1 Corinthians 11:26

Elnathan Wight
Baptist; Bellingham, Massachusetts Unknown
Mss. Boxes S, Sermons Collection, 1640-1875, American Antiquarian Society


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"For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do shew the Lord's death till he come (1 Corinthians 11.26) ."


The church at Corinth to whom the apostle wrote this epistle consisted of Jews and Gentiles the apostle Paul was instrumental of the conversion of many of them and gathered A church there and he left them in peace and good, order and this church was favored with the extraordinary gifts of the spirit so that some wrought miracles, and others prophesied and some interpreted, speak with tongues, and others interpreted, tho’ they were so highly favored of the Lord as to have Paul and Apollos to teach and instruct them in their first being gathered into a church state and had men among themselves that were greatly gifted by the holy spirit yet they were guilty of many disorders there was divisions among them which should not have been some were for Paul, and


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others, for Apollos, and they made a wrong use, and improvement of their gifts diverse persons would speak at once in the church which tended to disorder, and confusion they also envied one another's gifts, which was very sinful. they were guilty also of making a sad abuse of the Lords supper. which the apostle sharply reproveth them for in this chapter verses 17-18: now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better but for the worse for first of all when ye come together in the church I hear that there be divisions among you, and I partly believe it (1 Corinthians 11:17-18) . this was very sad indeed that their meeting together for the worship of God, should be for the worse, when the design of their meeting together as it was Gods appointment was for their comfort and edification and that they might be made better, and that they might be the more united in love but instead of its having this good effect upon them there was divisions among them this way


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very far from being either for their comfort or edification, and when they came together they shamefully abused the ordinance of the Lord's supper as appears verse 20 and onward: when ye come therefore into one place this is not to eat the Lords supper for in eating every one taketh before other his own supper and one is hungry and another is drunken. what have ye not houses of your own to eat and drink in? or despise ye the church of god, and shame them that have not? what shall I say unto you? shall I praise you in this I praise you not (1 Corinthians 11:20-22) ; they had so perverted the ordinance of the supper that the apostle said this is not to eat the Lord's supper (1 Corinthians 11:20:) , they were so far from making that use of this ordinance as was really designed by it that it did not deserve the name as they practiced it. seeing they had so corrupted this ordinance and made such an ill use of it so far from the original design of it, he informed them concerning


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the first institution of it and what was the end and design of it. verses 23, 24, 25 together with our text. for I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread and when he had given thanks he brake it, and said take eat this is my body which is broken for you this do in remembrance of me, after the same manner he took the cup and when he had supped saying this cup is the new testament in my blood. This do ye as oft as ye drink in remembrance of me, for as oft as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do shew the Lords death till he come (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) , here the apostles show, that this ordinance of the supper was of divine original he had received it of the Lord and he tells when it was instituted. viz the same night in which the Lord Jesus was betrayed the night before he


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was crucified and he tells the form and manner in which it was instituted, and should be administered. he tells also the end and design of this ordinance that it should be done in remembrance of him, and to show forth his death. he also showeth how long this ordinance should be kept up viz. till Christ's second coming because Christians are to show forth his death in this way till he cometh, till he cometh the second time when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to judge the world in righteousness.


from the word, read for our present meditation we may observe this doctrinal note viz. That the ordinance of the Lord's supper is for a standing memorial in the church of the death and sufferings of Christ till his second coming— in speaking from this doctrine I shall observe the following method—


1. I shall show that the Lord's supper is an instituted ordinance of Jesus Christ


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2. Show that Christ will come a second time—


3. That the ordinance of the supper will be of use to the church till he cometh again—


4. Show who have a right to this ordinance, or who are worthy partakers of it.—


5. That those that worthily partake of this ordinance show forth the death of Christ and in what respects—


6. and lastly make improvement upon the whole—


1. of all I am to show that the Lord's supper is an instituted ordinance of Jesus Christ. context verse 23. for I have received of the Lord that which also I have delivered unto you that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread and when he had given thanks he brake it, and said take eat this is my body which is broken for you this do in remembrance of me (1 Corinthians 11:23-24) , this the apostle said is what he had received of the Lord but how it was that he had received it he doth not


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tell. he did not received of him in the manner that the eleven disciples did who were with him when he at first instituted this Christ ordinance the same night in which he was betrayed, for the apostle Paul was not then converted but was a violent persecutor of the church whether the apostle received this of the Lord by immediate revelation or from the other apostles is not certain to us but this we are certain of that it is what he had received of the Lord for it is what he solemnly declareth, and we know also that this agrees with the first institution of the supper which Christ instituted the night before his passion as is recorded in the Evangelists so that there are many witnesses for this truth, that the ordinance of the supper is an institution of Jesus Christ the eleven apostles were all present when he instituted it. and there is three of them have given their public testimony to the world that he instituted it


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this supper. and it is called his supper partly at least because it was instituted by him, and he is the great head of the church, he is their Lord and king. so that he has authority to set a-side and set up just such laws and ordinances as he pleaseth and this is what he appointed just before his death. to be observed by his new testament church and strictly commanded them to live in the practice of it. and he took bread and gave thanks and break it and gave it unto them saying this is my body which is given for you this do in remembrance of me, likewise also he took the cup after supper saying this cup is the new testament in my blood which is shed for you (Luke 22:19-20) . here we may plainly see that the Lord's supper is an instituted ordinance of Jesus Christ and is what he expressly commanded his disciples and new testament church to live in the observance of for he said to them this do in remembrance


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of me (Luke 22:19) this is a very express command of Jesus Christ but—


2. To show that Christ will come a second time this is an article of the christian faith and it is what is implied in the words, of our text for as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup ye do shew the Lord's death till he come (1 Corinthians 11:26) , it is evident from this that he will come the second time, and this is abundantly evident from other parts of the holy scripture it is what he frequently spake of to his disciples in the days of his flesh. and at some times he spoke of it to the men of the world. and this is what the apostles were often speaking of to those that heard them. this is what some of them had often heard him speak of while he was yet with them and it was much upon their minds and it is altogether likely that it had a deep impression upon them, but not


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to insist here but to proceed to the—


3 Thing proposed which is to show that the ordinance of the Lord's supper will be of use to the church till he cometh again for as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do shew the Lord's death till he come (1 Corinthians 11:26) it is evident from this that this ordinance is to be kept up in the church till Christ's second coming. according to his appointment ... and if it was not of use to the church he would not have appointed it for he perfectly knoweth what is most for their comfort, and edification, there is none of the saints that are so perfect as to be above the need of ordinances so long as they are in this world they have need of ordinances on many accounts it seems that it is needful in order to their distinguishing themselves from the rest of the world. if there was no ordinances of Christ it would be difficult to prove that he had a visible


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church indeed there are many false professors that thrust themselves into the church, so that there are many ungodly men that are visible members of it. yet this is one way that true believers should distinguish themselves from the greater part of the world by their attending upon the special ordinances of Christ so that the ordinance of the supper will be of use to the church to the end of the world on this account. the lamps without oil can be of no service yet lamps with oil are very useful in their place and will be till the bride groom cometh (Matthew 25:1-13) , the saints will need this ordinance also for their being comforted and edified and for their increase and growth in grace for there is none that arrive to perfection of grace so long as they are in this world. it is and will be of great use to them to bring to mind his sufferings and death, and also of his second coming. which


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they have the greatest need to remember, and to be put in mind of and it is what they are too often apt to forget and it is altogether likely that the saints will stand in as much need of this ordinance in the last ages of the world as in any age whatsoever, and it will be kept up till then. it is to be a standing memorial of his sufferings and death until he cometh the second time, but—


4. we are to inquire who have a right to partake of this ordinance or who are worthy partakers of it seeing it is the express command of Jesus Christ to all those that have a right to partake of this ordinance so that it is very sinful for them to neglect it, and seeing, it is sinful and dangerous for any to partake of it that are not worthy I shall something


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enlarge under this head, and before we proceed to particulars we may observe that. some persons may have as it were a [*] twofold right to this ordinance. ie. they may have a real inward right to it in the sight of god. and an open and visible right to it in the eyes of the church but there are some who have a visible right to it in the sight of the church, who have no real and inward right to it in the sight of god. and there are some who may have a right to it in the sight of god in some sense. who have not in the eyes of the church because they have not given their evidences to the church, they must judge according to outward appearance it is god only that can see the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) , but such as have really qualified for church membership. so as to partake of the special ordinances of Christ


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should have a right to it in the sight of god, and man and it may not be amiss if we should inquire—


1. who has a right to it in the sight of men, or in the eyes of the church for this is the rule that churches should act by in their admission of members to this ordinance if they do not they will become guilty of admitting persons to this ordinance who will eat and drink judgment for themselves damnation to themselves but persons may have a right in the sight of men when they are of a sound judgment in all the essential doctrines of the gospel. and understand the end and design of the special ordinances of Jesus Christ who can give such an account of their faith in Christ if they speak true is saving. if they be such whose lives are free from open and scandalous sins such persons


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may be said to have a visible right to this ordinance. so that no church can deny them the liberty of it this ordinance, if they make profession of their faith and submit to the ordinance of baptism. which is the way for them to come to this in a regular, manner they that are thus qualified for this ordinance, and have submitted to baptism have a right to it in the sight of the church tho’ they may be destitute of true grace because one man can not know the heart of another they can judge no further than by what they say and by the manner of their lives. i.e. their outward life which appears to men; and if there be any that impose upon any church the sin will lie at their own door, if the church have taken sufficient pains to inform themselves of such persons—but


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2 Let us inquire who have a real inward right to this ordinance so as to be worthy partakers of it in the sight of god this is a thing which concerns every soul in particular, that they might know whether they have a real right to ithe ordinance of the Lords Supper. In general they must be such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and understand the end, and design of this ordinance con then they that gladly received this word were baptized and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls and they continued steadfast in the apostles' doctrine, and fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayer (Acts 2:41-42) , they that gladly received the word were such as believed in Christ for the same persons are spoken of verse 44. and all that believed were together etc. (Acts 2:44) these were the persons. that continued steadfast in the apostles' doctrine and in breaking of bread and in prayer. there is no soul


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who is an unbeliever that has an inward right to ithis ordinance but such as really believe in the Lord Jesus Christ context verses 28-29 but let a man examine himself and so let him eat of this bread and drink of this cup, for he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to him self, not discerning the Lord's body (1 Corinthians 11:28-29) . here we see that faith is necessary in order to be the worthy partakers of this ordinance for how can a person discern the Lord's body in a spiritual sense without true faith. surely they can not and if they have not faith they can not discern the Lord's body and consequently they are unworthy receivers they are blind and ignorant as to the spiritual meaning of this ordinance and are very far from receiving any benefit by, and they really profane it. context verse 27. 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 (1 Corinthians 11:27)


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How is it possible that an unbeliever shamed be a worthy partaker for they have no true knowledge of Christ neither have they one spark of true love to him, but instead thereof they are in love with sin, and are full of enmity against the Lord Jesus so that they are very far from being worthy receivers indeed there are some who call themselves Christians yea there are a number such in this land, who think the Lord's supper to be a converting ordinance and think that unconverted persons should partake of it in order to conversion but this opinion of theirs I see no foundation for in the word of god. for if unbelievers should partake of it what need of examination in order thereto. and why doth any one eat and drink their own damnation because they do not discern the Lord's body for there is no unbeliever that can discern it in a spiritual sense. if true faith be necessary to give a person a right to this ordinance it may be proper to inquire what is implied


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in true faith so that persons might know whether they have this faith or no, for there are many that deceive themselves here they think that they have saving faith when they have not—


1. It implieth or presupposeth that they are convinced of sin and of their lost and miserable condition that they are undone in themselves. that they have so transgressed the law of god that they justly deserve hell and damnation they plainly see that this is what they deserves and that god would do them no wrong if he should make them miserable for ever: there is none that will believe in Christ before they are thus convinced of their need of him, the whole need not the physician but they that are sick— (Luke 5:31)


2. It implieth that Christ is so discovered to them in the gospel that they receive him upon the terms which god offereth him they see him to be a suitable and an all-sufficient savior that he has wrought out and brought in an everlasting righteousness by which they


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may be justified upon their believing in him, and that he has made atonement for sin, by his suffering and death so that their sins may be pardoned and forgiven them, and that god can do it consistent with the divine perfection so that they submit to the way of the salvation by Christ they part with every sin and renounce their own righteousness as filthy rags: and rest upon Christ alone for salvation they take him for their prophet priest and king, they receive a whole Christ with their whole heart.


3. It implieth that they heartily and sincerely repent of all their sins. where ever there is true faith there is always true repentance and godly sorrow for sin. they hate sin, and leave sin and mourn for it as the worst of evils such repentance as this always accompanieth true faith, and this repepentance is to be found in all worthy communicants they can not come aright to the ordinances of Christ—except they come believing and sorrowing


Footnotes