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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by buckster75, Dec 9, 2005.
When should a person "not" partake?
The only criteria for a believer not partaking is that he himself judges himself to be not worthy. The church cannot do it. The deacons cannot do it. The pastor cannot do it. In fact the Bible very clearly says for a man to examine himself.
Ok . So what are some things that you think might lead a person to judge himself to be not worthy?
Another question on LS. Who can partake?
A person may know deep in their heart that they are not saved. Another thing that could make one unworthy is unconfessed sin in their life.
I am a Plymouth Brethren...
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[ December 11, 2005, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: Bible-boy ]
The mystery of those who judge themselves unworthy is a tough one to answer. If we take into consideration the totality of scripture on the one hand there is none worthy to partake apart from imputed righteousness. No one is practically worthy. On the other hand because we have an imputed righteousness that can never be taken away, regardless of our practical holiness, we are all worthy to partake. It is indeed a tough question.
Read the entire passage in context to find out what partaking unworthily means. They were not discerning the Lord's body by taking the Lord's Supper to greedily fill their bellies. Gluttony and drunkeness.
What's the solution? That's found in the closing of the chapter.
Actually the church can do it. It is called church discipline.
...Along with the entire context which tells us what Paul meant by "unworthily". Otherwise we have clergy imposing their own definition of what "unworthily" means or consists of, restricting participation based on their own ideas rather than what God actually says in the passage.
One of the most blessed times I had was when I visited a Brethren church and shared with them the Lord's Supper. Unlike anything I had experienced before. No one-man presiding, just men as they were led by the Spirit to give a word of testimony of the Lord. Some would begin to sing and we would join in. One would be led to break the bread (bread, not a cracker) and serve it to everyone, and the same with the cup.
It was (for me) a time to truly meditate and participate in sharing and rejoicing in what He has done for us and not just a formality, patterned and played out by the pastor or church tradition.
One must judge themselves for the Lord's Supper is a personal ordinance in that each individual is participating to reflect on our Lord Jesus Christ. It is an intimate display of our receiving Christ's sacrifice to redeem us.
A lost person shouldn't partake because there is nothing to reflect. The taking of bread & wine by a sinner is a type of hypocrisy.
To be "unworthy" to participate would be due to the fact that a believer has unconfessed sin in their lives. This is why we examine ourselves before partaking.
I don't believe that church leaders should determine who should or should not partake. That's the purpose of the self-examination. I do believe the congregation should be educated on the LS and it's purpose and who is to partake. When we observe this ordinance, I'm busy examining myself, not others. I'm assuming that the church leaders should be doing the same.
There could be extreme cases were the leaders could discourage someone from partaking. These cases would be based on the fact that there is open sin being practiced by that insividual. This is really a situation that should be a handled in private and the goal should be to benefit that individual.
Yes. Paul does not address the statement to every individual human being - atheists, agnostics, Jews, Buddhists, infidels, etc. - but rather to believing baptized church members. It is within that class of individuals that it is given to examine themselves.
buckster, it is important to note that the word used is "unworthily", which is an adverb addressing the manner of participation, rather than "unworthy", which would be an adjective describing the person participating.
believers can unbaptisted and repentant or sin currently in their life but they are still believers.
That is for each believer to determine in their own life at the time of the Lord's Supper.
But in general, the answer to who can partake is simply...believers.
The object of the koinonia (fellowship) or communion of the saints is to remember AS A BODY the death of the Lord until He returns.
IF a man takes it "unworthily" (in an unworthy manner - context tells us some gorged on the bread and wine like a picnic lunch) they do not discern the Lord's body. (body = church, assembly, NOT physical body)
All of I Cor 11 instructions are to the CHURCH, not individual believers, as to how the CHURCH functions as a body.
The examination is to be done by the individual not the church. Church discipline is another matter altogether. If the church had her way a majority of its members would be judged as unworthy participants. Anyone who is not fully obeying all the precepts would not be allowed to participate. That would make fallen sinful, albeit regenerated, humans as judges! God purposelly said, let a man examine himself!
Are the ordinances "individual" or "corporate"?
Can a person be baptized WITHOUT the oversight, examination and ministry of a local church? No. There is a corporate responsibility.
And yes, when a person comes to be baptized in our church, WE JUDGE THEM. We evaluate their testimony in word and life very thoroughly and carefully.
And so at the Lord's Supper the church just shuts its corporate eyes and allow just anyone to partake? I don't think so. There is a MUTUAL responsibility - of the individual and the body.
I think it's a combination. If a person is living an openly sinful life and flaunting it, the it is up to the assembly. However, the individual needs to look within; there may be many things that others don't know about that he may need to examine more closely.