You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true.
When we bless the cup at the Lord's Table, aren't we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren't we sharing in the body of Christ?
And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body.
Look at the Israelites from a human point of view. Those who eat the sacrifices share in what is on the altar, don't they?
Am I suggesting that an offering made to idols means anything, or that an idol itself means anything?
Hardly! What they offer, they offer to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to become partners with demons.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot eat at the table of the Lord and at the table of demons.
Are we trying to provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than he is, are we? (1 Cor 10:15-22)
What indeed is Paul trying to say here? Is he suggesting idols are anything? Hardly, he says. He is saying something much deeper than that.
Allow me to take you back to a comment Paul made in chapter 6:
1 Cor 6:15 Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!
1 Cor 6:16 And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, "The two are united into one."
1 Cor 6:17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
1 Cor 6:18 Run from sexual sin!
Now he is saying run from idolatry. Do you see the connection? So often in the Old Testament particularly God’s relationship with His people Israel is depicted as a marriage relationship. The act of loving Him and worshipping Him is likened to the sexual relationship within marriage. Don’t prostitute yourselves with other gods, God says. Do you see that in joining yourself to a prostitute you become one flesh with her? Likewise by analogy in joining yourself with “a religious love” you become one flesh as well. The principle and the analogy are the same.
When you take communion you are one body with Christ. If you dabble in the worship of anything else the same is true. How much more actually worshipping other gods through offerings sacrificed to idols! You are prostituting yourself spiritually. Hence Paul’s use of the words “spiritual” with the bread and with the water. All of this thought is connected together and it is deep. God has done all this for you, you have had such favour and you chose to throw it all away in dabbling with other gods.
When you worship other gods, or consult them, you are prostituting yourself. But Ian, I only “play” the horoscopes. My point exactly. You are playing around (in both senses of the word). “I am only keeping up my family traditions and consulting the dukun or shaman”. Exactly you are prostituting yourself. Do you see the point? When you do these things you become one body with the thing you worship. You cannot eat and drink with demons and remain one body with Christ. You are either one body with Christ or you are not. You are either “in Christ” or you are not. You can’t be two “one bodies” by definition. So the same principle that happens with being with a prostitute happens too in religious practice. When God uses the analogy in Scripture of His relationship with His people being like a marriage He is serious. As we were reminded on the weekend by Allan Meyer "God has experienced divorce with Israel". No wonder He hates divorce.
The symbolism of communion is way more than simple symbolism. It is hugely complex. “After all you are showing the Lord’s death until He comes again.”
To clip some thoughts from what’s ahead:
1 Cor 11:27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
1 Cor 11:28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup.
1 Cor 11:29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honouring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God's judgment upon yourself.
Taking Communion lightly is a serious matter. “ Wow you mean what’s still to come is connected with the past stuff Paul has said.” Hey people believe me, with Paul EVERYTHING is connected to EVERYTHING else.
Enough to ponder for now.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. You go get your own opinions!
Some drink from the fountain of knowledge. Others just rinse and spit.
Don’t spit before tomorrow.