Conduct surrounding the Love Feasts

Jim Burns wrote in CHRISTIANITY TODAY, “Compassion is one of the most important character traits we can nurture in our children. Yet our culture encourages selfishness. If we want our children to develop servant hearts, we need to give them opportunities to serve. Fortunate … More

Selfishness

The next item Paul brings to their attention in this chapter is the “love feast.” From the very early days of the church, it was customary for the believers to eat together before they partook of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:42, 46). The called this meal the “love feast.” This meal was part of the worship of the church at Corinth, but some serious abuses had crept in.

 

1. Paul told them that their worship services were doing them more harm than good, and he certainly could not praise them for this (v. 17).

2. Rich people brought a large quantity of food for themselves and didn’t share it with their needy brothers and sisters in Christ (vv. 18-20). This “agape feast” should have been an opportunity for edification but instead it was turning into a time of embarrassment. 

3. Some were even turning this special mealtime into a drinking party (v. 21). This certainly was not the best way to prepare for the Lord’s Supper. 

 

The Corinthians were to be commended for keeping the ordinances (v. 2), but they deserved sharp criticism for the manner in which they did so. What should have resulted in spiritual blessing was perpetrating a spirit of division. (Divisions at the dinner were just evidence of selfishness). Paul told them they should do their eating and drinking at home (v. 22). They were not actually celebrating the forgiveness Jesus provided when He died for our sins. Instead, they were embarrassing the people who didn’t have anything. Paul said that he certainly couldn’t praise them for what they were doing.

Application

I want to make sure that the things I do in this life are not just to satisfy my own selfish desires. Whether I eat, drink or whatever I do I need to be careful that I take into consideration the basic needs of those who are around me, whether they be physical, social, or spiritual.

I Corinthians 11:17-22 (English Standard Version)


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