1 Corinthians 11 – [Part 4] – “BE Who You Are”

2009 July 28

Filed In:

All Ate the Same Spiritual Food (Paedocommunion),

All Were Baptized in the Cloud and in the Sea (Paedobaptism)


“Judging ourselves rightly has been the common fear of many a Christian at the Lord’s table – as if it were about being good enough to get to the table.”


THE CALL TO “BE WHO YOU ARE”

Paul frequently tells his hearers to “be who you are.”

In the following the underlined are the identity (“who you are“), and the bold are the call (“be who you are“):

Therefore, [since] you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him…  (Col 2.6)

1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?…So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.  (Rom 6.1-3, 11)

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, [since] you really are unleavened. (1 Cor 5.7)

WHO WE ARE, WHO WE MUST BE

In 1 Corinthians, Paul commands believers this way to live out of their identity; and he has two major identity themes I want to highlight here, and they converge in our pericope (1 Cor 10-12).

  1. – The body is one. [Jews and Gentiles are united in a single family, rich and poor together, not factionalized]
  2. – The body is holy.

As you skim the following, keep in mind that the opposites show up too- UNITY: disunity/fragmentation/strife/jealousy/division; HOLINESS: immorality, disobedience, unrighteousness.

Let’s examine a few passages before we see their convergence in chapter 11.

  • UNITY:   10I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Cor 1.10-13)
  • UNITY: 3for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?… 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Cor 3.3-9)
  • HOLINESS: 16Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (1 Cor 3.16-17)
  • HOLINESS: It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. (1 Cor 5.1-2)
  • HOLINESS: Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  (1 Cor 5.6-8)
  • UNITY and HOLINESS: Let him who has done this be removed from among you….But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindlernot even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”  (1 Cor 5.6,11-13)
  • UNITY: “When one of you has a grievance against another,…brother goes to law against brother,” (1 Cor 6.1,6)
  • HOLINESS: Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6.9-11)
  • HOLINESS:  “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” (1 Cor 7.14)


So, Paul, by the Spirit, tells the church to “BE who you ARE.  You are HOLY, BE HOLY.  You are A UNITY, BE A UNIFIED.”

Major images used for the unity of the church in 1 Cor are field or vineyard, temple, and body, especially BODY.

There are two ways of hurting your fellow body member:

  1. impurity – engaging in unholiness which spreads like gangrene in the body.  Unholiness is contagious, a little leaven leavens the whole lump.  If a member will not repent he is to be cut out so that the body does not die, that the temple is not defiled.
  2. division – actually sinning AGAINST your brothers.  If you divide the body, the irony is you are actually engaging in unholiness.

THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE

We find that 1 Cor 3.16-17 (temple destruction) is very similar to 1 Cor 11.16-32 (body sickness).  In both cases, hurting the church is judged by God’s destruction:

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”  (1 Cor 3.16-17)

“When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. 21For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.   …27Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without [recognizing] the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Cor 11.20-22, 27-32)

JUDGING OURSELVES RIGHTLY

You are a body, so BE UNITED.  If you look down on, despise, treat poorly any other of your church body members, God will destroy your own body.  If you eat a meal of unity in a way that divides, then you are eating and drinking judgment upon yourself.  If you destroy God’s temple, God will destroy you, for God’s temple is holy, and that is what you are.

Judging ourselves rightly has been the common fear of many a Christian at the Lord’s table.  As if it were about being good enough to get to the table.  Paul is indeed addressing each individual with his responisbility to check himself, but the checking is for division, check to see if YOU are shaming the poor (11.22), check to see if you are drinking Dionysian drunken worship rather than sharing wine with your Christian brother (vv.20-21).  Paul is talking about making worship unholy by division.

This is an external, public hypocrisy sin.  Paul is not asking us to worry about being able to work out salvation in our minds before the cup gets to our seat.  This is also a big person sin.  This is not a sin of children.

We must admit that Jesus died for “even infants” (Luke 18.15-17), and we must admit that the symbol of broken bread and pour wine are a reminder of forgiveness and the removal of sin.  We are not to worry that “even infants” might commune with the God who saved them at the cross.  We are not to worry that “even infants” are not clean enough from the sin which was taken away by the breaking of his body and the pouring out of his blood.

We ARE to worry about taking the whole loaf of his body and feeding it to only part of his body.  We ARE to worry about getting drunk on the wine by hogging it while we leave some of God’s Vineyard hungry.  We ARE to worry about sharing the body in a way that we refuse to share the body with all the body.

Peter committed this sin at Antioch, refusing to be united with the Gentiles at the table (Gal 2.11-14) and was “not acting in line with the truth of the gospel”:

When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

Rather:

17Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (1 Cor 10.17)

13For 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. (1 Cor 12.13)

THE BAPTIZED ARE THE BODY, THE BODY IS THE COMMUNION, THE BODY COMMUNES.

—–

In post [5] I will deal with the 4 verbs people use to say that 1 Cor 11 requires age of children.

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1 Corinthians 11 – [Part 2] – “Examination and Unworthiness”

2009 July 22

1 Cor 10.3-4, 5-6, 11-12 says: all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink…they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did…Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction…Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”


Paul speaks in direct reaction to Old Testament sin: They sinned as an example, so examine yourself!  Israelites should have examined.  They should “have taken heed lest they fall”.


In case you are joining us in medias res, the point of my long writing is to show that 1 Corinthians 11 DOES NOT exclude infants (that is, those who can eat) from eating at their father’s meal, the Lord’s Supper.  Yes, that was a loaded sentence.

A SIMPLE ARGUMENT GOES

1] God warned the people of the Old Testament about eating his meals and judgment.

2] But those meals still included children.

3] Therefore, the command to “examine” to avoid “judgment at a meal” does not exclude children.

A BANG-UP ARGUMENT

The reason this is really such a bang-up argument, in my opinion, is that “our examination passage” (1 Cor 11), is directly preceded by 1 Cor 10, an OT EXAMINATION PASSAGE where Paul uses judgment at OT feasting to warn of judgment at NT feasting.  Paul’s argument can be boiled down like this:

We know that we ought to examine our actions in relation to the meal, because our fathers should have examined themselves before they ate so unworthily.

The POINT of this post is to examine the details of 1 Cor 10.  In 1 Cor 10, Paul reviews many cases of OT gross adult sin, and in effect says, “They should have examined themselves, but they at least serve as an example to us not to make the same mistakes”

WHAT IS THE OT EXAMPLE?
Unity Demonstrated

10.2    No one was excluded from baptism

10.3    No one was excluded from eating

10.4    No one was excluded from drinking

10.5    ALL Should have examined themselves

10.12 Based on this example, we should examine ourselves (take heed)

SINS and MEALS listed:

5.7-8 Passover [Ex 12]

10.3   Manna, Quail [Ex 16, Num 11, Ps 105.39-41]

10.4   Water from the Rock [Ex 16, Ps 105.39-41]

10.7    Idolatry – Golden Calf actually mixed idolatry with Peace Offerings [Ex 32.1-6 esp 5-6]  (cf. 10.21)

10.8    Immorality – mixed with idolatry.  [Num 25.1-9]

10.9    Despising God’s provided food: Manna [Num 21.5-9]- greed and gluttony [cf. Ps 78.18, Ex 17.7].

“Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.”

10.10   Grumbling {Rebellion -Num 14.9, Murder threatened 14.9-10}

[Num 14.2, 29-37 cf. Ex 12.23, 2 Sam 24.16, 1 Chr 21.15, Ps. 78.49]

10.18   “Sacrifices” – usually means Peace Offerings

CHILDREN WERE INCLUDED, and EXAMINATION WAS NEEDED

Inclusion:

I hardly need to prove that children ate Manna, or drank the Water from the Christ-rock.

It is clear that children took part in the Peace Offerings (sh’lamim – a.k.a.: Fellowship Offerings, Sacrifice of Thanks, Sacrifice of Praise, Vow Offerings, Freewill Offerings). [Dt 12.5-7, Lev 10.14].

Passover was INTENDED [Ex 10-9-10] for children, and COMMANDED for ALL Israelites:

9Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old. We will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, for we must hold a feast to the LORD.” 10But he said to them, “The LORD be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Look, you have some evil purpose in mind. (Ex 10)

47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep [passover].  (Ex 12)

Examination

Simply put, the need for ALL to examine is proven by the fact that ALL Israel was unified by baptism, eating and drinking but were still judged for grown up sins.  Those who are old enough to commit these sins are old enough to examine and old enough to repent.  Those who are not old enough to examine, are not old enough to get in trouble.  Not old enough for judgment.  BUT they are old enough to eat.


1 Corinthians 11 – [Part 1] – “Grown Up Sins”

2009 July 21

The following post is in response to comments on THIS entry.

I guess I better get something underway in terms of answering your question.

I think I should probably begin with 1 Cor 11 (Or 1 Cor 10-12).

Background
In the pericope of our concern, 1 Corinthians 10-12, I think there are two big themes:

1] the UNITY of the baptized and communing body, and

2] the HOLINESS of the baptized and communing body.

These are themes for the larger letter of 1 Corinthians as a whole, and we can feel it strongly when we get to the end of 1 Cor 11 where disunity is a means of unholiness – and it is judged harshly.

My Goal
1 Cor 11 is NOT telling all to check if they are Christians, or if they understand doctrine.  It is telling the people to make sure they are not use the meal of unity to dishonor his brother with hypocritcal disunity.  We should examine this all the time, so that we can eat in peace.  But it is not a “moment of the meal” examination which excludes the young and the mentally handicapped.  This can be demonstrated contextually.

My goal is to show that Paul does not put restrictions on meal participation based on age or ability.  In fact, he doesn’t tell anyone NOT to eat; rather he tells us not to mock God with blasphemous, gross, or publicly hypocritical sins — grown up sins.

Paul’s goal is to prevent sin.  So he is saying: “Repent! Then eat as clean people…”  Not, “If you are a sinner, you should sit it out to be safe.”

Flat out, Paul has been saying that gross, public immorality, idolatry and hypocritically using the fellowship meal to exclude the poor are dangerous ways to live.  In fact, since you are GOING to eat, you will be judged for certain behaviors.

Please note: I am not talking about “getting saved or staying saved by works;” instead, I am talking about, “fearing God’s discipline enough to change.”

Presumably, it is Christians who need to worry about Paul’s threat in the passage; it is MEMBERS who need worry.  Of course, yes we all sin.  But there are things with which God is not patient, especially when the church defiles his name among the gentiles.  The idea of defiling the name of God among the Gentiles (See Ezek 36.22-32) is common in Paul (Rom 2.24), and is especially chilling in 1 Corinthians (see 5.1-5).

There we actually see the idea of immorality making the meal defiled, and the church BARRING the meal from the publicly known immoral ones.

1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

3For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. 4When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

9I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

This dynamic continues in the epistle.  In 1 Cor 10, we look to OT saints who were baptized, communing and united, but whose gross immorality, idolatry and mocking of God received God’s judgment.

“Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.”  (1 Cor 10.6)

1 Cor 11 says that we defile our eating by mocking the poor, and so mocking members of the Messiah’s very body.  We use the occasion of the Lord’s meal to bring our own fancy sack lunches and eat and get drunk in front of the poor who end up with nothing (1 Cor 11.20-22).  A meal of unity for disunity, of fellowship for division, of koinwnia which is used to proclaim my wealth and status over another’s poverty.

THAT is what must be “examined” for (v 28).  I am to make sure I am NOT DOING THAT.  If I do I am not “recognizing the body” (v 29) in the meal.  I think these verses can faithfully be read this way:

28Let a person examine himself, then, and [THEN repentantly or cleanly] EAT of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without rightly recognizing the makeup of the body [including the poor] eats and drinks judgment on himself.

Public Profession of Faith

2009 July 14

“Why do you have to profess faith to come to the Lord’s Table when coming to the Lord’s Table is a profession of faith?”

Doug Wilson, Blog and Mablog, “Gerazim and Ebal – Topic: Paedocommunion”, 7/14/2009 7:03:29 PM

[Click to see originan context]


Easter – Video: Resurrected Children and Passover

2009 April 12

My new video about Paedocommunion-


Ephesians 4: Infants and the Lord

2009 February 23

I will probably post a longer version of this at http://paedocommunion.wordpress.com later.

When you read the following, ask, “Who is baptized?” Who is a member of the one Body which is growing into the one headThe Baptized are contiguous with the Body, contiguous with the children of the Father who is God.

1I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. [Ephesians 4.1-5]

What are the implications?  Infant salvation at least is implied.

!!! Be sure: I don’t mean baptism saves you, but we baptize infants because God promised to be God to us and to our children after us, commanding that they receive the sign of inclusion [Gen 17.7-11 READ], which is the seal of the righteousness that comes previously by faith [Rom 4.11 READ].

We are commanded to presume them faithful, and matching this, we are commanded to include them sacramentally.

If you are interested in the doctrine of Paedofaith (a new word for an old idea), I have made a video about it here: http://www.WinepressFilms.com .

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Facebook Group for Paedocommunionists

2008 October 25
Click on the image at the right to join the Facebook group designed for paedocommunionists.

Paedocommunion - Biblical, Historical, Good for the Church

Paedocommunion - Biblical, Historical, Good for the Church