The ABCs of the Lord’s Supper

Last SupperDate written: 5 November 2015

SUBJECT: Worship

TITLE: The ABCs of the Lord’s Supper

PROPOSITION: We will study what the apostle Paul said about the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. We will look at the 1) Abuse, 2) Basis, and 3) Consequences of the Lord’s Supper.

OBJECTIVE: To explain what the Lord’s Supper is, what we should not do during the Lord’s Supper, and why it is important to focus on the right things during the Lord’s Supper.


1. Read: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

2. About the Text:

1) The church at Corinth had a lot of problems that are discussed in 1 Corinthians.

2) Their most fundamental problem was that they trusted in the wisdom of men instead of the wisdom of God.

3) In every one of these issues, Paul corrects their misunderstandings showing how they are preferring the wisdom of men instead of the wisdom of God.

4) In 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 he shows them the same thing.

5) The church had decided in human wisdom that the Lord’s Supper was just another meal.

6) Paul calls them to recognize that man’s wisdom is not God’s wisdom here and they need to respect God’s wisdom in the Lord’s Supper.

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: Paul instructs the church at Corinth about . . .

I.   The Abuse of the Lord’s Supper (17-22).

1. The church’s assembly was not for the better, but for the worse (17).

2. There were divisions among them (18-19).

1) This was one reason they were coming together for the worse.

2) Divisions are not desired, but they do demonstrate who is genuine.

3. They were not observing the Lord’s Supper when they came together (20).

1) They were changing the Lord’s Supper into a common meal (21).

2) Each was only taking care of himself in this meal (21).

3) There was no concern for one another.

4. They had houses to eat common meals in (22).

1) By not sharing with one another they were despising the church.

2) They were causing those who had nothing to be ashamed.

3) This was reprehensible behavior for God’s people.

5. This selfish behavior was carnal, worldly, and not Christ-like.

II.  The Basis of the Lord’s Supper (23-26).

1. Paul received instruction for the Lord’s Supper from the Lord himself (23a).

1) The Lord’s Supper comes from the Lord.

2) He also delivered this instruction to the church.

3) He did this when he planted the church in Corinth (Acts 18).

2. The Lord’s Supper was established the night Jesus was betrayed (23b).

1) This was the day before His crucifixion.

2) This was the day of the Passover meal.

3) Jesus was anticipating His death, burial, and resurrection.

3. Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and distributed it to the disciples (24a).

1) This was unleavened bread used for the Passover.

2) He gave thanks to God for the bread.

3) He shared this bread with the disciples.

4. Jesus said… (24b).

1) “This is my body which is for you.”

a. This is a metaphor.

b. The bread was not literally the body.

c. This symbolizes Jesus’ giving of Himself to the disciples.

d. It symbolizes Jesus’ selflessness.

2) “This do in remembrance of me.”

a. We do what Jesus did: take bread, give thanks, and distribute to the disciples.

b. We eat the bread in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice.

5. Jesus took the cup in the same way (25a).

1) He took the cup, gave thanks for it, and distributed it.

2) This was “after supper,” meaning after the Passover meal.

6. He said . . . (25b).

1) “This cup is the New Covenant in my blood.”

a. The cup was the contents, not the container.

b. The contents was the fruit of the vine.

c. The fruit of the vine represented Jesus blood.

d. This blood is the blood of the New Covenant.

2) “This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

a. It was Jesus’ intention that this be done frequently on a schedule.

b. We drink the cup in remembrance of Jesus’ blood being shed on the cross.

7. When the Lord’s Supper is observed frequently, it proclaims Jesus’ death.

1) This is to say the manner of Jesus’ death-His crucifixion.

2) The reason for Jesus’ death – the sins of mankind.

3) The purpose of Jesus’ death – to forgive mankind’s sins.

4) This is to be done until Jesus returns.

a. This implies Jesus is not dead.

b. This implies the resurrection.

III. The Consequences of Not Discerning the Lord’s Supper (27-34).

1. Whoever eats or drinks in an unworthy manner (27a).

1) In a manner that is not worthy of the sacrifice of Christ.

2) In a manner that is selfish.

2. Is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord (27b).

1) A person becomes guilty when he eats or drinks in an unworthy way.

2) The Lord’s body and blood was given selflessly.

3) A person is guilty before God for not partaking of the Lord’s Supper with the same attitude that Jesus had when He instituted it.

3. We are to examine ourselves when we eat of the Lord’s Supper (28).

1) Are we thinking about the Lord?

2) Are we acting selflessly toward our brethren?

3) We are to eat while we examine ourselves.

4. We eat judgment to ourselves if we do not examine ourselves (29).

1) That is, the sacrifice of the Lord’s body and blood was selfless.

2) If we don’t consider His selflessness, that sacrifice condemns us for being selfish.

5. Many are weak, sick, and some die for lack of discerning the body (30).

1) We are talking about selfishness.

2) Selfishness is responsible for weakness, sickness, and death.

3) When we are selfish, others are denied basic needs.

6. If we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged (31-32).

1) That is, by living selfless lives, we would not be in danger of judgment.

2) By living selfishly, we are judged by Christ, who disciplines us to repent.

7. Wait on one another during the Lord’s Supper, and eat common meals at home (33-34).


1. Paul instructs the church at Corinth about . . .

1) The Abuse of the Lord’s Supper

2) The Basis of the Lord’s Supper

3) The Consequences of not Discerning the Lord’s Supper

2. Invitation