Love is strength. Love is not weakness. Love never fails. They that walk in love, walk with God. They that walk with God, have God's power, and we should be reminded of the power available through love every time we take communion – but only when we receive it worthily. We aren't made worthy by what we do, but by how we discern the Lord's body.
The Cost of Taking Communion Unworthily
1 Corinthians 11:27-29 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.
I underlined guilty of the body and blood of the Lord in my Bible because I don't want to be considered a murderer. Do you? It is imperative then that we understand what qualifies as an unworthy fashion. Not discerning the Lord’s body is the crux of the matter, but what exactly does that mean?
The Lord’s Body
To properly discern the Lord’s body, we must first acknowledge what or who is the Lord’s body? Is it the wafer we take during communion? Is it your denomination? Is it your family? Let’s see how the Bible defines the Lord’s body.
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all (Ephesians 1:19-23).
To discern the Lord’s body means to understand who it is and who you are dealing with. Not rightly discerning the Lord’s body means that I have strife, unforgiveness, racism, or hard feelings against other members of the body of Christ. Discord, contention, and friction within the body of Christ are never justifiable; it is so serious that God said that if you take communion with those things in your heart, you eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation on yourself.
The Lord's body is the church, and the church isn't a building or an incorporated entity. It is people who have confessed Jesus as their Lord. Men, women, teenagers, and children of every nation, creed, and color are part of the Lord's body. They are in your church, denominational churches, and home prayer gatherings. They are Democrats and Republicans; their complexions are a rainbow of shades; their hair is straight, curly, wavy, and non-existent (like mine). As different as they are, they are all part of the body of Christ.
Guard Your Heart
The communion bread represents Jesus’ body that was broken for you. The cup represents His blood that was shed for your salvation, healing, deliverance, and provision. But if you harbor ill feelings towards members of the body of Christ, you hamper your ability to receive your healing. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (1 Corinthians 11:30). Remember that Paul was writing to the church of Corinth – the church that operated in all the gifts of the Spirit. Still, many were sick and died because of the condition of their hearts. There have been times when I have prayed for healing for people, and I knew the anointing was available for them to receive, but I could tell it just bounced off of them. Sometimes the Lord will tell me that unforgiveness and strife in their hearts are blocking His blessing, and if they repent and fix it, they will be healed.
Contention, strife, or racism in your heart opens the door to the devil. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). So, keep [guard] thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).