We have been considering in the sermon the unity of the church, even in the midst of great diversity. Some brothers are weak in their faith and feel constrained to certain scruples that strong brothers feel free in. Some brothers are wealthy while others are poor. Some brothers are lifelong Christians while others are recent converts from paganism. Nevertheless, as St. Paul writes, “By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” Notice the expressions of unity in that verse. There is one Spirit who takes our baptism in water and gives us what that baptism signifies – union with the one body of Christ and partaking of one Spirit.
We are strengthened in our unity when we take up this bread together and are lifted up by the Spirit into heaven to partake of Christ’s flesh, which is the only source of life for man. And we are strengthened also when we take up this one cup and partake together of the blood of Christ by faith. We are strengthened to be one body, one people united by the cross and bound together as the people of Christ who have a common life in Him.
We make this eating and drinking effectual for our blessing and not for cursing when we eat and drink in faith. Faith is always the only path to blessing from God. By faith we discern the Lord’s body – that is, His body sitting all around us – which was something the Corinthians were failing to do and that Paul warned them about. You look around and what do you see? A bunch of people different from you, people who are weak and nothing in the world’s eyes.
Yet by faith you see the one body of Christ on earth, a body growing stronger not to please ourselves but to march forth to conquer by the gospel and by the Spirit.
So here is Christ offered to you in bread and wine, Christ crucified and risen again for you, Christ sharing His very life with you, Christ sealing you together as one body for His name and by His Spirit, Christ showering His grace on you.
Come, let us taste and see that the Lord is good.