Unworthy to Partake

Mike Willis
Mooresville, Indiana

Some members of the body of Christ do not partake of the Lord's Supper because they feel they "are not worthy.'' The only passage, to my knowledge, to which they might be alluding when expressing themselves in this manner is 1 Cor. 11: 27, 28 which is as follows:

"Wherefore whoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, be guilty of tile body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup."

When one partakes of the Lord's Supper, he must be careful to do so in the proper manner. Note that "unworthy" is an adjective which modifies the noun "manner" which is the object of the preposition "in." The entire prepositional phrase is used as an adverbial phrase which describes "how" and not "who."

What should the person who is about to partake the Lord's Supper do when he knows that lie has sinned? Perhaps these words of Jesus best explain:

"If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hast aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first to be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift" (Matt. 5:23, 24).

Notice that Jesus did not say "offer no more gifts" but told the man to correct the sin and then return to offer the gift. Likewise, if, while in the process of self examination, one finds himself guilty of sin, he should do whatever is necessary to obtain the forgiveness of that sin and then partake the Lord's Supper.

Those who continually refuse to partake the lord's Slipper because they feel they are
"unworthy" are openly refusing to obey the lord's command of "This do in
remembrance of me."


April 2, 1970