The order and meaning of the Lord’s Supper is set forth in 1 Cor. 11; but in chap. 10 the apostle emphasises a specially important principle, namely, that fellowship at the Lord’s Table demands separation from all things opposed to it, or inconsistent with it. He shows that all who partake at the Table are identified with all that it expresses; just as all who partook in Israel’s sacrifices of old were identified with the altar upon which they were offered. Therefore to have fellowship with whatever things are anti-Christian is to be definitely associated with what is opposed to Christ—a very serious conclusion!
When an Assembly meet to “break bread,” they exhibit a wonderful communion or participation: they are sharers in the body and blood of the Lord. That body has been given for them as the perfect and all-sufficient sacrifice to God; that blood in its eternal efficacy has been shed for the remission of sins. In this Divine Substitute they are fully accepted before God, and now one with Him by a union indissoluble. As they worship the Father in spirit and in truth, and partake of the emblems, they enter in thought into the significance of the Cross, with bowed hearts, often too full for words to express the felt emotions.
There is a cancer attacking the spiritual state of many professed believers, causing serious symptoms of insensibility to the things of God. It is the lure of this present godless age, in its round of pleasures and worldly associations, spiritually called adultery and fornication (1 John 2:15-17; Jas. 4:4). At the time when Israel provoked God to jealousy with their golden calf, there ensued an almost unbelievable state of religious confusion: Aaron the High Priest built an altar before the calf, and said, “To-morrow is a feast to the Lord!” The people brought their burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, and “sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play” (not pray)—they danced before the idol! (Exo. 32).
The parallel is found to-day when professed members of Christ sit down to partake of His Supper (supposedly one with Him in His death and resurrection), and rise up and join in, more or less, with the ways and pleasures of this condemned world, for the rest of the week. It is the sin of idolatry: other objects have displaced the Christ of God in the heart’s affections.
The issue is quite clear: Christ or the world! There can be no compromise. It is Christ and His rejection, or the world and its favour; it is the Lord’s Table, or “the table of demons” (all unholy fellowship). A choice must be made and a decision reached; a laying aside of all things inconsistent with the truth of the Lord’s Table.
“Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (1 Cor. 11:28-29).