The Bible talks about sin and judgment because our major problem as human being is sin and sin separates us from God and from one another. We are basically wicked and our hearts are deceitful. There is, according to the Bible, literally no hope within us. But, the Bible also talks about sin and forgiveness found only through the shedding of blood. God sent His only Son to die for us on the Cross of Calvary – to shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins. He did not have sin in His life – He was God in human flesh and there was no sin found in Him. But, He became sin for us that we might put on the righteousness of God as found only in Christ Jesus.
The Bible states that Jesus – a fair and just yet merciful Judge of the living and the dead will forgive us if we confess our sins to Him – He is our priest, our High Priest. And if we confess our sins with godly sorrow and sincere repentance He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness – the actual cause of the sin in the first place.
1 John tells us that as we do this we can then share fellowship (close, intimate, personal relationship) with Jesus and God the Father and with one another. Catch that – we can fellowship with other members of the Body of Christ, the Church. Why? Because, like us, they too have been forgiven and cleansed. Stay with me, now…
In 1 Corinthians 11 Paul is talking about the Lord’s Supper – the meal in which we celebrate and commemorate the life and death of the Lord until His coming again. Here Paul states, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep (have died).”
Again, stay with me here. This is important. If you eat and drink in an unworthy manner – without having taken the time to examine your heart, mind and life and asked forgiveness for whatever the Holy Spirit reveals to you … then you are not forgiven and you drink and eat in an unworthy manner and are in a bit of trouble here. But, if you examine yourself you are fine and the Lord’s Supper is a serious blessing and a celebration.
Here it comes and worth waiting for as well… “For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep (have died) ” Here the word “body” is not referring to the element of bread on the Lord’s table but to the Church – the body of Christ – the fellowship we have with one another if and when we have confessed and been forgiven. We break fellowship with fellow believers when we don’t take seriously the Lord’s death on the Cross and the remembrance of that at the Lord’s Table – and this broken fellowship, like Adam and Eve’s broken fellowship with God – causes death. That’s how seriously the Lord takes the fellowship we have with one another through His shed blood and the forgiveness He offers.
Adds meaning and serious room for thought to our monthly celebration of the Lord’s Supper and to the fellowship we share with Him AND one another within the local church.