1 Corinthians 10:16-22

16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything?

20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.

21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.

22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

blessing (v.16) — can mean “praise,” “benefit” or “giving thanks” — Here it probably means giving thanks.

communion (v.16) = having in common — a share (here) in the effects of the blood, the death of Christ

During the Lord’s sojourn upon this earth, His flesh was the tabernacle of God. God was in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19); Jesus was the God-Man. Throughout the days of His life on earth the flesh was the instrument in which He fulfilled the Father’s will in every respect. The cross was the final step. He willingly went to the cross, and on the cross proclaimed, “It is finished!” Jesus is the living, glorified, Christ — the bread of life for the souls of believers. — Greene, page 335.

one bread (v.17) — the unity of the members of the Body of Christ with Him and with each other

True believers rejoice in our position in the heavenlies in Christ, and all our spiritual blessings there. Too many come short, however, in gratefully remembering that all this is ours because our Lord left heaven to have His body broken and His life’s blood poured out for our sins. This is why God has given us this physical memorial.

Let us never forget that for us to be baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3) He had to be baptized into the human race, becoming bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh — one with us, yea, one of us. Before we could be baptized into deity, He had to be baptized into humanity. Before we could be baptized into His death (Romans 6:3), He had to be baptized into our death (Luke 12:50). To lift us from earth to heaven and bless us with “all spiritual blessings” there, He had to leave heaven, come down to this sin-cursed world and take on Himself a physical body to be beaten and scourged and spit upon and nailed to a cross. — Stam, page 174.

partake (v. 17) — share with — with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection and life. — We are many, but we share His one life.

(About verse 17) That each believer breaks off a fragment of the loaf for himself indicates his individual fellowship with Christ on the ground of His death, while, at the same time, the fact that all do it is a token of the essential oneness of the members of the Body of Christ.  

(About verse 18) In certain offerings the offerers, after a part had been burnt on the altar, and a part had been given to the priests, ate the rest in the court of the tabernacle, Leviticus 7:15-21; Deuteronomy 12:5-7 and 18:18. To participate in the sacrificial feasts was to have fellowship with the living God, who appointed them. The apostle is about to show the spiritual application of this in the matter of the partaking of the Lord’s supper. — Vine, page 71.

anything (v.19) — The false gods and the sacrifices to them are, in and of themselves, nothing.

demons (v.20) — The pagans thought they were sacrificing to gods but they were really sacrificing to demons which instigate idolatry.

fellowship with demons (v.20) — by partaking in pagan feasts. To eat meat bought in the market which had been offered to idols was one thing. To eat it at a pagan feast in a pagan temple was a whole different thing.

To attempt to fellowship with pagans while taking the Lord’s supper is to anger God (v.22).

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