Paul is moving on to another issue–But the main issue is still, their NOT BEING OF ONE CORD, they are not a unified body.
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. After all the other he has spoken of, yeah these Corinthians have divisions, issues. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you. The Lord’s supper is not dinner with friends! Eat at home, worship and respect the Lord in his home.23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat;[b] this is My body which is broken[c] for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood[d] of the Lord. . 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner[e] eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s[f] body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
Communion has been turned into an interesting ritual by the different churches. Catholics and Baptist have communion only exclusive to ‘their own’. Methodist and Bible Church’s open communion, to all who believe. Some use wafers some use baked bread. Some use communal cups others little individual cups. Some must go to the ‘land’ of Holy of Holies to receive others sit in their seats and it is passed to them. Some insist on baptism as a prerequisite. Some do it weekly, others monthly, some just at Passover/Easter, some at weddings.
There are a lot of man-made rules attached to communion today. Must be of this religion or that. Must have no sin. Must be baptized in this church or that. Must kneel. Must have a clean heart. Must not hold any anger towards a brother in Christ. Must have no unforgiveness. Must be forgiven. Must be wine. Must not have ever had wine.
I have heard the scripture 1 Corinthians 11:27 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner[e] eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s[f] body. with Matthew 5:23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. used at communion to ‘tell’ the partakers to make sure they have the ‘right heart’ to receive the elements. Some will say Paul was talking about ‘examine yourself’ as to if you have divisions amongst yourselves, then throw in Matthew 5:23, which is totally different speaker and time and context, to prove you have to be all hunky dory with you fellow church goers before you have communion. I disagree with this interpretation by man, to dissuade communion of man and their Father.
In 17-19 Paul does reprimand for the discord in the church. The Corinthians are a dysfunctional group of people. There are those that think they are better than others, powerful because of their education and social status. The are pointing fingers and condemning the actions of the lowly and holding themselves and their cronies at different standards. Paul is disgusted by them. We have to imagine what was told him about the Lord’s supper mayhem. Remember Paul has a list of ‘problems’ and questions from these people and reports about these people. The church is NOT one. He is saying you are coming together for communion, for what? It shows their hearts are not for ‘the body’ in the way they conduct the communion it is a literally a drunken brawl. It is like a church picnic where people bring food only for themselves and don’t share. Or worse, like bringing breakfast burritos into church service and eating it and washing it down with the communion wine. This church has no respect for others nor God. After pointing out they have no reason to have communion, he starts to explain how to have communion. If they dare. 😉
Communion is for the believer to remind themselves of the price paid for them. Jesus’ life. To remember His body, the bread of life, was given to us, so we might ingest it and have life eternally. The literal body of Christ was broken so the Holy Spirit can dwell in us. The blood of Christ was spilled, he died yet conquered death, so that we too can have the opportunity to escape death, eternally. To have communion for any reason other than recognizing the price Christ paid for the believers eternal life is disrespectful, to say the least.
I venture to say, it also wrong for a man to interfere with the communion of a believer and God, based on man’s judgement of man. We are to judge our own hearts. We judge to know we,ourselves, are realizing the sacrifice made for us, each time we take communion. If we are not ‘perfect’ if we are angry, unforgiving, unforgiven, accused, fearful, doubting, in sin, have adversity in our lives, wouldn’t this be the time we most need to commune with God?