In the 11th chapter of First Corinthians, Paul wrote to the Church about the Lord’s Supper:
1 Corinthians 11:27–29
27 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.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
Notice that Paul made statements about eating and drinking unworthily. That is not the word unworthy. The blood of Jesus Christ made us worthy. Unworthily refers to the attitude or manner in which we partake of the Lord’s Supper.
Paul goes on to say, “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (v. 30). This verse shows us why sickness is in the church. As far as I can ascertain, this is the only cause the Bible gives for believers being sick.
Discern the Lord’s Body
The Holy Spirit is speaking through the apostle Paul: “For this cause.” He didn’t say “these causes” (plural) but “this cause” (singular). The verse goes on to say, “many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” The word weak implies physical weakness and sleep refers to bodies asleep in the grave. He infers they were “sleeping” or died prematurely.
What is the cause? Not rightly discerning the Lord’s body. Discern means “to see.” If we don’t see or understand what Jesus’ death on the cross accomplished, it won’t benefit us. The Communion wafer represents Jesus’ broken body. He was bruised on Calvary for our physical ailments. By not understanding this, we can take Communion and still be sick and die prematurely!
There is a further thought here. The Lord’s body today is the Church. Jesus is the head, and we are the body. Every born again Christian—whether they are members of our particular fellowship or of another church—is a member of Christ’s body. We must love one another, or we will bring condemnation upon ourselves. The fewer Christians who walk in love, the more sickness will be in the church.
By not understanding this, we can take communion and still be sick and die prematurely.Kenneth E. Hagin
Notice what Paul says in verse 31: “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” In other words, if we are doing wrong, we need to judge our actions or words. Confess, “I’ve sinned. I did wrong. Forgive me.”
One time when Jesus appeared to me in an open vision, He said, “I’ll judge you quicker on spiritual sins than I will on physical sins.” God sees our hearts. If we judge ourselves, we will not be judged.
Throughout the Old Testament, God told Israel to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments. If they obeyed Him, He would take sickness away from them, and they would fulfill the number of their days. In the New Testament, Jesus gave us a new commandment—love one another.
God is the same now as He ever was. His attitude toward sin hasn’t changed under the new covenant. If God didn’t want people to be well or live long on the earth, He wouldn’t have told them how to do it, would He?
God does not want His children to be sick or die prematurely. He made provision for health and long life. That’s the reason the Holy Spirit told Paul to write: “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”
More than once, the Lord has said, “Don’t pray for them. They are going to die.” In one case I said, “You promised us at least 70 or 80 years. They’re not even 70 years old yet. Why are they going to die?” He said, “I’ve been waiting on him 36 years to judge himself and put away sin. His house is in order, and he’s ready to come home. He will never have a better time to die than now. Leave him alone and let him come on home.”
Think about the patience of God—waiting all that time for someone to get right with Him!
One time the Lord talked to me about a young preacher who died and said, “He wouldn’t judge himself.” Some folks get disturbed about that and say, “That blows up the theory of divine healing.” Divine healing is not a theory; it’s a fact. The facts of God’s Word still stand. The Lord didn’t put sickness on anyone. Scriptures tell us it’s by Jesus’ stripes we were healed (1 Pet. 2:24). We must judge ourselves so First Corinthians 5:5 doesn’t come into play: “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
Do the Word
We must rightly discern the Lord’s body. It’s God’s will that we judge ourselves and walk in the health and healing He provided for us.
1. Understand that Jesus’ physical body was broken for us so we can be healed.
2. Know that the Lord’s body is one, and walk in love toward fellow members.
3. If we persist in sin over a long period, we will be judged—so we must judge ourselves instead!
We need to preach God’s provision, which includes healing and health. But on the other hand, we need to warn people. Remember, Jesus told one man “sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14). Let’s purpose to live right and walk with God.
Broken fellowship with God or the Body of Christ may cause sickness, but forgiveness and healing are available to us. Let’s get the past under the blood of Jesus and not allow the devil to condemn us.
May we walk in the light of God’s Word and put it into practice. Then we shall receive all the blessings and provisions that have been furnished for us.
Kenneth E. Hagin
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