Life-Study of 1 Corinthians

Life-Study of 1 Corinthiansby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0959-4
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 49 of 69 Section 1 of 3

LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST CORINTHIANS

MESSAGE FORTY-NINE

THE LORD’S TABLE

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Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 10:14-22

In 10:14-22 Paul speaks about keeping the Lord’s table from idolatry. In verses 14 through 18 he speaks of the fellowship of the Lord’s blood and body, and in verses 19 through 22, the separation of the Lord’s table from the table of demons.

FLEEING IDOLATRY

In verse 14 Paul says, “Wherefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” The word “wherefore” at the beginning of this verse indicates that the following section to verse 30 is a conclusion to the preceding section, from 8:1, concerning eating sacrifices to idols. Literally, the Greek words rendered idolatry are “the idolatry,” referring to the idolatry involved in eating sacrifices to idols.

In his understanding of the holy Word, Paul is able to see through the physical things and through the black and white letters and to see Christ. For example, in 10:4 he speaks of a physical rock as Christ. This indicates that in this rock he sees Christ. In the same principle, by the word idolatry Paul does not merely mean graven images, but something much broader and more inclusive. As we shall see, idolatry here implies a great deal.

In verse 15 Paul continues, “I speak as to prudent men; you judge what I say.” Paul expected that the readers would not stop at the black and white letters, but dig into what he says and then investigate, discern, and judge it. He wanted them to carefully examine and judge what he was saying.

FELLOWSHIP OF THE BLOOD AND BODY

In verse 16 Paul suddenly speaks of the cup of blessing: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a fellowship of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a fellowship of the body of Christ?” Apparently there is no flow of proper continuation between verses 15 and 16. Without any transition, Paul begins to speak of the cup of blessing, indicating that it is a fellowship of the blood of Christ. He also speaks concerning the bread, indicating that it is a fellowship of the body of Christ. We should not take this verse for granted, assuming that we understand it when we actually understand very little, if anything. We need to investigate the meaning of the expressions “a fellowship of the blood of Christ” and “a fellowship of the body of Christ.”

The Greek word rendered fellowship also means joint participation. Fellowship here refers to the believer’s communion in the joint participation in the blood and body of Christ. This makes us, the participants of the Lord’s blood and body, not only one with one another, but also one with the Lord. We, the participants, make ourselves identified with the Lord in the fellowship of His blood and body. The apostle’s thought here is to illustrate how eating and drinking make the eaters and drinkers one with what they eat and drink. The Corinthians should realize that their abusive eating of idol sacrifices actually makes them one with the demons behind the sacrifices.

ONE BREAD, ONE BODY

In verse 17 Paul speaks a strong word concerning the one bread and the one Body: “Seeing that we who are many are one bread, one Body; for we all partake of the one bread.” We are all one bread, one Body, because we all partake of the one bread. Our joint partaking of the one bread makes us all one. This indicates that our partaking of Christ makes us all His one Body. The very Christ of whom we all partake constitutes us into His one Body.

Partaking of the one bread, that is, eating of it (vv. 28-30), identifies us with it. This means that our partaking of Christ, our enjoyment of Christ, identifies us with Him, making us one with Him.


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