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Bible Questions with Michael Pearl
Episode 045: What does the Bible say about participating in the Lord's Supper?

By Michael Pearl

Episode Transcription:

Michael:  All right. Jared is here with his camera. I'm Michael Pearl. I'm building a house for myself. I've been working on it five years. I don't work on it all the time but I have to take a break between sitting behind a computer writing, and doing other things. So a couple of hours a day I come up here and I work on my house. Jared follows me up wherever I am so I can answer your Bible questions. I'm raring to go, so what's the first question you've got there, Jared?

Jared:  I have not participated in the Lord's Supper in two years, because I've been harboring unforgiveness against others. Is this right of me? What does the Bible say about this?

Michael:  All right. If I had my Bible here I'd show it to you in First Corinthians, Chapter 11, but you can read it. He says, "When you come together to take the Lord's Supper, tarry one for another." He discussed a problem there that they had in Corinth. He said that when you come together, some of you are coming ahead of time and you're already eating and drinking before the poor people get there. He said, "You're taking the Lord's table unworthily." Not in a worthy manner, they way they were doing it.

He said, "Because of this, taking the Lord's Table unworthily, many of you are sick, weak, and some of you sleep." That means they were dead. He said, "If you would judge yourselves, then God wouldn't judge you. You wouldn't be judged of the Lord."

Now, many preachers have taken that passage, where it says, "Whosoever eateth or drinketh unworthily, he drinks damnation to himself." They have supposed that when we come to take the Lord's Table we have to search our hearts, repent of all of our sins, confess all of our sins, and get ourselves in a worthy condition. If we're not in a worthy condition, then there's some kind of damnation that comes up on us as a result of it.

That's a totally inaccurate interpretation of the passage. The passage is not about the person being worthy, it's about the manner in which they take the Lord's Table. It didn't say, "He that eats and drinks who is not worthy". It said, "He who eats or drinks unworthily". That's an adverb, not an adjective describing the person. An adverb describing the manner in which the person eats or drinks and takes the Lord's Table.

When I take the Lord's Table, I never feel worthy. That's the whole point of it. The whole point of the Lord's Table is a recognition that we're so unworthy. We're so worthy of damnation and rejection by God that God sent his only son, Jesus, to die in our place. When Jesus died and shed his blood, he shed it to pay for an unworthy sinner like me.

So when I take the Lord's Table, I don't feel worthy. I feel unworthy. The very fact that I'm taking it is a statement of my lack of worth, of my dependence upon his shed blood to wash away my sins.

I commend you in not feeling worthy. Since I was 13 years old... actually, before that. Since I was seven or eight years old I've never felt worthy of God. I don't to this day. I enjoy Him on a daily basis. I worship him while I'm working, I talk to Him, I give thanks to Him. I'm not scared of God. I'm not uncomfortable with God. I'm looking forward to spending eternity with him.

When I come to the Lord's Table, I come with a sense of unworthiness. And I take it and I thank God that he made me worthy through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Stop trying to make yourself something you'll never be ‑ worthy. Stop trying to meet God halfway and let him meet you all the way, with the full provision of what He's done in Christ.

Go back and read the passage. Look at the adverb "unworthily". Now, don't read some corrupted modern perversion. Get your King James Bible and read it. You need a Bible that's accurate, that's based on the oldest Greek manuscripts that reflects the vernacular of many other translations. You don't want one that's based on Madison Avenue translation techniques and sales promotion.

Don't bother with something like the New International Version. Just get yourself a King James Bible, the one that is God's Book. Read Chapter 11 of First Corinthians. You'll be very blessed by that.

Announcer:  If you would like to ask a Bible question, email us at [email protected] or call at 931‑805‑4820.

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