HOLY COMMUNION IS MUCH MORE NEEDED BY WEAK BELIEVERS!
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” – Romans 15:1.
Christians who easily sin or fail in their faith-walk are classified in Scriptures as weak brethren, and today’s topic says ,these ‘weak brethren’ are those who should be much more encouraged to partake of the Holy Communion in our churches.
The contrary unfortunately has rather been the case in most Christian assemblies. You hear from church altars, statements like “If you know you are unworthy of taking communion, do not make an attempt to approach the table”. These statements are usually made with 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 in mind, which says: “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But 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 damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep”
The wrong interpretation of the above scripture has scared most believers away from communion tables. They will tell you: “I examined myself and discovered I am still struggling with certain sins so I decided not to approach the table because I don’t want to die!” In other words, the Holy Communion is meant to be taken by special Christians who do not sin. Of course, this is a serious error which can be corrected by our understanding of 1 John I:7-9, which says “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
The Word “Fellowship” also means “Communion”. The scripture says, “if we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ…cleanseth us from all sins”. In other words, “if we have communion with one another, the blood of Jesus (which we share in the communion) cleanses us from all sins”. Why then should anybody be restricted from taking the Holy Communion simply because he fell into sin the previous day, when there is an obvious provision for dealing with sin in the above scripture? The scripture says “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
NOBODY IS A SPECIAL CHRISTIAN
No man in the flesh can beat his chest and say “I do not sin!” Religious positions in churches and long robes do not exempt us from sin! What exempts us from sin is not what we do, but what has been done for us. Righteousness has been imputed upon us through our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is what exempts us from sin! The fact that through salvation, we are now given the grace to exercise ourselves in righteousness does not mean ‘what we do’ is the reason we are righteous. Our righteousness is a nature not an action. For instance, if you meet me (a pastor) playing football with my children at home, will you call me a footballer? If you cannot call me a footballer, then in the same vein, you cannot call a genuine believer who fell into sin a sinner. All a believer who fell into sin needs do is repent, confess the sin from his heart and God will forgive him.
But of course, this understanding does not give us the license to sin! Apostle Paul said “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”- Romans 6:1-2. Beloved, sin is a nature, and the way to know you do not have that nature is that, you do not take delight in sin. If a true believer sins, he will not be able to sleep until he confesses and asks God for forgiveness. Such a believer, though weak, is the one who should rather be encouraged to partake in the communion because the blood of Jesus is what purges men to become better servants of God. Hebrew 9:13-14 says “For if the blood of bulls and of goats…sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
IT IS A MYSTERIOUS SPIRITUAL DRUG
Please, do not stop anyone who is born again from taking the Holy Communion because just as a sick person needs medicine, so does a weak believer need the blood to purge his sinful habits. Hebrews 9:22 says “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission”. The Holy Communion is therefore needed to live a good Christian life. Jesus Said “…Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:53-54. Meaning, Holy Communion mysteriously imparts us with the very life of Christ for us to live like Him. Partaking in the Holy Communion is the practical way of having the life of Christ flow in us physically!
What then is the “unworthiness” which Paul spoke about in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29? Verse 22 of that scripture has the answer. It says “What? Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God…?” Meaning, the Corinthian church took the communion like they were eating food in their houses. That is “unworthy”! The Communion is a spiritual meal, so if you take it like you are taking snacks, you are taking it unworthily. If you take it with a carnal mind, you are taking it unworthily! Jesus called the broken bread His body and the fruit of the vine His blood. This should be on your mind when taking the Communion and not how delicious it tastes. The Corinthian church rushed in on the Communion to satisfy their appetite, that is what Paul meant by “taking it unworthily” and not necessarily because they sinned before coming to the table. When you take the communion unworthily, you do not enjoy its benefits. Instead of divine health, you get sick et cetera (1 Cor 11:29-30). Beloved, do not be scared of the Holy Communion!