“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many” (1 Cor. 12:13-14).
Paul immediately goes on to explain that this is why we need one another. The foot cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you. This is wonderful and challenging to live out. Because of the work of the Spirit, we must have the eyes of faith like Boaz, looking for and expecting the fruit of the Spirit in people very different from us: Jews, Greeks, slaves, free, young, old, male, female, disabled, etc. If the Lord welcomes us to His table, then who are we to despise His grace? We must not be like the older brother refusing to come to the feast, when our Father has received back any of His prodigal sons.
But Paul does not intend for God’s people to go on thoughtless auto-pilot. Just before this portion, he has rebuked the Corinthians for abusing the Lord’s Supper and mistreating one another and having rivalries. He said that there is a way to live that basically undoes the Lord’s Supper – “When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper…” They were an apostolic church, planted by the Apostle Paul, and yet Paul made it clear that certain forms of disobedience completely nullified their sacrament and for this reason people in Corinth had died. This is why when Churches proclaim their high-handed disobedience to God’s Word, we should not say, but at least they have weekly communion. Why would we wish them to continue taking God’s judgment on to themselves week after week given their sin?
In other words, the grace and blessing of the Lord’s Supper is not unrelated to the people we are sharing the meal with. When we share the bread and wine, we are saying that we need one another, and in some way the Spirit is knitting us together. This is wonderful and glorious when the Spirit is alive and well, but just like a body with cancer, the same circulatory system that is meant to spread life can become the means of death. When we take this meal we are committing ourselves to receive all that Jesus receives, and we are also committing ourselves to deal with sin in our own lives and in the lives of those sitting all around us. So as we assemble at the Table of the Lord this morning, let us recommit ourselves to receiving one another and dealing with our sins honestly before the Lord.