The Lord’s Supper, Part 2: What’s Actually Happening?

Last week, we saw that the Corinthians had permitted their actual practice of the Supper to become a way of reinforcing divisions in the Body of Christ.  For this, many of them were weak and sickly, and some of them were killed.  This week I’m offering you a similar warning, not about the practice of the Supper, but about our understanding of what is happening in the Supper.

God requires us to believe His word, and sanctified imagination is absolutely necessary to faith.  But there are temptations here that we must avoid.  When you allow your imagination to carry you so far that in doctrine or in practice, you are contradicting Scripture, you have gone too far.  Even if you don’t do that, if you allow your particular way of imagining the thing to become a point of contention so that the argument divides the body, you have sinned.

There is a parallel temptation in the other direction: the temptation to say “It’s all a mystery” and then ignore the things the Scripture does say.  You must subject yourself to the discipline of the Scripture; you must believe what it says, not cultivate a sort of devotional ignorance.

And so the charge is this: Submit to the Scripture.  All of it, straight up the middle, with no fancy footwork.  Whatever the Bible teaches you to believe and do, make it a part of you.  Let your sanctified imagination roam free on the mountains of the Bible—but stay within the limits that the Bible prescribes for you. Sanctified imagination is only sanctified so long as it is obedient.

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One Response to The Lord’s Supper, Part 2: What’s Actually Happening?

  1. Sanc says:

    Hi Tim,

    From what I notice in 1 Cor., Paul addresses divisiveness beginning in 1:10 and doesn’t complete this correction until the end of chapter four.

    The blatant and unchallenged sexual immorality going on in this church gets one chapter of correction. I wonder why Paul addressed divisiveness with a whole four chapters, before sexual immorality and before their going to court against one another (chapter 6)?

    I am convicted because I said “all the right things” with “all the contrary demonstration” at JP’s recently, here.

    When Paul opens up to them, he reminds them of their common fellowship and the power of God. He spoke grace to them.

    “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1:2-3

    That’s quite a statement of commonality – and my “it’s disgusting” is never the beginning nor the end of the communication.

    Thanks for these posts,
    Michele

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