The term ‘cup’ in 1st Corinthians 11 is evocative of the cup of God’s wrath. This is quite significant because it sets the tone for just how seriously a person should approach communion. If someone comes with a self-focused attitude and is still at odds with a fellow member of the congregation, they come in danger of God’s discipline. If the judgement in the passage means discipline, those who have died are not damned. Those who die are removed from the church for the good of the body as a whole.
1 Corinthians 11: 27-34
27Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.
33So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 34If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.
And when I come I will give further directions.
- What is the person guilty of who drinks in an unworthy manner?
- Who should a man examine?
- How many times is judgement mentioned in this text?
- Do you examine yourself when you take communion?
- How do you proceed if you find you are not in a ‘good place’?