1 Corinthians 11:17-22
Now in this that I declare to you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse.…
I. THAT ATTENDANCE ON THE INSTITUTIONS OF RELIGION MAY PROVE PERNICIOUS RATHER THAN BENEFICIAL (ver. 17). Men cannot be made religious; an irresistible moral force is a contradiction in terms, an impossibility in fact. Hence the highest redemptive forces on man often conduce to his ruin. The gospel is either the "savour of life unto life, or of death unto death." Pharaoh's heart was hardened under the ministry of Moses, and the hearts of the men of Chorazin, etc., were hardened under the ministry of Christ.
II. THAT ASSEMBLING TOGETHER FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES DOES NOT NECESSARILY IMPLY UNITY OF SOUL (vers. 18, 19). It does not follow that because people are brought together in the same church that they are united together in spirit. Two people may sit in the same pew, hear the same discourse, etc., and yet in soul be as remote from one another as the poles. No real spiritual unity can exist where there is not a supreme affection for Christ, who is the only uniting place of souls.
III. THAT THE VERY BEST INSTITUTIONS ON EARTH ARE OFTEN SADLY PERVERTED BY MEN. For many reasons the Lord's Supper may be regarded as one of the best ordinances. But it was now perverted into a means of gluttony and drunkenness (vers. 20, 21). Are not men constantly perverting Divine institutions, Churches, Bibles, the Christian Ministry, etc.?
(D. Thomas, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.