1 Corinthians 11:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 11:27, NIV: So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:27, ESV: Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:27, KJV: Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:27, NASB: Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:27, NLT: So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:27, CSB: So, then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord.

What does 1 Corinthians 11:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Scripture often warns us that God's instructions are not to be taken lightly (Galatians 6:7; Hebrews 2:2–3; Deuteronomy 30:15). Even when the consequences of disobedience aren't immediate, they can be devastating (Romans 2:5). Here, Paul reveals the high stakes for those participating in the Lord's Supper in an "unworthy manner." The Corinthian Christians had been doing exactly that: using the Lord's Supper gathering as a freewheeling party of sorts, with the wealthy believers treating the poorer believers badly (1 Corinthians 11:17–22).

Paul writes that blatant ungodliness while eating the bread and drinking the cup of the Lord's Supper will cause them to be guilty of sinning against the blood and body of Christ. In a sense, Paul is saying that the person who does this becomes liable for the Lord's death. Symbolically, communion is meant to commemorate the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. Those who treat such an event as a party, or take it in a careless way, are not entirely unlike those who stood by and laughed while Jesus died (Matthew 27:38–44). Or the indifferent soldiers who pursued pleasure as He bled to death (John 19:23–24).

Unlike those real-life bystanders, born-again Christians are supposed to know the meaning and importance of the crucifixion. To disrespect communion—the Lord's Supper—through selfishness or arrogance is not a small charge. The verses that follow show that such disrespect risks paying a heavy price.