesus’ death that qualifies us to partake. Paul was not saying that we should not partake if we are unworthy. He was saying that we should not partake in an unworthy manner.

What does it mean to partake unworthily? Read the rest of verse 29 and you will conclude that if you fail to discern or understand the significance of the Lord’s body, you are eating and drinking in an unworthy manner.

Partaking unworthily means not recognising that the broken body of the Lord was meant to bring health and wholeness.

The Corinthians partook unworthily because they did not recognise that the broken body of the Lord was meant to bring them health and wholeness.

And by treating the Holy Communion as a ritual, they missed out on the blessings. They did not understand the significance of the bread. They did not know why they were partaking. This is what it means to partake unworthily.

The manner in which we partake will determine whether we experience the benefits of the Lord’s body. If our attitude is, “It’s just a piece of bread,” then that is what it will be. And we will have robbed ourselves of the life-giving effects of the bread at His Table.

Paul described in greater detail the manner in which the Corinthians partook. Let us take a closer look.

1 Corinthians 11:20–22

20Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in?…

He gave them a good tongue-lashing because when they came to the Lord’s Table, those who were hungry rushed for their turn. And others guzzled the wine until they became drunk.

So Paul was not saying that if you have sin in your life, you cannot partake*. He was telling us to partake in the correct manner, which is to recognise that the Lord’s body was broken so that ours can be made whole. Do not take the Lord’s Supper because you are hungry. If you are hungry, eat at home first.

*Please do not misunderstand me. I am against sin, but this is not the point of Paul’s teaching here.

What Paul told the Corinthians to do was to discern the power of the Lord’s broken body. He was teaching us that when we fail to discern the body, we should not partake because we are not claiming by faith what Jesus has done for us.

And by failing to do so, we are making His work on the cross ineffective and powerless as far as we are concerned.

When you fail to discern His body, you are actually despising His work on the cross. Vine’s Expository Dictionary has this to say about partaking unworthily:

Unworthily — anaxios NT: 371 is used in 1 Corinthians 11:27, of partaking of the Lord’s Supper “unworthily”, i.e., treating it as a common meal, the bread and cup as common things, not apprehending their solemn symbolic import.

Jesus wants us to take the bread and believe that His body was broken so that our bodies can be made well. And when we discern it that way, we are partaking worthily.

When you come to His Table and release your faith in the Lord’s body, you will receive the benefits of healing, health and wholeness. And you will be strong and healthy, and live long.

What It Means To Examine Yourself

Secondly, I was told that to “examine” myself means to check if I have sins in my life and to confess them all.

To correct this misconception, we have to understand the context of Paul’s statement. He is addressing the issue of eating and drinking unworthily.

So it follows that he was telling the Corinthians that they should examine themselves to see if they were eating and drinking in a worthy manner. Nowhere does it say that he told them to examine themselves to see if there was sin in their lives.

1 Corinthians 11:27–29

27Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Looking at the passage again, it is clear that Paul is saying that a man should examine himself to see if he is eating and drinking worthily so as not to eat and drink judgment to himself.

It is so simple, but preachers have for so long made Christians fearful and sin-conscious when God wants us to be Son-conscious. He just wants us to examine ourselves to see if we are putting our faith in His Son’s work on the cross for us.

What It Means To Drink Judgment To Yourself

Thirdly, the “judgment” (in verse 29) does not mean God’s anger or wrath as I used to think. In some circles, people still believe that the judgment here refers to God sending them to hell. That is an incorrect interpretation.

The Greek word used here is krima, which means divine sentence. When Adam sinned against God, a divine sentence fell on the human race. Weakness, sickness and death are some effects of that divine sentence.

The Lord’s Supper is how God helps us offset the process of ageing and walk in divine health.

As long as we are here on earth, our bodies are subject to the ageing process, which is part of the divine sentence. All our bodies are decaying every day. Our brain cells are dying daily.

The Holy Communion is God’s solution for us to offset the decay. And even your friends will see the results. They will begin to ask you, “Hey, why do you seem to look younger and younger? You never seem to age!”

One day, when we get to heaven, we will have brand new bodies that never grow old, never tire and never look bad. Meanwhile, the Lord’s Supper is how God helps us offset this process of ageing and walk in divine health. Every time you partake, you are reversing the effects of the curse or divine judgment in your body.

The Devil Is No Match For Those Who Believe In The Power Of The Lord’s Broken Body

I believe that for a long time, the devil has tried to blind the church to the power of the Lord’s body. And that is because he knows that he is no match for those who have faith in the power of Jesus’ broken body.

There Is Power In the Act Of Eating

In the midst of intense spiritual attack, we will experience victory when we believe that what Jesus did on the cross is greater than any attack of the devil. And once we realise how much Jesus suffered so that our bodies can be made whole, we will be confident that partaking of His broken body will bring healing to our bodies.

If you still find it hard to believe that eating a small crumb can bring your body health and wholeness, let me point you back to the Garden of Eden. There, Adam merely ate a fruit and he plunged the whole human race into sin. His sin was what brought disease and, ultimately, death.

So God in His mercy and wisdom devised a perfect solution. Since the simple act of eating by Adam brought disease and death, He ordained that thesimple act of partaking of a crumb would bring health and wholeness to His people.

Partaking Of The Holy Communion

Let us now partake of the Lord’s Supper and release faith for our forgiveness and healing.

Before you partake, just know that God wants you to “prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers”. (3 John 1:2)

Prepare the bread and wine, and do not be in a rush. Remember, this is not a ritual. You are about to personally experience afresh His love for you.

Hear Him say to you, “ Take, eat. This is My body, which is broken for you.” See His eyes burning with love as He says to you, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”

See the Lord carrying all your sins and diseases. He took your sins in His body on the cross. See Him taking on His body your physical conditions too. If you have a tumour, see the tumour on His body. Whatever disease you might have, see it on His body. It is no longer on you. See His health come on you.

Surely He bore your sins and carried your diseases. So as you partake, release your faith in the bread and the wine.

Hold the bread in your hand and say this:

Thank You Jesus for Your broken body. It is for my healing, my spouse’s healing and my children’s healing. Thank You that by Your stripes, by the beatings You bore, by the lashes which fell on Your back, we are completely healed. I believe and I receive. (Eat the bread.)

Next, take the cup in your hand and say this:

Thank You Jesus for the new covenant cut in Your blood. Your blood has brought me forgiveness and washed me from every sin. I thank You that Your blood has made me righteous. And as I drink, I celebrate and partake of the inheritance of the righteous, which is preservation, healing, wholeness and prosperity. (Drink the wine.)

Thank you Jesus, I love You because You first loved me.

 

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