How to take communion

A man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (1 Corinthians 11:28)

What’s the proper way to take communion? Should we remember our sins and examine our shortcomings?


When we come to the Lord’s Table, we are to remember Christ and what he did for us. We are to examine ourselves in light of what Christ has done.

The word for examine in this passage means to test and by implication approve. Those in Christ need to see themselves as approved by God.

Under the old covenant, the priests at the temple examined the sacrificial lamb, not the one who brought it. In the new covenant, Christ is our Lamb without blemish or defect.

During communion we examine him and see ourselves as tested and 100 percent approved in him.

This is how we remember or honor Jesus.

Want to go deeper? Check out the entry for the Communion in the Grace Glossary.

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Categorized as Communion

By Paul Ellis

Author of award-winning commentaries


  1. Great commentary on receiving Communion! As a pastor of over 30 years I have, at times, struggled with an Old Covenant presentation toward receiving Communion. Your commentary on this is such a good reminder to keep the proper perspective (New Covenant). So many times we have approached this as though we were at a funeral, instead of a celebration of what Christ accomplished for us as Believers! Thank you Paul!!

  2. Hi Paul, greetings from Lagos, Nigeria.

    The question is, as christians knowledgeable in the gospel of grace, are we commanded to participate in what is now known as the communion?

    1. We are under grace not law, so we are not commanded to do anything (other than believe in Jesus; see 1 John 3:23). Communion is something we get to do, not something we have to do. More here.

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