In 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 Paul gives instructions for the Lord's Supper. We would do ourselves a great favor if we regularly observed this sacrament! The Lord's Supper is a family meal-that is, it is meant for the family of God. I see in these verses at least three rules for observing the Lord's Supper.
1. Remember, verses 23-26. Paul quotes Jesus as saying twice, "Do this in remembrance of Me" (24, 25). Our focus should be on Jesus as we partake of the elements. The bread represents His body-His humanity. The juice represents His divine nature-His deity. He became like us, in that He had a body like ours, but He was also unlike us, in that He was sinless. His body was torn for us and His blood was spilled for us. This was the payment for our sins.
2. Reflect, verses 27-32. We should allow the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts. Does He reveal any sin in us? Then we should confess it and repent of it before we take the meal. This is what he means by taking the meal in an "unworthy manner." We either eat it without allowing the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts, or we ignore His conviction altogether. He may be convicting us that we are not Christians at all (2 Corinthians 13:5), in which case we should ask the Lord Jesus to save us (Psalm 119:41). A person who does not know Christ as Savior is not going to discern His work in the meal. But neither should we see in the taking of these elements the means of salvation. The Supper does not save. Only trust in Jesus saves!
3. Respect, verses 33-34. We are to show respect by giving deference to one another. If we would do this I beleive this sacrament would promote unity in the fellowship.